September 11

The flag hangs outside of Cathedral of Christ King as metro-Atlanta first responders were honored on the 9/11 anniversary.
Ross Terrell / GPB News

First responders and law enforcement officials from the metro Atlanta area filled the Cathedral of Christ King for a special mass service in their honor.

The National Anthem, God Bless America and America the Beautiful would eventually echo through the sanctuary as parishioners and emergency officials paid their respects to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11. 


Bradley George/GPB

Debris and dust from the World Trade Center ruined the organ at Trinity Church, just a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York.

The instrument was removed and sat in storage for years. Now it’s been restored, and has a new home at a church outside Atlanta.

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Across the country today, ceremonies were held honoring the people lost 15 years ago on September 11, 2001.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED CHOIR: (Singing) What so proudly we hailed…

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, many beloved public spaces were abruptly closed or had their access severely restricted. At the time, the public generally resigned itself to the new restrictions as a necessary evil in a time of war.

Fifteen years later, the public has stopped noticing. In some cases, such as scenic overlooks at certain dams, the government spent millions on new roads and bridges to allow the public access from less risky positions. But in other places, the restrictions remain, and it's the public space itself that has faded from view.

Updated 2 a.m. ET, Sept. 12

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, according to a statement issued late Sunday afternoon by her physician, Lisa R. Bardack.

The Clinton campaign provided the statement after Clinton was examined at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. On Sunday morning, Clinton abruptly left a Sept. 11 commemoration ceremony in New York City. Her campaign later said she had "felt overheated."

Dr. Bardack's statement reads:

The names of each of the nearly 3,000 victims of the Sept. 11 attacks were read at a ceremony at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza, at the World Trade Center site in New York City. This marks the 15th anniversary of the attacks.

Family members came forward to name and honor their relatives who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on Flight 93. The event also commemorated the victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

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The ceremony honoring victims of 9/11 is underway at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan. Throughout the morning, the family members of 9/11 victims are reading names of those who died 15 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Andrew K. Kates.

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TED OLSON: My name is Ted Olson. I'm a lawyer.

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Minutes ago in New York City, the reading of the 9/11 victims' names stopped temporarily. Three bells rang out to mark the time a plane crashed into the Pentagon 15 years ago today.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELLS)

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Before Scott Kopytko joined the New York City Fire Department, he worked as a commodities broker in the South Tower at the World Trade Center. On Sept. 11, he rushed up the stairs of his old office building, trying to save lives with his fellow firefighters before the towers fell.

"He went to work, and he never came back," says his stepfather, Russell Mercer.

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When a man-made disaster of unfathomable scope strikes your city and its central symbol of prosperity has been leveled to ruin — and it's your job to jolt it into resurgence — where do you begin?

Only hours had passed after the planes struck New York City's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, when then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a promise to rebuild: "We're not only going to rebuild, we're going to come out of this stronger than we were before."

For many of us, Sept. 11, 2001, is one of those touchstone dates — we remember exactly where we were when we heard that the planes hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I was in Afghanistan.

I'd arrived in Kabul on Sept. 9 to cover the trial of eight foreign aid workers who had been arrested by the Taliban regime, which accused them of preaching Christianity to Afghans. Proselytizing was a death penalty crime, and two Americans were among the accused.

Today in the skies over New Mexico, Air Force students are practicing for the kill.

They sit at terminals at Holloman Air Force Base, watching grainy images from a drone video feed. Thousands of feet below, at a desert training range, role players portray civilians and fighters inside a village. The students must find the proper target, then with a push of a button, they unleash a simulated airstrike.

Fifteen years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the World Trade Center is still one of the world's most scrutinized construction sites.

Developers have had to balance honoring the dead while reviving some of the most valuable real estate in the world.

Fifteen years after the attacks of Sept. 11, Americans have grown aware not only of the danger of terrorism but also of the reality that their nation is far less white, Christian and European than it used to be.

"Culturally, we're a country of Bollywood and bhangra and tai chi and yoga and salsa and burritos and halal and kosher," says Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion at Harvard University and author of A New Religious America.

In the quarter-century from the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s until Sept. 11, 2001, the United States rarely went to war, and when it did, the conflicts were so brief they were measured in days.