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September 10, 2008

Seven years since -- looking back and forward on 9/11

Tomorrow marks a somber anniversary, seven years since the attacks of September 11th, 2001. Nearly 3,000 people from 90 different countries were killed that day, in New York City, at the Pentagon in Virginia, and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. While the damaged Pentagon has been rebuilt, plans are still underway for a memorial in Pennsylvania, and construction has only recently gotten underway on the memorial at Ground Zero, the former site of the World Trade Center in New York City. On that same site, the new Freedom Tower has been under construction since 2006, and will hopefully be completed by 2012, reaching 1,776 feet above Manhattan's skyline. Here is a brief look back, several views from today, and a peek into the future of these sites. (21 photos total)

Tourists look out over the construction taking place on the World Trade Center site in New York City, two days before the seventh anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. (REUTERS/Chip East)

Workers at Ground Zero watch and take pictures as the first beam for the future 9/11 memorial is raised into place September 2, 2008 in New York. Construction workers started erecting the frame of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum nearly seven years after the terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

Construction workers at Ground Zero install the first steel column for the September 11 memorial September 2, 2008 in New York City. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

And, a brief look back at the scene of the attacks in New York in September, 2001. Seen here, the twin towers of World Trade Center burn after two planes crashed into each on September 11th. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images) #

New York City, seen by one of the Expedition Three crew members onboard the International Space Station (ISS) on September 11, 2001. The image shows a smoke plume rising from the Manhattan area. The ISS was flying at an altitude of approximately 250 miles. The image was recorded with a digital still camera. (NASA) #

A man stands in the rubble, and calls out asking if anyone needs help, shortly after the collapse of the first World Trade Center Tower 11 September, 2001, in New York City. (DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Firefighters make their way through the rubble of the World Trade Center Tower 11 on September 11th, 2001. (DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images) #

An aerial view of the scene of the World Trade Center attack, taken 12 days later, on September 23rd, 2001. The image was taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), from their Cessna Citation Jet, from an altitude of 3,300 feet. (for a much larger version of this image, with more detail, click here, and scroll to bottom) #

And now, seven years later, a view of Ground Zero in 2008. Construction is taking place at the World Trade Center site, Monday, Sept. 8, 2008 in New York. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. are scheduled to attend a ceremony at the site on Thursday, Sept. 11 to mark the seventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) #

An aerial view of lower Manhattan on Monday, Sept. 8, 2008 in New York City. The Staten Island Ferry can be seen at lower right, and the site of the World Trade Center can be seen just left of center, where the white cranes are just visible. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) #

Traffic passes the construction site of the Freedom Tower Friday, September 5, 2008 at the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) #

Workers tie steel reinforcing bars in place prior to pouring a concrete floor at the Freedom Tower construction site Friday, September 5, 2008 at the World Trade Center site in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) #

A large banner depicting the planned New York City skyline with the Freedom Tower hangs on a building beside the former World Trade Center site September 4, 2008 in New York. Approximately 500 workers operate at the site in what is planned to be a 1,776ft tower and an architectural landmark for both New York City and America. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

This is an artist's rendering provided by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. It shows an aerial view of the proposed memorial quadrant. The museum unveiled the design Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008, for the entrance pavilion, top center, and repeated hopes that a new construction schedule at ground zero would allow the memorial to open by the attacks' 10th anniversary. (AP Photo/National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Squared Design Lab) #

Construction continues on a large retaining wall next to the foundation of the Freedom Tower at the former World Trade Center site September 4, 2008 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

The World Trade Center site, under construction Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008 in New York. In the distance, to the south, the Statue of Liberty and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge can be seen. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) #

The Survivors' Staircase, center, is shown at the World Trade Center site Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2008 in New York. The staircase, the escape route from the World Trade Center for many survivors of the attacks of September 11th, will become part of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) #

Members of the New York Fire Department and Somerset Volunteer Fire Department, right, unveil a cross made of steel from the north tower of the Word Trade Center during a dedication ceremony at the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Co. in Shanksville, Pa. Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) #

The Massachusetts Port Authority unveiled this 9/11 memorial at Logan International Airport on September 9th, 2008. The memorial pays tribute to the crew and passengers of American Flight 11 and United Flight 175, which departed from Logan on September 11th, 2001, and were hijacked, then crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. (Travis Dove for The Boston Globe) #

Sherill Moulton, left, a flight attendant for United Airlines, and Sara Nelson, right, a flight attendant for American Airlines, comfort each other as they tour a memorial dedicated in Boston, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008, to passengers and crew killed on planes that flew from Logan International Airport on Sept. 11, 2001. Both women had colleagues who were killed on the planes. The 8:14 a.m. departure time for Flight 175 is inscribed on the panel, rear. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds) #

The 'Tribute in Lights' shines over the site of the former World Trade Center in New York September 8, 2008. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) #

 
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