The Enduring Impact: Remembering September 11th in America and Beyond

Every year on this day, we commemorate the profound events of Remembering September 11th. This tragedy claimed the lives of 2,977 people in New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The victims came from all walks of life and represented 77 different countries. These four intentional plane crashes occurred on September 11, 2001, and altered the world in irreversible ways.

Among the passengers of Flight 11, the first plane to go down, was Daniel Lewin—an Israeli-American mathematician, tech entrepreneur, and former Israeli Special Forces soldier.

Lewin, who spoke Arabic, was seated near the hijackers and attempted to fight back as the attack commenced. Tragically, he became the first 9/11 fatality, as reported by an airline employee through in-flight communication with American Airlines on the ground.

May his memory and soul never be forgotten, along with all those who perished that day.

The casualties of Remembering September 11th spanned a wide age range—from as young as two and a half to as old as 85, with an average age of 40. The attacks claimed the lives of 343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, and 8 paramedics. A total of 2,606 civilians lost their lives in both towers. Some remains have never been recovered, but all names have been identified, including those whose remains are still missing. The number of people suffering from health complications due to the event has now surpassed the initial death toll.

Following the attacks, The New Yorker editor David Remnick decided the magazine’s next issue would carry no cartoons—a somber reflection of the mood of a nation.

As a lifelong New Yorker who experienced the horror of that day firsthand, the events of Remembering September 11th are forever etched into my memory. The city united, rising from the smoke and ashes to construct the towering One World Trade Center.

In 2011, the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks offered thoughts that resonate to this day, emphasizing the need for renewing our collective moral disciplines of freedom.

Besides the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan, Jerusalem, Israel, is home to the only other 9/11 memorial that lists the names of all victims. Jewish people around the world, especially in Israel, are no strangers to acts of terror. Our history has taught us to put our faith in higher powers, our families, and our communities.

“Be not afraid of sudden terror, neither of the destruction of the wicked, when it comes. Take counsel together, and it shall be brought to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us. Even to old age, I am the same, and even to hoar hairs will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear; I will carry, and will deliver.” (Proverbs 3:25, Isaiah 8:10, Isaiah 46:4)

For the sake of each other, for the sake of humanity—may the memories of those slain continue to be a blessing and their souls never forgotten.