Learn about 9/11

Resources for Learning

The 9/11 Tribute Center is dedicated to helping teachers and parents to explore new methods and find appropriate resources to assist in teaching this challenging subject in their classrooms or around the kitchen table.

In addition to our own collection of oral histories and personal experiences, we have gathered a thoughtful list that has been carefully vetted of materials which will help you explain the events of 9/11 to young people and to learn how to share this history through the power of personal stories.

Learn more from our list of Primary Sources and Research >>
Learn more about our resources For Parents >>
Learn more about bringing a 9/11 Tribute Center program to your students >>
Learn more your family visiting the 9/11 Tribute Center >>

September 11th: Personal Stories of Transformation Toolkit (recommended for grades 5 – 12)


September 11th: Personal Stories of Transformation provides an excellent way to begin the conversation about 9/11 for middle and high school students to help them to understanding the impact of 9/11. 10 people are featured in short 5 minute video stories. September 11th: Personal Stories of Transformation encourages an understanding of the facts of this contemporary history and a focus on the extraordinary civic response by many who experienced loss. The inspiring stories are accompanied by discussion questions and related resources.

September 11th: Personal Stories of Transformation is also available as a free DVD-ROM. If you would like a copy sent to your school, please send a request to education@tributewtc.org. Include your name, name of school, grade of students, and address of school.

Teacher Awards

Each year, the 9/11 Tribute Center honors teachers who create exemplary educational projects that help students understand the impact of 9/11. Few teachers throughout the country are supported in their efforts to teach about 9/11. The 9/11 Tribute Center has made it a priority to collect, reward and share the creativity and commitment of teachers that have taken the challenge and made tremendous accomplishments in their school.

Award-winning teachers have engaged students in unique projects that focus on historical and humanitarian aspects of 9/11 history, making the lessons of 9/11 tangible to children too young to remember. Projects often engage students in researching, discussing, analyzing and understanding 9/11. These award-winning projects enabled students to experience 9/11 as a lesson in civic engagement using language arts, history, civics, visual and media arts, and community service.

Dennis Farrell (9/11 Family Member), and Regent Lester Young Jr. awarded the teacher and principal.

Dennis Farrell (9/11 Family Member), and Regent Lester Young Jr. awarded the teacher and principal.

Awardees receive a monetary gift for their school and a Certificate of Merit at a formal ceremony held at the 9/11 Tribute Center. Each gift is donated by a 9/11 family foundation. The awards are presented by a Regent of the New York State Education Department. The ceremony takes place on February 26, in tribute to the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.

Over the years the Teacher Awards program has been made possible by the generous support of several family foundations who are committed to supporting education:

  • Brooke Jackman Foundation
  • Christopher Slattery September 11th Memorial Foundation
  • Greg Richards, Larry Polatsch
  • Scott Weingard (GLS) Memorial Fund
  • Michael J. Armstrong Memorial Foundation
  • Mullan family in memory of Firefighter Michael D. Mullan
  • Terence D. Gazzani 9/11 Scholarship Fund
  • Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund
  • Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust

If you would like to support this program and other educational initiatives with your 9/11 Family Foundation, go to the 9/11 Tribute Center website for more details or contact donate@911families.org.

Learn more about this years winners and their projects >>
Learn more about the winners of previous years >>

Collecting, Archiving, Sharing 9/11 Experiences

The 9/11 Tribute Center has recorded and collected over 400 personal oral histories from the 9/11 community. Collecting, preserving and sharing this history is central to our mission.
Explore these story collections >>
If you are interested in recording your 9/11 story with us, please contact curator@tributewtc.org.

Brief Facts

The First Attack

February 26, 1993 World Trade Center Bombing

The first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center took place on February 26, 1993, when 2 terrorists drove a truck into the underground garage of the Twin Towers and detonated a bomb. In this attack, masterminded by Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, 6 people were killed and more than 1000 were injured. The victims – John DiGiovanni, Robert Kirkpatrick, Steven Knapp, William Macko, Wilfred Mercado and Monica Smith – were first memorialized at the site on a small memorial between the north and the south tower.

In a letter sent to the press, one of the men convicted claimed that attack was a response to U.S. policy in the Middle East.

After the attack, the damage was repaired within weeks and people moved back into their offices. Most New Yorkers moved forward and did not focus on the attacks and their implications.

9/11 Brief Timeline of Events

September 11, 2001

  • 7:59am – American Airlines Flight 11 departs Boston’s Logan International Airport bound for Los Angeles carrying 76 passengers, 11 crew members, and 5 hijackers.
  • 8:14am – United Airlines Flight 175 departs Boston’s Logan International Airport bound for Los Angeles carrying 49 passengers, 11 crew members, and 5 hijackers.
  • 8:20am – American Airlines Flight 77 departs Washington Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles carrying 53 passengers, 6 crew members, and 5 hijackers.
  • 8:42am – United Airlines Flight 93 departs Newark International Airport bound for San Francisco carrying 33 passengers, 7 crew members and 4 hijackers.
  • 8:46am – American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into 1 World Trade Center between the 93rd and the 99th floors killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building, as well as trapping everyone above the impact zone.
  • 9:03am – United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower between the 77th and 85th floors, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building. Only 18 people are known to have evacuated from floors above the impact zone.
  • 9:37am – American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, killing everyone on board and 125 military and civilian personnel in the building.
  • 9:59am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses in 10 seconds, killing approximately 600 people, including first responders in the building and surrounding area.
  • 10:03am – United Airlines Flight 93 crashes in an empty field in Somerset, PA, immediately killing everyone on board.
  • 10:28am - The North Tower collapses killing approximately 1,400 people, including first responders in the building and surrounding area.
  • 5:20pm – After burning for hours, 7 WTC collapses as compromised waterlines in Lower Manhattan make it impossible to extinguish the fire.

September 12, 2001

  • 12:30pm – The last of 18 survivors from the collapse of the Twin Towers is pulled from the rubble.

May 28, 2002

  • The Last Column of steel from the original Twin Towers is cut down.

May 30, 2002

  • The Last Column is removed from the World Trade Center site during a public ceremony that marked the official end of the recovery operation.

Just the Facts

  • Estimation approximately 17,400 people were in the World Trade Center towers on the morning of September 11, 2001 prior to the attacks.
  • 2,973 people were killed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
    • 2,749 people were killed at the World Trade Center.
      • Victims included citizens of 93 nations and practitioners of every major world faith.
      • 343 firefighters from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) were killed.
      • 37 police officers from the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) were killed.
      • 23 police officers from the New York Police Department (NYPD) were killed.
      • As of the autumn of 2011, 1,626 people have been identified and 1,123 have not.
    • 184 people were killed at the Pentagon.
    • 40 people were killed on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Somerset, PA.
    • 174 whole bodies and almost 20,000 body parts were recovered at the World Trade Center site.
  • The rescue at the World Trade Center lasted for 2 weeks following 9/11 before turning into a recovery operation.
  • Following the collapse of the Towers, fires burned at the World Trade Center for approximately 6 months.
  • Nearly 500,000 volunteers came to help during the 9 months of rescue and recovery in and around the World Trade Center site.
  • 1.4 million tons of material was removed from the World Trade Center site during the recovery operation.
  • 200,000 tons of structural steel from the World Trade Center was searched and recycled.