Patriot Day is honored on September 11 each year in the United States. The day honors those who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. Some refer to the day as 9/11.
Homes and offices are supposed to fly the American flag on this day at half-mast. A moment of silence is observed at 8:46 AM, the time of impact between the first plane and the World Trade Center. Some churches will hold special services and many memorial services are held, especially at the sites of the attacks.
One of these sites is the 9/11 Memorial at the location of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Observers may lay wreaths and flowers on the memorial or hold candlelight vigils. Many memorials are still in construction. To honor the victims, some may donate to charities that support the families of those who died during the attacks.
Four planes were hijacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Three were flown into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in NYC, the latter of which is now known as Ground Zero. The other plane, referred to often as Flight 93, was intended to fly into the Capitol Building in Washington, but through the efforts of the passengers crash-landed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Around 3,000 people lost their lives, including plan passengers, people inside of the towers, ground civilians, and emergency personnel. The terrorist group, al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack, spurring the subsequent War on Terror. There was also an increase in national security measures, especially at airports. The leader of the terrorist group, Osama Bin Laden, has since been killed by the United States Armed Forces.
The bill proposing this day of remembrance was introduced to the U.S. House in October of 2001, passing with a 407-0 vote. President Bush signed it into law on December 18, 2001.