Prayers, memorial services, and candlelight vigils have been scheduled for this weekend to mark the official days to remember the victims of the infamous Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, Sept. 7-9, will be a time when Americans and people around the world are encouraged to honor the thousands of people who died during one of the most tragic events in history of the United States.
“We honor the members of our Armed Forces who died while taking the fight to our adversaries, and we are grateful for those who continue to protect our Nation and our way of life,” said President George W. Bush in a statement. “Their courage, sacrifice, and dedication help preserve our freedom. We pray for their safety, for all those who love them, and for the peace we all seek.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, a series of coordinated terrorist suicide attacks shook the nation leaving Americans feeling insecure and vulnerable to similar attacks. The attacks were organized by terrorists affiliated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda.
Hijackers had taken over a total of four planes and slammed two passenger jet airliners into the World Trade Center in New York City causing the collapse of both buildings. A third airline crashed into the Pentagon, while passengers and crew in the fourth plane tried to regain control of the aircraft which eventually crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
In total, 2,974 people died including passengers on the planes, workers in the WTC and the Pentagon, firefighters, police officers, port officers, and people on the ground in New York City.
“During these days of prayer and remembrance, we reflect on all we have lost and take comfort in each other and in the grace and mercy of our Creation,” said Bush in a statement. “May God guide us, give us strength and wisdom, and may He continue to bless our great country.