Patriot Day is the name given to the annual observance of the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001. Many Americans call the day 9/11 or September 11. (For your information, “Patriot’s Day” commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775; it will be observed on April 21, 2014.)
Hijackers took control of four airliners on the morning of September 11, 2001, and deliberately flew three of the airplanes into important buildings. Two airplanes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York within minutes of each other. A short time later a third aircraft hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth airliner crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when passengers fought the hijackers for control of it. This was the largest act of terrorism on United States soil and took the lives of nearly 3,000 people.
The event nearly destroyed the economy of the United States and brought national security to the forefront of national discussions. It changed the relationships between the United States and other nations, particularly Islamic countries in the Middle East.
The day has increased meaning since September 11, 2012, when terrorist overran a U.S. complex in Benghazi, Libya, and killed four Americans, including an ambassador. The investigation of this event is continuing.
Patriot Day is not a federal or state holiday, and schools, federal and state offices, Post Offices, etc. will remain open. Americans observe this day by displaying the American flag, which is flown at half-staff in remembrance of the lives that were taken that day. Many Americans observe a moment of silence at 8:46 A.M (Eastern Standard Time), the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Special church services or ceremonies at the various sites are held each year. It is a somber day for most Americans. Remember 9/11!