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Terrorist Attacks Essay

Fourteen years later, the attacks of September 11, 2001 are still keenly felt.

Rising from the ashes of Ground Zero, the new One World Trade Center opened just last November; the 94-story building's observation deck opened to tourists earlier this year. This week, a new memorial museum opened in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed after passengers interfered with al Qaeda hijackers.

After terrorists led by Osama bin Laden hijacked four passenger airplanes on that day, nearly 3,000 people in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania lost their lives. Suffering continues alongside the memorializing—among those who lost loved ones and by survivors who sustained injuries or who were forever changed by the horrific events.

Last August, one of the Twin Towers' most famous survivors, Marcy Borders, passed away from stomach cancer that she believed may have been caused by her exposure to toxic materials on 9/11. Borders was photographed covered in dust on that day as she exited the south tower, when she was 28 years old. The dramatic image of Borders as the "Dust Lady" was passed around the world.

Borders' picture is one of 27 that National Geographic photo editor Chris Combs chose to tell stories from one of the country's darkest days.

Clifford Chanin, an executive at New York City's National September 11 Memorial and Museum, says that "many of the images from 9/11 still convey the rawness and brutality of the attack... they still have the capacity to shock."

Warning: This gallery contains graphic content.

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