Nation Remembers 9/11 20 Years Later

It has been 20 years since hijacked airliners struck the twin towers on the morning of September 11, 2001. Twenty years later and Americans are still paying tribute to the lives lost in the attack on 9/11. Tributes were made to strangers and loved ones who were taken during the attack. 

Tributes were held all over the country to remember the 2,753 lives lost at ground zero on 9/11. Many families gathered at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to mourn the loss of loved ones. 

The ceremony honored the fallen by singing, moments of silence and by reading the names of those who had passed. The reading of the names lasted four hours and there were moments of silence for each minute when the planes hit the towers, causing them to collapse. 

John Fackre, a 76-year-old U.S. Army veteran who visited the memorial said “The horror here in 2001 was worse than anything I saw in Vietnam.” 

President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton also attended the ceremony and wore blue ribbons while listening to the reading of lost lives. Those who could not enter the ceremony gathered around ground zero and brought flags, handwritten signs, along with flowers and photos to honor their loved ones. 

On September 11, 2001, Dorothy Morgan passed away after being buried in the rubble of the collapsed towers. Morgan was an insurance broker in the North Tower and was one of the 2,753 victims at ground zero. Nykiah Morgan, Dorothy Morgan’s daughter was never able to give her mother a proper burial because her remains were never found. 

Twenty years later, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office had positively identified the body of Dorothy Morgan with the help of advanced DNA testing. Nykiah Morgan had no idea the medical examiner’s office was still trying to identify bodies after all this time. 

For the past years, has tested and retested 22,000 body parts that were recovered from the wreckage of 9/11. This has been the largest missing persons investigation ever conducted in the county. Scientists are still testing to try to identify the 1,106 victims that have not yet been identified. 

Dorothy Morgan became the 1,646th World Trade Center victim to be identified by the medical examiner’s advanced DNA testing. A man whose family wishes to keep his identity private was the 1,647th victim to be identified just days later. 

The unidentified man and Dorothy Morgan were the first identifications since 2019. Identification has slowed to identifying less than one person a year. The medical examiner’s office of New York is excited about the next generation of DNA sequencing because the new technology will help scientists with identifying remains. 

“It’s a much more sensitive technology, so we’re very hopeful it will help us find more new identifications. We committed back then to do whatever it takes, as long as it takes and that’s what we’ll continue to do so.”

— Dr. Barbara Sampson

“It’s a much more sensitive technology, so we’re very hopeful it will help us find more new identifications. We committed back then to do whatever it takes, as long as it takes and that’s what we’ll continue to do so,” said Dr. Barbara Sampson, the chief medical examiner of New York City.

Tributes have been pouring out all over America to honor the fallen. One of the biggest groups of people to make national tributes have been college football teams. Twenty years later, on September 11, 2021 college football teams all around America honored 9/11 with new uniforms, tunnel walks, and other tributes. 

Air Force football showcased new B-52 inspired uniforms at their game against the Navy. The Navy football team also revealed new uniforms that resembled the traditional “Dress Blue” Marine Corps’ uniform. Penn State football had the Dwyer family of Patrick Dwyer serve as honorary captains for their game. 

Oklahoma football recognized emergency services personnel, frontline workers, as well as military members. Nebraska football sported all-white uniforms with a faint camouflage pattern as well as a new helmet logo. BYU football also had a new helmet that featured a pentagon-shaped sticker that says “9/11 NEVER FORGET”