towers known throughout the world as the World Trade Center, in
the center of Manhattan in New York City, were destroyed by
terrorists who hijacked commercial airplanes as part of a devious
plan to strike at the heart of America. Two hijacked planes were
flown into the twin towers about 15 minutes apart, each exploding
like a mobile inferno that no life could survive. Moreover,
another hijacked plane was flown into the Pentagon in Washington
D.C. A fourth hijacked plane crashed into the ground in rural
- American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the North
Tower of the World Trade Center.
- United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the South Tower
of the World Trade Center.
- American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the
- United Airlines flight 93 bound for San Francisco,
crashed in Pennsylvania.
In total, 266 passengers, pilots and crew died as a result
of these four hijackings on the morning of September 11th. As of
Sunday, September 15, 2001, New York City estimated that 5,097
people in the complex were missing. As of October 1, 2001,
figures showed 5,219 victims missing at the trade
center -- down more than 400 as cross-checking eliminated
duplications. Officials said 314 bodies had been recovered, with
255 identified. Still later, on October 9th, the number
reported missing dropped to 4,815 with 417 confirmed deaths.
- Buildings collapsed:
- One World Trade Center
- Two World Trade Center
- Marriott Hotel
- Five World Trade Center
- Buildings partially collapsed:
- One Liberty Plaza
- Four World Trade Center
- Six World Trade Center
- Buildings with major damage:
- East River Savings Bank
- Federal Building
- 90 West Street
- Bankers Trust
- N.Y. Telephone Building
- One World Financial Center
- Two World Financial Center
- Three World Financial Center
- N.J. Kalikow Building and Millenium Hotel
- St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
At the Pentagon, located in Arlington, Virginia across the
Potomac River from Washington, the plane slammed into a newly
reinforced part of the building that is used by Marine Corps
Aviation and Army personnel for offices. More than 20,000 military and civilian personnel work in the Pentagon. Yet....(see Garamone, 2001).
Why The Towers Fell provides useful links and a video based on
"forensic engineers during their in-depth investigation of the precise causes of the Twin Towers' collapse."
On Tuesday morning, September 11th:
- 8:45 a.m.: American Airlines flight 11, a Boeing 767,
crashes into the north tower at the 85th floor of the World Trade
Center in New York City.
- 9:03 a.m.: United Airlines flight 175, crashes into the
south tower causing a devastating
- 9:10 a.m.: President Bush, in Florida, is reading to
children in a classroom when his chief of staff, Andrew Card,
whispers news of the attacks into his
- 9:20 a.m.: The FBI investigates reports of planes being
hijacked before the World Trade Center
- 9:30 a.m.: President Bush declares: "We have had a
national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade
Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our
- 9:43 a.m.: Abu Dhabi television reports it received a
call from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine,
claiming responsibility for crashing two planes into the WTC.
Later, leading officials would deny the
- 9:43 a.m.: Another plane crashes into the Pentagon in
Washington, D.C. The center of the U.S. military bursts into
flames and part of one side of the five-sided structure
- 9:49 a.m.: All airports across the U.S. shut
- 10:00 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93, en route from
Newark, N.J., to San Francisco, crashes near
- 10:05 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center
collapses as the world watches on T.V. in
- 10:28 a.m.: The north tower of the World Trade Center
collapses creating chaos and
In less than two hours, this nation lost pilots, crew,
men, women, and children passengers, military officers and
enlisted, DOD employees, fire, police, and EMS personnel, and
untold workers and visitors at the WTC. A more extensive
Timeline of America's day of terror is provided by the
The numbers (Finch, 2001, and others) from this event are staggering:
- The total number of people (children, parents,
siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.) who lost their
lives or are still missing is 6,867. When compared to the 4,808
people lost at Antietam on September 17,
1862, or the 2,390 who died at Pearl Harbor
on December 7, 1942, the enormity of this event takes
- Sixty-one other nations have reported missing people,
the largest number from the United Kingdom (250). This was a
crime against humanity, not just the
- It has been reported that about 23 percent of us tried
to reach someone that day to see if they were
- Terrorism is not new:
- From 1968 until 2000, there were 4.957 terrorist attacks against the
- We lost 854 people due to those attacks.
