20 Powerful 9/11 Quotes In Memory Of The Attacks On September 11, 2001

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remembering 9/11 quotes

On Sept. 11, 2001, two planes struck the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack killed everyone onboard American Airlines Flight 11, as well as thousands of people inside the building itself. 17 minutes later, hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 17 into the World Trade Center’s South Tower, killing all on board.

Almost 3000 people died in what many call the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and the powerful 9/11 quotes below help us remember a day Americans will never forget.

Not only were both of the Twin Towers targeted, but an additional plane also hit the Pentagon a little under an hour later. A fourth plane — Flight 93 — crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, as crew and passengers struggled to wrestle control from the hijackers.

19 years later, the World Trade Center has since been rebuilt as a single tower named "One World Trade Center" — commonly known as "Freedom Tower" — alongside the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, located where the Twin Towers once stood.

While New York has healed in some ways since the tragedy, 9/11 has left a deep mark, not only on the city but also on the American ethos.

9/11 or, “Patriot Day” observes the lives lost and the brave people who sacrificed their lives to ensure the safety of others.

19 years ago 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers and 55 military personnel died, in addition to thousands of civilians that lost their lives when the towers collapsed.

Patriot Day is a national day of remembrance and service; every anniversary we remember those who lost their lives and those who are still alive to protect us today.

RELATED: 14 Moving Quotes & Stories From People Who Experienced The 9/11 Tragedy First-Hand

Here are some of the most powerful and memorable 9/11 quotes commemorating those we lost, as well as some inspirations moving forward:

1. "No day shall erase you from the memory of time." - Virgil's Aeneid, which adorns the 9/11 Memorial Museum

2. “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” —Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl

3. “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.” —President Barack Obama

4. “You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” —Colin Powell

5. “For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.” — Deepak Chopra

6. “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” — Clarence Darrow

7. “What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” — David Levithan

8. “September 11, 2001, revealed heroism in ordinary people who might have gone through their lives never called upon to demonstrate the extent of their courage.” — Geraldine Brooks

9. “We will win this struggle—not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace… so help us God.” —Tom Harkin

10. "Numerous civilians in all stairwells, numerous burn victims are coming down. We're trying to send them down first ... We're still heading up." — New York City Fire Department Captain Patrick Brown.

RELATED: 8 Moving Stories From People Who Experienced The Tragic Events Of 9/11 Firsthand

11. "Why am I here? What is the reason I was saved? They're really unanswerable questions. After going through something like we did, all you can do is try to live your best life from day to day and move forward with gratitude." — Brian Clark, World Trade Center survivor.

12. "September 11 is one of our worst days but it brought out the best in us. It unified us as a country and showed our charitable instincts and reminded us of what we stood for and stand for." – Senator Lamar Alexander

13. “It’s the nature of the world that most people have moved on, but the people directly involved with 9/11, for them, twice a day it’s 9/11.” — Robert Reeg, former FDNY firefighter.

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14. “I was in New York on September 11 when those planes hit the World Trade Center. At the time, it seemed like it was a local thing. But three or four days later, by the time we drove across the country in the bus, we realized it wasn’t a local thing. You could really feel the states become united. We became the United States of America.” — John Madden

15. “On that terrible day, a nation became a neighborhood, all Americans became New Yorkers.” – George Pataki, former Governor of New York

16. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” — former President Harry S. Truman

17. “My older brother John lived [his life] in Technicolor. … When he walked in the door, the whole house lit up. And I’m sure heaven lit up when he got there too.” – Anthoula Katsimatides

18. “All you can do is try to live your best life from day to day and move forward with gratitude.” — Brian Clark

19. “Where were you when the world stopped turning, on that September day?” — Alan Jackson

20. "One of the worst days in American history saw some of the bravest acts in American history. We'll always honor the heroes of 9/11. Here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice." — George W. Bush

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Jessica Xing is a writer who covers books, media, and culture.