Sunday will mark 21 years—over two decades that have gone by since the clear September sky over Manhattan was suddenly stained with ominous black smoke that signaled one of the darkest days in American history.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the United States was attacked on its own soil in what was considered to be the deadliest terrorist attack ever documented. Our nation was left in a state of shock. It was a time of fear and uncertainty, but it was also a time marked for remembering when ordinary people would stand up to be heroes. 

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