- Worldwide, during that same time frame, there were
14.039 terrorist attacks, resulting in 10.614
- The impact on our economy has varied greatly. The
total financial damage estimate is $70 billion, which can be
compared to the $44 billion associated with the Northridge
earthquake on January 17,
- Yet, the rank order for selected item sales increases
are: Flags (+1,632 %), Gas cans (+895%), Antennas (+400%),
- The airlines announced layoffs totaling 73,000.
- Of the 2,617 death certificates filed for the victims through January 25,
only one in three victims of the World Trade Center attack has now been identified
- "As of Monday, Aug. 26, 2002, the revised total of 2,819 includes 1,364 victims positively
identified by forensic means, such as fingerprints, dental records and DNA.
In addition, 1,364 have been formally declared dead despite a lack of remains (Channel 3000).
nature seeks the causes for events. Without understanding the
causes for significant events, we feel powerless and hopeless.
By understanding the cause, we contain the seed for change.
However, anything this complex has multiple causes, and therein
lies the major challenge for our National leadership. Below are
various views about the causes of this tragedy, grouped into
External and Internal
Blowback: "Since its creation in 1988, Osama bin Laden has
controlled Al-Qaeda. As such, he is both the backbone and the
principal driving force behind the network" Janes Security, July
26. The counter point is provided by Peter
Border: "Canada's lax immigration and refugee laws make it
easy for extremists to set up shop north of the border, say
Canadians and Americans who have studied the issue."
- Why Root Causes are Important:
Submitted to the Toronto Globe and Mail, September 23rd.
Advice Ignored: how we "passed on recommendations by a
bipartisan, Defense department-ordered commission on domestic
Policy: "over the last fifty or so years. I've heard
estimates of forty thousand dead - you got off pretty lightly,
considering the crimes against humanity perpetuated by your
Policy: "Poll finds U.S. Muslims lukewarm on war effort. Majority believe changes in U.S.
foreign policy could have prevented Sept. 11."
Failure: "In Congress, members with oversight of the
intelligence apparatus are ready to grill officials to find out
whether they missed signs of the attacks." See also
Here is Jerry Falwell's
apology report from ABC News.
Video Games: "One of the small issues is that users of
Microsoft's Flight Simulator game will no longer be able to crash
a simulated 757 into a realistic graphic of the World Trade
catastrophe of this size creates implications and reactions that
are seldom discussed in concert. Below are some of the more
atypical reactions, from both
- Someone named Ali created a movie that is linked below
in "Multimedia." Here are her words. "When I put together the
movie "America." it never occurred to me that anyone other than
the people I originally sent it out to would want to view it~ I
am not the type of person to "hype" her work or think of what I
do as anything more than average. Most people don't realize that
the web site owner is responsible for paying the bandwidth when
it exceeds the amount allowed on a server. Most of the time, even
sites that have a fair amount of traffic rarely use more than 10
gigs of bandwidth in a month, but so many people went to see
"America" that by Wednesday night, less than 48 hours after I had
first sent an email to my personal list, over 200 gigs of
bandwidth had been used. Although I do not blame anyone, the fact
is that I have lost 2 of my web sites because of this, one of
which was my missing child's domain name and the other my card
site, which was there is an outstanding bandwidth bill of almost
$2,000 which I cannot afford to pay. Since my sites were removed,
I have spent the better part of the last 2 days trying to find
alternatives. Although there were many generous offers, my
concern has been that I do not want the same thing that has
happened to me to happen to someone else. I have written to many
organizations asking for help without much success. It seems that
the main problem is that the movie has no commercial value."
