Today marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, when al-Qaeda operatives commandeered airplanes to kill nearly 3,000 people in New York City and Washington, DC. Remember those who died on this day. On September 11, 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States forever changed the course of history. Four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists with the intention of flying them into landmark buildings. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were flown into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. United Airlines Flight 93 was headed toward Washington, D.C., but was crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers overtook the hijackers. It is believed the intended target of Flight 93 was either the White House or the Capitol Building. The attacks claimed the lives of 2,996 people, including the 19 terrorists. These photos are meant to be a reminder of the sacrifice made by everyday Americans for the price of our freedom, and what we must do to preserve it.
A pair of childrens shoes, covered in dust, stand on a table in a building near "ground zero" September 13, 2001 two days after two hijacked airplanes crashed into New Yorks World Trade Center, levelling the twin towers. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)