MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Today people across the nation will pause to remember those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was a coordinated attack that took America by surprise and forever changed our country.

Everyone old enough to remember will never forget where they were when they heard the news. On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and killed nearly 3,000 people.

Two planes smashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, causing the twin towers to fall. A third plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania after passengers, including Bloomington’s Tom Burnett Jr., said “Let’s Roll” and heroically brought down United Flight 93.

Three Minnesotans died in the terrorist attacks. Besides Burnett, Gary Koecheler and Gordy Aamoth Jr. were in the Twin Towers in New York when they fell.

Now 12 years after the attacks, construction is still underway on the Freedom Tower. The spire was lifted into place back in May, making it the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Developers are now saying that One World Trade Center should be done early next year.

At the structures base is the memorial to the World Trade Center attacks..

In memory of the thousands of lives lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered that all flags across the state fly at half-staff today.

President Obama ordered a moment of silence at 7:46 a.m. That’s the time when the first plane hit the north tower.


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