Note: she did find a place for that
- "Afghanistan's hardline Taliban rulers condemned the
attacks and rejected suggestions that Bin Laden was behind them,
saying he does not have the means to carry out such
well-orchestrated attacks. Bin Laden has been given asylum in
- "Most of the America-despising left has fallen silent
since Sept. 11. But not all." (Charen,
- "Following the unprecedented terrorist attacks on the
United States today, web users turned en masse to search engines
for information." (Sullivan,
- Yet many hoaxes flowed across the InterNet. To check a
rumor, see Snopes (2001) in the Reference
- "Long-distance, local and wireless carriers struggled
to cope with unprecedented call volumes yesterday in the wake of
the U.S. attacks. Telecom companies reported between two and 10
times the number of phone calls made on an average Tuesday, and
between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 noon many customers
encountered busy signals, dead air or taped recordings saying the
circuits were overloaded and to try later. Cingular Wireless
reported the number of attempted calls ballooned by 400% in
Washington, DC and 1,000% in its New Jersey switching center.
AT&T said its network handled, on average, four million calls
every five minutes, while Verizon Wireless was forced to move in
portable cell antennas to boost network capacity. Meanwhile,
customers of VoiceStream, which is one of the few U.S. wireless
companies to use the GSM mobile standard, were able to contact
friends and family using text messaging, which was unaffected by
call volumes and network outages" (Financial Times 2001). See
also Dickinson (2001) and Spring
- In the West Bank city of Nablus, thousands of
Palestinians celebrated the attacks, chanting "God is Great'' and
handing out candy. Children celebrated openly in the
- "On a day of national mourning and prayer, a Boca Raton
company had its managers confiscate some American flags from
employees' cubicles, saying other workers might find them
- "Groups of online vandals and hackers are split over
how to respond to this week's terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon" (Lemos,
- "Gas station owner apologizes for $7-a-gallon price"
- A New York City teen relates, "A few moments later, [his] teacher frantically rushed into the
room. "She told us to turn off the television," he said, observing that
his teacher was in a state of shock."
- "I won't be selling anything," Buffett said straight out,
which is how the prescient Oracle of Omaha says most things." (Henican, 2001).
- "[H]ardly had the World Trade Center fallen than
everyone from insurance companies to porn sites, with a fair
smattering in between, was trying to make a buck off the
suffering of others" (Coursey, 2001).
- "Asked at a press conference on Monday for his view of
the events, Stockhausen answered that the attacks were "the
greatest work of art imaginable for the whole cosmos." (Spinola, 2001).
- "For the first time in the short history of the
Internet, popular search engines report that "sex" dropped off
their lists of top 10 search terms in the days following the
attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon." (Orr, A, 2001).
- "Those who were cheering belonged to the elite of the
Paris of Middle East: professionals wearing double-breasted
suits, charming blond ladies, pretty teenagers in tailored jeans"
- One "radio network is recommending its stations not
play "lyrically questionable" music and has issued a list of 150
songs it says should be off the air for the time being" (Wolf &
- "Before the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center,
Nino's was just another Italian restaurant/bar on bustling,
immigrant-filled Canal Street, a working man's hangout that owner
Nino Vendome describes as serving "wholesome food at a fair price
in a clean environment. That's all." Yet it has been open 24/7
feeding the firemen, police, volunteers, for free (Jubera,
- "re:constructions represents the work of students,
staff, faculty, and friends of MIT's Program in Comparative Media
Studies. It is not the work of an academic department. It is the
work of a community which felt it had to do something to make a
difference. We study media and so this is what we had to
contribute" (re:constructions, 2001).
