The Sept. 11 attacks changed the landscape of New York City forever. Before 9/11, you could view the World Trade Center towers by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge or hitching a ride on the Staten Island Ferry.

After the 2011 terrorist attacks, the site became known as Ground Zero, and where the towers once stood became a gaping hole in the ground and a symbol of the destruction.

As the country prepares to mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11, the reconstruction in Lower Manhattan is nearing completion. Progress has been made on One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower.

The 104-story building, set to be completed later next year, is symbolic of America's resilience in the aftermath of 9/11. The Freedom Tower will be 1,776-feet high -- a nod to the year of our nation's founding.

Click through the slideshow above to view iconic photos of past ceremonies marking the anniversary of 9/11 -- from the poignant shot of then-President George W. Bush picking up a megaphone alongside a firefighter at Ground Zero -- to a glittering Freedom Tower from last year's ceremony. There are also shots of the World Trade Center, pictures of Ground Zero in the days following the 9/11 attacks and loved ones remembering the victims.

Continue Reading Below