September 11: 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Hit Close to Home


On this day in Connecticut history, we remember the victims of the worst tragedy to hit American soil in recent memory. On September 11, 2001, the course of United States history was forever altered as terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners, crashing two into the Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and the other into a field in western Pennsylvania. With nearly 3,000 people killed, it was the deadliest single-day terrorist attack in American history.

With thousands of people commuting between New York City and southwestern Connecticut daily, the Constitution State was severely affected by the tragedy that happened just beyond its borders. Sixty-five Connecticut residents were among the 2,977 victims of the 9/11 terror attacks — six of them passengers on the planes, and 59 who perished in the Twin Towers. Most memorials throughout the state contain a listing of 153 names to include all the victims who lived, worked, or otherwise had close ties to Connecticut.

The year after the September 11 attacks, the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection set up a designated area for reflection and remembrance at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, where visitors can view the New York City skyline (including, prior to late 2001, the Twin Towers). The “living memorial” area, complete with shrubs, trees, flowers, benches, and a piece of granite inscribed with names of the victims with Connecticut ties, serves as the state’s official memorial to the tragic events of 9/11. Remembrance services are held there and at the several other 9/11 memorials annually.

Further Reading

Connecticut’s 9/11 Living Memorial,” Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection official website

Ann Guernsey, “September 11, 2001: Connecticut Responds and Reflects,” Connecticut Explored