- Someone named Steve from New York City said, "Due to the tremendous demand that this page has created,
the bandwidth has gone through the roof. As I understand it, the normal traffic for my entire Internet
Provider is 10bps per month. This page is drawing 45 bps per day and I had to move them again. I am going
to start listing mirror sites on the www.powforum.org/wtc site so that in the event I go down again,
the page can still be viewed. Hopefully that will solve the problem. This has been a work-in-progress and
began the day after the attack at the World Trade Center and Pentagon. I survived the attack itself by being
late to work that day, but I lost many people who were not so lucky. I created the page to honor those
I lost, those that America had lost and all of those dedicated, caring human beings who responded to
this wanton cowardly act and who we refer to simply as heroes. To help sustain our nation resolve while
we respond to this horrific attack. Images of that day are burnt into my soul that I will never forget.
Images that no one should ever see. My soul aches....God bless America and keep her FREE.
Steve Golding." (See America Attacked 911 below).
- "The "Star Spangled Banner" is too patriotic, divisive and political, so organizers of UC
Berkeley's day-long tribute to the victims and heroes of 9-11 are excluding it" (Sexton, 2002).
- Some 6,000 photographs and slides were found in the 1.8 million tons of debris taken to a landfill
in Staten Island to be sorted. Employees at Kodak and NFL Films have been scanning the photos
onto computers -- after hours and on their own time." (Sporting News, 2002).
time in history, the minute by minute news was made available by
radio, TV, and most importantly, on the InterNet. On Tuesday
morning major "news sites (CNN, FoxNews, MSNBC, YahooNews, and
ABCNews) were slowed down, as were the sites of the airlines
involved in the disaster, American Airlines and United Airlines.
Statistics from Keynote Systems, which monitors Web performance,
give some indication of how various sites were able to cope
during the day: Nytimes.com, 9 a.m. 0% availability, 10-11 a.m.
43% availability; ABCNews.com, 9 a.m. 0% availability, 11 a.m. 5%
availability; USAToday.com, 9 a.m. 18% availability (took 47
seconds to connect); MSNBC.com, 9 a.m. 22% availability (38
seconds to connect); CNN.com, 9-10 a.m. 0% availability" (Hu &
Anthrax fears shake world: BBC News, October
Blogs capture more personal stories of tragedy: "sites, known
as 'blogs (short for "weblog"), are providing unfiltered stories
that go around the mainstream
Brain fingerprinting: What you thought, what I meant: "In the
past few days, I've been called everything from fascist to racist
to downright un-American in reaction to a column I wrote about a
technique that could profile terrorists." ZDNet, October
could take a year: "The entire plaza was built with 200,000
tons of steel, 425,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 600,000
square feet of
America: Current news and resources from the Department of
DoD Flooded with Mail, Posters Honoring Sept. 11 Terror
Victims. DefenseLINK, October 2 (with pictures).
Feds knew bin Laden's allies trained as pilots Details on
recruitment revealed at trial of embassy blast suspects. SF Gate,
September 15, 2001. Neuffer, E. (2001).
From delusions to destruction: "How Sept. 11 has called into
question the attitudes by which our society lives." National Post, October 6.
Ground Zero Radio: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
- Google Current
High School Journalism Resources: including story ideas and images.
History of Tragedy: What will the Market Do? ZD Anchor Desk, September 17.
June 14th, 2002: The First Post 911 Flag Day Sun Tzu's Newswire, June 14, 2002.
Justice Will Be Done: Transcript of President Bush's speech
on September 20th before Congress and the Nation.
- New York City
News: from WINS the first all-news station in New York (1965).
Officials Told of 'Major Assault' Plans: "FBI and CIA
officials were advised in August that as many as 200 terrorists
were slipping into this country and planning "a major assault on
the United States" September
- Origins of
the bin Laden Network: "After joining the Afghan cause in
1979, Osama bin Laden organized, inspired Islamic radicals
- Response to
Terrorism: is a large selection of recent international
reports about terrorism, including a map.
Who Did It: Foreign Report presents an alternative view by
- World News
Sources: Press Links to Newspapers from Around the
Any catastrophe of this size speaks with many voices. Below are some
of the more poignant:
Brain Injury Awareness Bike Ride Turns to Mission of Compassion: "Lee Anne Barry
set off on a bicycle Aug. 25 to ride across the United States."
