9/11: The Day of the Attacks

Ten years ago, 19 men trained by al-Qaeda carried out a coordinated terrorist attack on the United States that had been planned for years. The attackers simultaneously hijacked four large passenger aircraft with the intention of crashing them into major landmarks in the United States, inflicting as much death and destruction as possible. Three of the planes struck their targets; the fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. In a single day, these deliberate acts of mass murder killed nearly 3,000 human beings from 57 countries. More than 400 of the dead were first responders, including New York City firefighters, police officers, and EMTs. It was one of the most-covered media events of all time, and after a decade, the images are still difficult to view. These attacks and the global reaction to them have profoundly shaped the world we live in, so it remains important to see the images and remember just what happened on that dark day. This entry is part two of a three-part series on the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks -- (see also Part 1: The Week Before and Part 3: The Decade Since).

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Niranjan Shrestha/AP

    What Nepal's Earthquake Left Behind

    Nepalis started fleeing their devastated capital of Kathmandu on April 27 after Saturday's earthquake killed more than 3,700 people and toppled entire streets, as the United Nations prepared a "massive" aid operation.

  • Denis Balibouse / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 4/18-4/24

    This week we have images of a Chilean volcano, migrants shipwrecked in the Mediterranean, the "Blue Forest" in Belgium,  Kim Jong Un atop Mt Paektu, the Boston Marathon, Orcas hunting on a Patagonian beach, Saudi attacks on Yemen, tule elk along California's coastline, and much more.

  • Omar Havana/Getty Images

    Nepal After the Earthquake

    A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal early on Saturday, centered 10 miles below the surface, less than 50 miles from the capital of Kathmandu. As many as 3,700 have been killed by the quake and subsequent avalanches triggered in the Himalayas.

  • Smithsonian.com

    Winners of the 2014 Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

    The editors of Smithsonian magazine have announced the winners of their 12th annual photo contest, selected from more than 26,500 entries.

Join the Discussion