Fifteen years ago today, tragedy rocked our great nation when New York’s Twin Towers were hit by planes in what was arguably the most catastrophic terrorist attack America has faced to date. While September 11 remains a sobering date with each year that passes, this 15th anniversary feels especially somber. The attack affected everyone from all walks of life, and in this shared calamity, celebrities are just like the rest of us, learning to live with the aftermath of the fallout and remembering the disaster with truly heartfelt emotion. Below, find 16 of the best tributes they’ve made in honor of the day thus far.
1. Sophia Bush: Sophia took time out to remember one individual in particular on 9/11: Moira Smith. “Thinking of all our first responders today,” she began. “All the men and women who run toward danger when everyone else is running away. Those people saved countless lives on this day in 2001. And many lost theirs. I think about their families. The ones who didn’t know that that day, ‘goodbye’ meant something different. There are 600 families that the New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund @AnswerthecallNYC works to help. Families like those of Officer Moira Smith. She lost her life on 9/11, helping people escape the South Tower. In the panic and confusion, she kept people moving and created a path to the exit. Hundreds streamed past her as she waved them on, flashlight in hand, firmly saying, ‘Keep moving. Don’t look.’ Many people say that her instructions kept them alive; her voice cut through their stunned paralysis and got them putting one foot in front of the other. Moira was the only female NYPD officer who died in the line of duty that day. She is survived by her husband (a retired NYPD officer) and her daughter Patricia.” RIP, Moira.
2. Reese Witherspoon: Reese reflected on the day in the wee hours, saying, “I could not sleep last night…I spent my sleepless moments watching a documentary about the families of first responders and the people who were in the towers and on Flight 93. My heart was broken. Then and now, 15 years later, I will never forget those first responders and those families who are still dealing with the loss of loved ones. Prayers to you all.”
3. Sarah Michelle Gellar: “I know I will #neverforget,” SMG wrote. “‘What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we have never met.’ I was born and raised in Manhattan. I love my city. And I love, even more, how we came together. Not just us in NY, but around the world. If any good is to come through tragedy, it is the way we can unite in grief and spread love.” Some powerful words, indeed.
4. Lucy Liu: Lucy Liu posted this bright beam of light in remembrance.
5. Ryan Seacrest: Ryan took some time out to visit NYC’s downtown area on the anniversary, saying, “Went downtown this morning before heading back to LA. Remembering today and every day. Many thanks to the heroes we lost and those who continue to keep us safe.”
6. Nicole “Snooki” LaValle: Nicole took some time to remember where she was when she heard the news, saying, “Can’t believe it’s been 15 years since this terrifying and horrible day for America. Still can remember being so scared in 8th grade study hall not knowing what was going on. Remembering all the souls lost that day. RIP.”
7. Jessica Chastain: “What I remember most about 9/11 was how much love there was on the streets of our beautiful city. New Yorkers stood together. We were stronger than ever. I’m so proud to be an American, and proud to live in this great city.” Well put, Jess.
8. Lo Bosworth: Lo revealed what keeps her grounded, saying, “This is my adopted neighborhood, less than a mile away from Ground Zero. Every time I look up, in the sky, Southbound, I remember the importance of vigilance, acceptance, kindness, fierceness, humility, and why I’m proud to be an American. Us.”
9. Cyndi Lauper: Cyndi shared her sweet sentiments for victims and their families, saying, “My heart goes out to everyone affected by what happened 15 years ago today. We must never forget the lives lost, the families left behind and the first responders that risked it all.”
10. Leah Remini: Leah’s post was a tribute to the victim’s families. “’Love leaves a memory that no one can steal, but sometimes it leaves a heartache that no one can heal.’ Our hearts and prayers to the families who have to endure the pain of living without their loved ones.”
11. Kylie Jenner: Kylie Jenner was just four years old when the terror attacks occurred, yet still, it made an impact. “Fast forward to today in New York 15 years later. I was young but I will #neverforget 9/11. Honoring the victims that were lost today and the courageous ones who served us.”
12. Mindy Kaling: Mindy Kaling moved to New York in August, 2001 and shared her story about being a transplant in the wreckage. “I moved to New York City after college in August of 2001. I knew it was the greatest city in the world, the way all of us do who don’t come from there, implicitly but vaguely. A month later I would experience why. The way New Yorkers came together after the Towers were attacked was a wonder of the world. When the worst thing in humanity happened, it brought the very best in the people of New York. I remember it so vividly, as a scared unemployed aspiring playwright who spent the days walking around New York trying to get a job babysitting or waitressing. I love you New York, I love you New Yorkers. I will never forget. This cover is by Art Spiegelman.”
13. Beth Behrs: 2 Broke Girls‘ Beth posted this sweet pic of a pup comforting a responder, writing, “#september11 today we honor all the heroes who rushed in to help when the sky fell 15 years ago. #neverforget I’ll never forget watching The Today Show and eating cereal before school and watching the second plane hit. I called out and rushed upstairs to my parents. Hug your loved ones a little bit closer today. I love you NY.”
14. Jamie Lee: Posting a photo of the wreckage, Jamie remembers: “I still can’t process what I saw. The looks on the firefighters’ faces as they searched for their brothers and sisters. The intricate dance of the demolition workers and steel workers and all the tradespeople and their teams and families who came there in an instant and didn’t leave for a long time. The sacrifices they made and the strength of the human spirit to overcome. Am so proud of the resilience of the people of New York City as they move forward. #NeverForget.”
15. Kate Upton: Making a bit of a political statement, Kate shared this photo of her fiancé Justin Verlander standing for the national anthem and writing, “#repost @justinverlander ‘I choose to stand. Remembering all those who lost their lives. Also the countless who’ve given their lives defending our freedom here at home.’”
16. Victoria Beckham: Victoria was among the first celebrities to share her thoughts, posting them a day early. “As a designer showing on tomorrow’s important anniversary, I commemorate the victims of the September 11 attacks.”
How are you remembering 9/11? Share with us over @BritandCo.
(Photo via @jessicachastain)