In their own words: Firsthand accounts from September 11, 2001

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- September 11, 2001, changed the world as we know it, from the way we live our every day lives to the mournful remembrances that honor the victims each year amid vows to "never forget."

In the video player above, watch firsthand accounts from those who were in Lower Manhattan on that fateful day, with commentary from then-anchor Bill Beutel. (Warning: This contains images that some may find disturbing.)

Each year, relatives of the victims descend on ground zero in Lower Manhattan, and the events of that terrible day and the weeks, months and years that followed are never forgotten, nor are the memories of those killed by terrorists in hijacked planes.

RELATED | 'Eyewitness to 9/11: Behind the Lens' reveals untold stories, rare video of America's darkest day
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On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we hear from the Eyewitness News journalists who were there, in the streets, in the air, and in the newsroom, reporting on the events as the tragedy unfolded, capturing the unforgettable video of that day, and risking their lives to tell the world what was happening.


Additionally, we remember all those who have died from 9/11-related illnesses from their heroic work at ground zero and those who suffer today.

September 11 still shapes American policy, politics and everyday experiences in places from airports to office buildings, even if it's less of a constant presence in the public consciousness after 20 years.

RELATED | How reporter N.J. Burkett and his photographer escaped Twin Towers collapse
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Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett and photographer Marty Glembotzky rushed down to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. While shooting a standup right below the burning towers, the first tower began to collapse.


The 9/11 commemorations are by now familiar rituals, but each year at ground zero, victims' relatives infuse the ceremony with personal messages of remembrance, inspiration and concern.

CLICK HERE for Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11

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