By Karen Goff
Twelve years ago, Americans' lives were changed forever when terrorists hijacked four planes and attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the attacks.
Despite all of our differences, the country has vowed to never forget and to stand united. Here are some ways to do that in Arlington and around Northern Virginia on Wednesday.
* A statewide moment of silence is planned for 9:37 a.m. — marking the time American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
* The public is invited to join Arlington County's top fire and law enforcement officials for a commemoration ceremony, which starts at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Courthouse Plaza at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. More information here.
* The city of Alexandria has invited the public to a 10 a.m. remembrance ceremony. The event will take place in Market Square at 301 King St. The commemoration is designed to give thanks and pay tribute to those who responded on 9/11 without fear, acted without hesitation and gave their lives to save others.
* Fairfax County has invited the public to observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., marking the time the first plane was flown into the World Trade Center. Fairfax County is encouraging everyone to display flags at half-staff. Residents and visitors are also invited to Memorial Grove, on the county's campus at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax, to spend time reflecting.
* Liberty Memorial Ceremony: Prince William County will officially present the new World Trade Center Monument at the county complex. The monument includes structural beams from the trade center. The ceremony is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge.
* The town of Leesburg has planned a remembrance event at 7 p.m. on the Town Green, 25 West Market Street. Town officials are encouraging residents to volunteer, donate time or goods, or simply offer a helping hand on the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The town’s Freedom Memorial at Freedom Park, 101 Granada Circle, will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
* Visit USA.gov to learn about memorials in New York City, Washington, and Shanksville, Pa.How are you marking the 12th anniversary of 9/11? Tell us in the comments below.