- Fire, EMS, Rescue
& Police & Public Safety Fatalities: compiled from various
official sources by Firehouse.com News."
- Frank Serpico
criticizes the Government's anti-terrorism measures during an invited July 4th talk.
- "George Sleigh, a British-born naval architect, was on the phone in his 91st floor office...."
when he heard the roar of jet engines." USA Today, December 20, 2001.
- George Weld "grabbed the tiny Canon ELF digital camera
he carries with him and started taking pictures."
Up at Ground Zero "National Geographic EXPLORER tells the story of that day through the eyes of
these students in a prime-time TV documentary."
- Howard Lutnick, chief executive officer of Cantor
Fitzgerald (Tower 1) describes "how he tried in vain to reach
employees in their offices once he saw the burning tower"
From the Ground Up, ABC News.
- Jeremy Glick, Thomas Burnett Jr. and Todd Beamer:
"Leaderless, armed only with only plastic butter knives, knowing
a wrong move would risk their own and others' lives, at least
three guys did what Americans do: They voted."
What we fight to protect. TownHall.com, September 18. See
FBI confirms battle on board Flight 93, October 4.
- John Burnett, a DC-10 Captain and Police Officer
Talks Straight, September 26.
- Peggy Noonan What
I Saw at the Devastation: "A mother's worries, the media's
heroism--and a city at its best." Wall Street Journal Opinion,
September 13. On October 13th she also wrote
Welcome Back, Duke.
- Phil Oye.
Trade Center survivor recounts harrowing escape: "At this
point, I learn that it was, in fact, a plane that hit. This is where I start getting stupid."
Family, and Friends: a resource list from FirstGov.
- Virtual Wall:
A comprehensive list of the people killed or unaccounted for subsequent to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from WTKR.
- webArchivist.org: "is working with
The Internet Archive in collaboration with the Library of
Congress to identify and archive pages and sites related to the terrorist attacks."
- World Trade Center Locked Stairwells and Evacuation Problems:
An accumulation of quotes regarding "Locked fire doors and other barriers to escape at the WTC by Mike Barkley.
The world, including the U.S.A., has created some appreciative and memorable
web pages. Below are just a few that are worthy of your time,
and estimated download times are provided in seconds for 56k modems:
Multimedia from News Amateurs:
Multimedia from News or Promotional Sites:
- America: This
movie, created by Ali, could take as much as 20 minutes to load.
Yet many people will think that it is worth it. See her comment
above in the "Reactions" section. Additional sites include: Site 1
- America Attacked 911: "THIS is what our Nation is responding to.
Please remember that in the difficult times ahead." Actual voice quotes included within a stirring video (several minutes).
Alternately found at Site 1, Non Enya version,
. Note: A large list of sites can be found here.
in Pictures & Music: This is an impressive site of touching
pictures and music (5 seconds). Another site is here.
Atlanta: A collection of words, pictures, and music from
several people, plus additional links (375 seconds).
Max: "an anonymous worker in the WTC, apparently using a
web-cam on a notebook computer. The pictures start with tourist
views of NY before turning into chaos, showing workers hurrying
down the stairs to escape while firemen rush up to deal with the
emergency (45 seconds).
- God Bless the
U.S.A.: Inspirational graphics and the song "God Bless The
USA" sung by Lee Greenwood (120 seconds).
Am The Flag: Inspirational flag graphics and the a series of songs (45 seconds).
- Rest in Peace: A
poetic tribute to all life lost that day (10 seconds).
a multimedia 911 Tribute greeting card: in 8 easy steps. (5 seconds).
- "Thank You World" is a 28 picture, five page Word document (about 980
World Mourns the Tragedy of September 11, 2001: photos from
around the World (15 seconds).
