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Today marks 18 years since the aviation industry, and much of the world it connects, changed forever.

On Sept. 11, 2001, a series of terrorist attacks turned airplanes into weapons and left thousands of people dead. Since then, airport security has gotten tighter, and much about the industry itself has shifted, from the number of airlines in service to the amenities passengers expect in flight. Not all of these changes are a direct result of the 2001 attacks, but they still represent a defining moment for the industry.

Travelers at any of the nation’s airports will be asked to observe a moment of silence by TSA agents at 8:46 a.m. Eastern time, to coincide with the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.

Major unions and industry employees will also mark the day with memorial activities. The Air Line Pilots Association will livestream a memorial service on its website beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Association of Flight Attendants will send delegates to serve as honor guards at three separate national memorial services in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Another way to mark the day may be to get a copy of Garrett M. Graff’s new book, The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11. Comprised of 480 interviews, the AP said the collection “does a remarkable job of bringing to life the horrific day in a way that a writer’s narrative would have a hard time matching.” The title references Air Force One, which was the only airplane allowed in US airspace after the government ordered the grounding of all commercial traffic immediately after the attacks.

Featured photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

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