On this solemn day 18 years ago on September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists who were members of al-Qaeda, an Islamist extremist network, primarily from Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern nations, hijacked four commercial airplanes. In a coordinated attack, the hijackers intentionally flew two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and a third into the Pentagon. Learning about the other hijackings, passengers and crew members on the fourth plane launched a counterattack, spurring the hijacker pilot to crash the plane into a field in Pennsylvania.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed on that day, the single largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil. Sadly the death toll from this, savage and cowardly attack, continues to rise in the first responders and those who helped clean up after the attack.