- We Are All
Americans: a large collection of photo and thoughts from
everywhere (30 seconds).
Tribute: a very nice video selection of pictures, or you can
download the Flash file. There is a section which shows the
number dead or missing with each country flag (85 seconds).
Attack on America Media Library: A selection of audio and media files from Memphis. (20
- Attack on the U.S.:
Headlines from newspapers around the world on the terrorist assault from Time Magazine. (5 seconds).
DoD Artists Designed Pentagon Sept. 11 Interior Memorial: Names, photos and biographies of the 184 people killed.
Covers Attack on America: Newspaper front pages from
Alexandria, LA to Wausau, WI in 27 galleries (35 seconds).
- Ground Zero Cam: "Live images
from the Ground Zero recovery efforts in NYC" (20 seconds).
- Little Did She Know: from Link4U, a touching video tribute (80
seconds). Here is a complete set of their multimedia 911 tribute videos.
New York City Rebuilds: New York Newsday's video of visitors to Ground Zero, and other videos. A must see. (55 seconds).
Rescue and Recovery Video: from CNN, grouped by date (90 seconds).
September 11 News.com: Complete news and photo archives of the September 11, 2001 Attack on
America. See also: We Will Never
Forget (15 seconds).
Archives: This is a beta archive of September 11-related
television coverage that can be viewed using various streaming
media players. Coverage includes U.S. and foreign broadcasts (12 seconds).
Global Toll: demonstrates graphically that terrorism is a
universal crime (25 seconds).
The Week in Pictures: "On Sept. 15, the Statue of Liberty
could be seen at first light from Jersey City, N.J., still
surrounded by thick smoke." Slide shows and video from MSNBC (45 seconds).
U. S. Flags: graphics in web or print quality, courtesy of
Comstock and AT&T (10 seconds).
Video Clips: from The Guardian in the United Kingdom (20 seconds).
- What it was like to be in New York on that day:
After September 11th, I put up the following pages and pictures for family and friends (10 seconds).
Support: photos by Ars Technicia from around the world showing support (900 seconds).
Buildings: from Skyscrapers.Com (25 seconds).
few universals over place and time, and one of them is war. From
the annals of recorded words, starting with Homer's Iliad and the
Odyssey, about 800 B.C., to today's conflicts in Ireland, Korea,
Russia, and others, most people live in times of war. Here are a
few perspectives about war, then and
1000 Years of Bloodshed: "A chronology of some of the major
wars over the last
Afghanistan: A Battleground Through the Ages: "It is a
country that has humbled three empires, yet Afghanistan has few
natural resources and is wreathed in
America at War: a chilling look into the enemy by Andrew
Sullivan who says, "In one brilliant stroke, the enemy has shown
that the way in which America had come to defend itself is
- America will not live
in peace: This is a transcript of Osama bin Laden's statement
on October 7, 2001 where he divides the world into two camps, the
camp of the faithful and the camp of
A New War and its Scale: "A principal option is to intervene
militarily in Afghanistan's civil war on the side of the
Taliban's foes: the beleaguered rebel alliance that claims just a
sliver of Afghanistan's
(the Base): From 1979 to 1998, the forces against Jews and
Crusaders has grown and gathered
Crisis Puts New Focus on 'Stans: We will need new partners in
Central Asia, and almost no Americans know these five
fight the last war: An analysis and "10 points that are being
neglected and virtually never mentioned in the hours of
- Rumors of War
: An indexed set of links discussing the various rumors to come out of the
September 11 terrorist attack.
The Coming War: A look back to 1998 at the war on terrorism
then using more than 70 Tomahawk cruise missiles against the
The Kamikaze Factor: "There was nothing high-tech about this
week's suicide attacks. Their terror was psychological, not
World at War: A list of current conflicts around the globe.
on Terrorism at a Glance: Including links and Terror Attack Statistics.
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a
descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it... Through
violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence
for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a
night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that."