9/11 in pictures: The iconic September 11 images the world will never forget

9/11 in pictures: The iconic September 11 images the world will never forget
9/11 in pictures: The iconic September 11 images the world will never forget
Photographs taken on that dreadful day 20 years ago can never be unseen (Picture: Getty/AP)

Twenty years on, images from September 11, 2001 continue to rank among the most powerful ever captured.

It was Osama Bin Laden’s intention to create a spectacle to shock the world when he sent 19 of his acolytes to the US to hijack four aeroplanes. 

By the end of the day, the world knew the image of smoke rising above America heralded the start of a new era.

In less than a month, American tanks rolled into Afghanistan and the War on Terror began.

The images captured of the attack and the immediate aftermath continue to haunt and frighten.

As well as the horror, what they also captured for posterity are some of the most moving images of human resilience, bravery and compassion in existence. 

If the crumbling towers are the most memorable images of September 11, the second are those pictures of firefighters, police officers and volunteers running head first into the chaos to save lives. Hundreds didn’t come back.

A total of 2,977 people died on September 11 in New York, the Pentagon attack and United Airlines 93 hijacking.

Thousands more were injured or live with ongoing health effects.

For all who lived through it, the 9/11 attacks continue to be a traumatic memory and these are the images that we will never forget.

Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, which departed from Boston en route for Los Angeles, is shown in a flight path for the South Tower of the World Trade Towers Sept, 11, 2001.
Robert Clark’s image of United Airlines flight 175 seconds before ploughing into the South Tower is one of the most memorable in history (Picture: AP)
World Trade Center...11 Sep 2001: A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes in New York City.
The second tower was struck at 9.03am on the morning of September 11 (Picture: AllSport)
Smoke billows from one of the towers of the World Trade Center as flames and debris explode from the second tower, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
By the time the second tower was hit, the North Tower was already smouldering from an impact 17 minutes earlier by hijacked American Airlines flight 11 (Picture: AP)
The twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
Huge fires began in both buildings and the blue New York sky was filled with black smoke (Picture: AP)
White House chief of staff Andrew Card whispers into the ear of President George W. Bush to give him word of the plane crashes into the World Trade Center, during a visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla.
Minutes after the second strike, President George Bush was told ‘America is under attack’ during a school visit and a new era began (Picture: AP)
People look out of the burning North tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, New York, U.S. September 11, 2001.
The first and most disturbing images to emerge from that day were of people gasping for air in smoke-filled floors above where the plane impacted (Picture: Reuters)
A person falls from the north tower of New York's World Trade Center in this Sept. 11, 2001.
And then the unthinkable. Richard Drew’s image The Falling Man continues to horrify and captures the moment a person trapped on the upper floors was forced to choose between fire or falling. Several more were forced to make the same devastating choice. (Picture: AP)
Pedestrians in lower Manhattan watch smoke billow from New York's World Trade Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
New Yorkers stopped and stared at the unbelievable scenes that were unfolding in front of them, unaware that the chaos was far from over (Picture: AP)
In this file photo the south tower of the World Trade Center collapses in lower Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2001.
56 minutes after being hit, the 1360ft South Tower collapsed (Picture: AFP)
People run from the collapse of one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York.
Thousands of people who were still in the vicinity and oblivious to the impending collapse were sent fleeing (Picture: AP)
The World Trade Center collapses in lower Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2001.
Photographers like Doug Kanter were among those who kept snapping as they fled the terrifying cloud which tore through the streets (Picture: AFP)
Fire and smoke billows from the north tower of New York's World Trade Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
While it’s neighbouring building collapsed, the fire continued to rage in the North Tower (Picture: AP)
Firefighters walk towards one of the tower at the World Trade Center before it collapsed after a plane hit the building September 11, 2001 in New York City.
Firefighters were pouring into the area, many to their deaths, when the first tower collapsed (Picture: Getty)
Smoke comes out from the Southwest E-ring of the Pentagon building September 11, 2001 in Arlington, Va., after a plane crashed into the building and set off a huge explosion
At 9.37am more than 200 miles away, American Airlines flight 77 hit the Pentagon (Picture: Getty)
Injured people are frmoved from the Pentagon after a hijacked plane crashed into the building September 11, 2001 in Washington, DC.
59 crew and passenger on board the plane and 125 people inside the Pentagon were killed (Picture: Getty)
Military personnel move down highway I-395 while evacuating the Pentagon September 11, 2001 after a hijacked commercial airliner crashed into the southwest corner of the building in Arlington, Virginia.
Workers in the nerve centre of American military power were forced to get to safety on foot as The Pentagon burned behind them (Picture: Getty)
Investigative personnel search the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 looking for debris and evidence, including the plane's flight recorder, 12 September 2001 in Shanksville, near Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
At 10.03am, United Airlines flight – which investigators believe was bound for the Capitol building – plummeted into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing 40 passengers and crew members (Picture: EPA)
People run away as the second tower of World Trade Center crumbles down after a plane hit the building September 11, 2001 in New York City.
Back in New York, the destruction reached its crescendo when the 110 storey North Tower came down At 10.28am (Picture: Getty)
In this file photo Marcy Borders stands covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building following the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2001.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic debris was spread across Lower Manhattan in a matter of minutes (Picture: AFP)
Pedestrians flee the area of New York's World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
Images of people dressed for a normal day in the office walking through the thick cloud continue to seem unreal (Picture: AP)
People flee the scene near New York's World Trade Center Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
As the morning wore on, more and more walking wounded emerged from the chaos (Picture: AP)
People cover their faces as they escape the collapse of New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Out of no where, a beautiful New York day was transformed by a blizzard of dust (Picture: AP)
Policemen and firemen run away from the huge dust cloud caused as the World Trade Center's Tower One collapses after terrorists crashed two hijacked planes into the twin towers, September 11, 2001 in New York City.
