On September 11th, 2001, one of the world's most horrific and wide-scale terrorist attacks took place in the center of New York City.

The hijacking of 4 airplanes and suicide attacks in one of the busiest and most densely populated cities in the world killed nearly 3,000 innocent people.

Since this devastating event, security in airports all around the world is tighter than ever and extreme measures are taken to ensure the safety of passengers onboard airplanes and to guarantee that an attack of this scale will never happen again.

Even though no attack of this size has happened since there are still people to this very day who have suffered and perished from the aftermath of these horrific attacks. Keep scrolling to find out more...

September 11th, 2001, was the day that changed the world forever.

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Nineteen militants associated with the Islamic extremist group, al Qaeda, hijacked 4 airplanes around the country and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States.

It was a clear and crisp Tuesday morning in New York City...

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And it was an event that was completely unexpected. An American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 200,000 gallons of jet fuel was hijacked by a brainwashed member of al Qaeda and was driven into the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8.45 am.

Residents initially believed it to be an explosion in the tower...

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The airplane was driven into the tower at such a staggering speed that many passersby and people in the building believed it to be an explosion from the inside. The impact left a gaping, burning hole in the eightieth floor of the skyscraper - instantly killing hundreds of people on board the aircraft and on several floors of the building.

During the evacuation of the north tower...

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Eighteen minutes after the first impact, a second Boeing 767 - United Airlines Flight 175 - appeared out of the sky at a worryingly low altitude and was driven straight into the next-door south tower, crashing into the sixtieth floor.

The collision caused another huge explosion, which told the world that this wasn't an accident...

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Debris was showered across central New York, causing locals to panic and take shelter in nearby and much lower buildings. But, devastatingly, hundreds of people were still trapped in both towers with no way of getting down past the burning holes in the center of the skyscrapers. This led to many perishing from the fires and people were even seen jumping and falling to their deaths from the towers to escape the unbearable smoke and heat.

While the entire world watched the Twin Towers in horror...

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American Airlines Flight 77 was also hijacked and began circling over downtown Washington D.C before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9.45 am. Collectively, sixty-four people were killed on board the aircraft and a further 125 military personnel and civilians who were in or around the Pentagon.

Things only got worse shortly after the Pentagon attack...

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By 10.30 am, both the north and south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed into a massive cloud of toxic dust and smoke. The steel structure of the skyscrapers, which had been built to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles-per-hour, simply could not withstand the tremendous heat of the burning jet fuel any longer than it already had.

Only 6 people in the towers survived at the time of the collapse.

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There were many fortunate enough to be on the lower floors of the towers when both crashes occurred meaning they were evacuated safely. However, many underestimate how tall these towers were and many people were still trapped in the buildings or were making their way down the fire escapes when they began to collapse.

This wasn't the end of the tragedies...

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As the towers were collapsing and causing complete chaos to New York City, a fourth airplane - United Flight 93 - was hijacked after leaving Newark Liberty International Airport in New York. However, the crew and passengers on board were made aware of the 3 other attacks and fought back against the 4 hijackers.

Passengers broke into the cockpit...

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According to Business Insider, one of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone: "I know we’re all going to die. There are 3 of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey."

The passengers and crew of Flight 93 showed unimaginable courage and bravery...

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There was an immense struggle in the cockpit, which caused the airplane to flip and plummet to the ground at 500 miles-per-hour. The wreckage and debris of the airplane were found in a rural field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania at 10.10 am. All forty-four people on board were killed instantly.

An eye-witness recalled the harrowing moment when Flight 93 had its final moments...

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Speaking to The Independent, Lee Purbaugh, who worked at a scrapyard near the field, was the only eye-witness to the crash. "There was an incredibly loud rumbling sound and there it was, right there, above my head," he said. "It was only a split second but it looked like it was moving in slow motion. I saw it rock from side to side then, suddenly, it dipped and dived, nose first, with a huge explosion, into the ground."

Despite this being one of the worst days in our country's history...

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The emergency services of the United States worked together instantly in a valiant and honorable manner.

Despite the dangers, people in the emergency services worked the hardest they had ever worked...

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343 firefighters and paramedics, twenty-three New York City police officers, and thirty-seven Port Authority police officers were amongst those who lost their lives on the 11th of September 2001.

George W. Bush was in power at the time...

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President Bush was in Florida at the time of the attacks and spent the day being shuttled around the country due to security concerns.

The President delivered a televised address from the Oval Office at 9 pm that night...

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He stated: "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."

President Bush promised justice for the victims of 9/11...

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"The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice..." he went on to say in his speech that evening.

Osama Bin Laden was the founder of al Qaeda...

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And he became the most hated and wanted man in the world overnight. He took full responsibility for the attacks on 9/11 which began the 10-year-search for Bin Laden by U.S authorities.

He was on the run for years...

But, eventually, on May 2nd, 2011, U.S intelligence located him living in a secure compound in  Abbottabad, Pakistan. He was shot and killed by a small U.S force transported by helicopter.

This doesn't mean that justice was served, however...

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Despite Osama Bin Laden finally being tracked down and killed, thousands of people around the world still suffer today from the aftermath of 9/11.

Families are still mourning the loss of loved ones...

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People lost brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, children, colleagues, friends, associates... the list goes on.

But what about those in the emergency services?

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New York's finest rushed to the scenes of the twin towers instantly and with impeccable bravery, tackled the situation hands-on.

Out of the 3,000 people who died on 9/11, 412 were emergency service workers in New York City.

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Twenty-three police officers from NYPD were killed on that day fulfilling their duties.

But more NYPD officers have since died since that fateful day eighteen years ago...

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ABC News reported this harrowing statistic in the wake of a protracted battle for funding to compensate unwell first responders and other survivors, as well as the families of those who died.

It was recorded that 241 NYPD officers have since lost their lives due to illnesses caused by the events of 9/11...

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Research has suggested that the most common killer in these officers was cancer and cardiovascular diseases - which was reported higher in first responders on the scene at the World Trade Center and those who spent protracted periods of time amongst the rubble.

The number is still growing...

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"The unfortunate part is that number continues to grow," Deputy Commissioner Robert Ganley told ABC News. "It’s heartbreaking. It’s very sad. It’s sad for the department. It’s sad for the families left behind."

The firefighters of New York were also affected...

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Since last year's anniversary, twenty-two members of the FDNY have died from 9/11 related illnesses, while a further 202 members have died since September 11th, 2001. Their names will be added to the FDNY World Trade Center memorial wall on Friday afternoon this week.

Workers of the emergency services gave their lives to save others.

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The wall's inscription reads: “Dedicated to the memory of those who bravely served this department protecting life and property in the City of New York in the rescue and recovery effort at Manhattan box 5-5-8087 World Trade Center."

For the first time, researchers are now linking high exposure to the World Trade Center dust to cardiovascular disease...

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It was found that firefighters who were first on the scene are forty-four-percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who arrived on scene the next day. These findings show that cardiovascular conditions should be added to the list of 9/11 diseases covered under a federal law that provides compensation to first responders. The people of New York have suffered enough, and it's about time that justice should be truly served for our heroes. To read more about the first responders, keep scrolling.