COLUMBIA, S.C. — Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. On that day, members of the militant Islamic group al-Qaeda carried out a series of four coordinated attacks utilizing hijacked passenger airliners as weapons.
The first plane, American Airlines Flight 11, hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan in New York City at 8:46 a.m.
The second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, hit the World Trade Center's South Tower at 9:03 a.m.
The force of both explosions caused the collapse of the 110-story twin towers within two hours and significant damage to surrounding buildings.
The third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, flying out of Dulles International Airport in Virginia, was hijacked over Ohio and flown into the west side of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia.
The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was flown in the direction of Washington, D.C. but never arrived at its target as the plane crash landed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania while the plane's passengers tried to regain control of the plane from the terrorists. It was later determined that Flight 93's target was either the White House or the US Capitol.
Midlands organizations commemorating the 20th anniversary include:
- Dreher High School: Remembrance Ceremony, 7:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 10. Dreher High School’s Naval Junior ROTC (NJROTC), led by Senior Naval Science Instructor Commander Alfred Dunn; Dreher High School administrators, Color Guard and Marching Band are participants in the program that is open to the public. Dreher High School, 3319 Millwood Ave., Columbia.
- Kershaw County's Continuous Learning Center (CLC) and Virtual Academy host Hero Day, 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. at the CLC campus, 1109 Campbell St., Camden. Participating agencies include Camden and Kershaw County first responders, American Legion Post 17, SC National Guard, SC Department of Natural Resources, SC Department of Juvenile Justice, SLED, MUSC Health Kershaw Medical Center and Live PD. Students, faculty and staff will watch videos and personal stories from 9/11 and discuss the significance of the event.
- Heathwood Hall Episcopal School: 10:20 a.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at 3000 S. Beltline Blvd. in Columbia. Students, faculty and staff will gather on campus at Goodall Bell Tower. Heathwood chaplain Reverend Jill Williams will say a prayer, followed by remarks from Head of School Chris Hinchey.
- Fort Jackson will honor the fallen with a wreath laying ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at Centennial Park on Fort Jackson. The event is open to the public but organizer ask everyone needs to be seated by 4:30 p.m. Attendees will be required to wear a face mask as per the fort's COVID-19 policy. The ceremony will also be livestreamed on Fort Jackson's Facebook pages.
- Tunnel To Tower 5K walk/run remembers the valiant efforts of first responders at the Twin Towers in New York City. This year's event will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (intersection of Lincoln and Senate streets in Columbia). Participants and volunteers can register online at dogood.t2t.org. Money raised by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation supports injured first responders, military heroes and their families.
- 9/11 Remembrance Foundation of South Carolina will hold a Morning of Remembrance Ceremony beginning at 8 a.m. at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The program will feature military and high school bands, remarks from religious leaders with military and first responder organizations and SC Gov. Henry McMaster, recognition of the fallen and survivors. A complete program can be found at scremembers911.org
- City of Sumter and Shaw Air Force Base host a joint ceremony beginning at 9:11 a.m. at City of Sumter Public Safety Campus. 315 N. Lafayette Dr. Sumter Fire Department Division Chief Joey Duggan will serve as Master of Ceremonies with remembrances by Colonel Lawrence Sullivan of Shaw AFB, Sumter Mayor David Merchant, and Sumter County Chairman Jim McCain. The ceremony will feature an F-16 flyover by McIntyre Joint National Guard Base, Sumter Law Enforcement Ensemble, last alarm service, a joint honor guard between Sumter and Shaw AFB and more.
- Walk of Remembrance -- hosted by Lugoff Fire Department, Camden Fire Department and Kershaw County first responders -- will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 11. at Camden Fire Station 1 at 1000 Lyttleton St in Camden and end at Lugoff Fire Department at 892 Highway 1 South in Lugoff. The five mile walk will honor the fallen first responders in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on this 20th anniversary of the event. Members of the public are invited to join in the walk or support first responders along the way.
- South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St., Columbia, will display a steel girder from the World Trade Center in the museum lobby and general admission for first responders and military is free Sept. 11 and 12.
- University of South Carolina 20th anniversary 9/11 memorial concert. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at Koger Center for the Arts, 806 Park St. The concert is part of the Mahogany Music Festival and while the concert is free, tickets are required. Tickets can be picked up at Koger Center box office or call (803) 251-2222 for will-call. You can also watch the concert livestreamed on UofSC's School of Music's YouTube channel.