Emergency workers lucky enough not to be in the towers when they collapsed were among those running from the cloud (Picture: Getty)
This file photo shows Edward Fine covering his mouth as he walks through the debris folllowing the collapse of one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, New York.
People who inhaled the toxic air have an increased risk of developing cancer to this day (Picture: AFP)
People flee lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to stream out of Manhattan on foot (Picture: AP)
People walk over New York's Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn following the collapse of both World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
People were desperate to get out of one of the busiest places on Earth (Picture: AP)
Thick smoke billows into the sky from the area behind the Statue of Liberty, lower left, where the World Trade Center was, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
Some of the most iconic vistas on the planet were transformed into scenes unimaginable minutes earlier (Picture: AP)
Smoke billows through buildings in Manhattan as seen from Brooklyn after the collapse of New York's World Trade Center, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
New York’s famous skyscrapers disappeared behind the smoke and dust pouring from where the Twin Towers – once the tallest buildings in the world – had stood (Picture: AP)
Colour photograph of a New York Fire-fighter amid the rubble of the World Trade Centre following the 9/11 attacks. Dated 2001.
412 of the dead were emergency workers who ran towards danger (Picture: Universal Images Group)
Firefighter Gerard McGibbon, of Engine 283 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, prays after the World Trade Center buildings collapsed September 11, 2001 after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack that killed some 3,000 people.
One of the survivors, Gerard McGibbon, of Engine 283 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, continued to work with thousands of others after losing friends and colleagues (Picture: Getty)
A firefighter moves through piles of debris at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
As the smoke began to clear, the twisted ruins of the World Trade Centre began to emerge (Picture: AP)
In this file photo taken on September 10, 2001, a part of a tower can be seen after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower in New York.
One of the most iconic buildings in the world had been reduced to a tortured heap of metal (Picture: AFP)
Firefighters make their way through the rubble after terrorists crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in a deadly series of blows Tuesday that brought down the twin 110-story towers in New York Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
Firefighters began a desperate operation to search for survivors among the rubble (Picture: AP)
Firefighters make their way through rubble after terrorists crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2001.
They spent days looking among the contorted steel frameworks of the once-towering skyscrapers (Picture: AP)
In this file photo a man stands in the rubble, and calls out asking if anyone needs help, after the collapse of the first of the twin towers of the World Trade Center Tower in lower Manhattan, New York on September 11, 2001.
This man was pictured calling into the wreckage asking if anybody needed help (Picture: AFP)
 A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center September 14, 2001 days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
More volunteers were called for – and more arrived by the hour (Picture: Getty)
New York firemen ride on a flatbed truck under an American Flag following the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, New York, USA on 13 September 2001 (reissued 03 September 2021)
Firefighters pouring into the disaster zone have become of one the world’s defining images of human resilience (Picture: EPA)
A construction worker reporting to work volunteers at Ground Zero following the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, New York, USA on 13 September 2001
Construction workers showed up without being asked to help shift the debris (Picture: EPA)
A US flag posted in the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York, USA, 13 September 2001 (reissued 03 September 2021).
A report this year found three quarters of first responders on the ground have developed a long-term illness linked to September 11(Picture: EPA)
Firefighters work beneath the destroyed mullions, the vertical struts, of the World Trade Center in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
It took years of political wrangling before a financial scheme to pay for the treatment of serving emergency service workers was finally agreed and fully-funded (Picture: AP)
Two women hold each other as they watch the World Trade Center burn in New York Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
Photographers captured the grief of people coming to the terms of what had happened to their city (Picture: AP)
Pedestrians on Pierrepont Place in the Brooklyn borough of New York, watch as smoke billows from the remains of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2001.
And just like the rest of the world, New Yorkers could do nothing but watch and wonder (Picture: AP)
 Spectators look up as the World Trade Center goes up in flames September 11, 2001 in New York City after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in an alleged terrorist attack.
It only took a few minutes for people in the city to realise what they were witnessing was no accident (Picture: Getty)
As rescue efforts continue in the rubble of the World Trade Center, President Bush greets fire fighters at the site during a tour of the devastation, Friday, September 14, 2001
President Bush arrived at the site the towers once stood on September 14 to meet with emergency workers (Picture: AP)
Standing atop rubble with retired New York City firefighter Bob Beckwith, President George W Bush rallies firefighters and rescue workers during an impromptu speech at the site of the collapsed World Trade Center in New York City, New York, September 14, 2001.
Standing in the rubble at Ground Zero, he promised Americans: ‘I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.’ (Picture: AP)
A woman looks at pictures and messages searching for missing people on a wall in Manhattan, New York, USA, 21 September 2001.
People desperate to find loved ones posted flyers across Manhattan – 2,606 of the 2,977 people who died on September 11 lost their lives at the World Trade Centre (Picture: EPA)
Aerial view of Ground Zero at the World Trade Center following the September 11 attacks in New York, U.S., September 26, 2001.
Once the day was over, all that was left was a smouldering ruin and a gaping hole in the middle of Lower Manhattan (Picture: Reuters)
Firefighters, (L-R) Danny McWilliams, Billy Eissengrein and George Johnson, raise a flag late in the afternoon on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, in the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers in New York. In the most devastating terrorist onslaught ever waged against the United States, knife-wielding hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center on Tuesday, toppling its twin 110-story towers.
In an image reminiscent of soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima in 1945, firefighters Danny McWilliams, Billy Eissengrein and George Johnson hoisted the American flag atop the ruin on the afternoon of September 11 (Picture: AP)

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Go to Source
Author: Sean Seddon