Remembering 9/11—what time is the moment of silence and how to honor those affected by the attacks of September 11

Mark the 20th anniversary with a tribute to those fallen

The annual Tribute in Light that will mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center is tested in New York City on September 3, 2021 as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey.
(Image credit: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

September 11, 2021, will mark 20 years since the terrorist attacks on the US. Each year, the country takes time to remember those who lost their lives with traditions like the moment of silence and laying flowers on various memorials spread around the country.

New York City will light up Saturday night with its annual Tribute in Light. As people gather around the 9/11 memorial to remember and reflect, people across the country will also be participating in their own ceremonies to memorialize the fallen.

A U.S. flag and a flower are placed near a victim's name at the September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero on September 8, 2021 in New York, United States.

(Image credit: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

Whether you live in areas directly impacted by 9/11 or not, you can still take action to honor victims and survivors of September 11th. This year, take a moment of silence and visit a local memorial to show respect for the harrowing day. Or educate your loved ones with one of the many informative 9/11 documentaries.

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What time is the 9/11 moment of silence for the 20th anniversary?

Every year, the US takes a moment of silence nationwide that corresponds to the start of the terrorist attacks from 2001. The first one occurs at 8:46 a.m. ET, which was the time that American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

The sun rises above One World Trade Center and lower Manhattan in New York City on September 3, 2021 as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey.

(Image credit: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Everyone has a different way they pay tribute to the tragedy of that day, and for some, it involves additional moments of silence throughout the day. Five more moments of silence are taken to commemorate when a plane flew into the south tower of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, as well as the moment when both Twin Towers fell.

As well as remembering those who died in the tragic events, another reason for the moments of silence every year is to help teach future generations never to forget the events of 9/11.

Remembering 9/11—how to pay tribute to those who lost their lives

Nearly 3,000 lives were lost on September 11, 2001, which is still labeled as one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on US soil. Remembering those who lost their lives doesn't have to involve a trip to NYC or Washington D.C. Instead, look around your community to see what events or tributes are being held. Here are just a few ways in which you can remember those who lost their lives...

9/11 memorial stair climbs

Among the heroes from 9/11 are the firefighters who climbed up 110 flights of stairs to help rescue victims. The annual 9/11 stair climb is often put together in communities as a way to remember fallen firefighters. The event also raises funds to provide assistance to the surviving families and co-workers of the 343 firefighters who sacrificed their lives that day.

Participants climb the equivalent of 110 stories of stairs. It's not timed or a race and each person completes it on their own time. This doesn't have to be done through a community event either, those who wish to do it on their own can just need a set of stairs to participate.

Ohio University's men's lacrosse coach, Nat St. Laurent, even holds his own form of the stair climb with his team each year.

"Each year on 9/11 our team runs the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs to honor First Responders and all brave men and women that paid the ultimate sacrifice that day. This year I ask teams around the country to do the same and honor so many of our loved ones. NEVER FORGET," he wrote on Twitter.

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Chalk artists remember Flight 93 victims

The heroic acts of those on flight 93 helped prevent an attack on the US Capitol. After discovering the plane had been hijacked by terrorists, a group of crew members and passengers stormed the cockpit of the plane to prevent the plan from succeeding. Their actions resulted in the plane crashing in a rural town in Pennsylvania instead—with no survivors. 

To remember the passengers of Flight 93, local artists used photos of the passengers provided by the National Parks Service to create chalk portraits. The art is available to see in front of the Flight 93 National Memorial.

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Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers load care packages with supplies for troops and vets during the annual 9/11 Service Project on The Rose Kennedy Greenway on September 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Image credit: atrick Whittemore/Digital First Media/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Volunteering is another way in which people can pay tribute. Resources like provide various volunteering opportunities from teaching language to foreign students to running activities for seniors. This allows people to help those in need while also getting involved with the community. 

How to help those still affected by the 9/11 attacks...

Today some families and survivors are still struggling and need support from the community. Various resources and organizations have come together to assist those in need who are still impacted by the events of September 11. Below you'll find resources that you can contribute to and learn more about:

  • Project 351—funds go to the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, which helps support the families of those who have lost a loved one in 9/11.
  • Tuesday's Children—this group helps provide resources, including access to mental health, for children and spouses of first responders who perished on 9/11. 
  • Healing Emergency Aid Response Team (HEART) 9/11—made up of first responders across NYC, this group aims to honor their fellow fallen by dispatching members to areas across the nation impacted by natural disasters. 
  • VOICES Of September 11th—officially established in 2002, this organization looks to provide resources for survivors, families, and first responders impacted by that day. Some of its work includes establishing support groups and launching a national campaign of awareness for the World Trade Center Health Program.
  • National Sept. 11 Memorial And Museum—funds donated are used to support the museum's efforts to honor the lives lost. There's also a private "family room," which serves as a place of comfort and quiet reflection for victims' relatives and loved ones. 
Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.