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  • New York Rallies

    Of all the emotions that are being felt today in New York, one is universal: grief. Thousands of mourners-many driven not by connections to the disaster, but by sympathy-have flocked to public places over the course of the week, praying, holding flags and holding hands. By Friday night, a nationwide vigil was underway.The memorials started simply enough: step outside, light a candle, take a moment of silence.In neighborhoods all over Manhattan, people have congregated at parks, churches, intersections and fire stations. Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered Thursday in Union Square, where 19-year-old Jordan Schuster had taped a piece of brown paper to the sidewalk two days earlier. It was a way for people to express their grief.While a woman in jean shorts played the bagpipes, a throng of mourners lit candles and scribbled on the pieces of paper, now numbering in the hundreds. The messages ranged from confused ("Why did the plane have to crash?," scrawled in a childish hand) to...
  • A Grim Scene

    A train of parked refrigerated trailer trucks, loaded with grisly cargo, snaked along New York's 30th Street on Friday into an alley beside the city's main morgue on First Avenue. As the death toll from Tuesday's attack slowly climbs, the number of bodies recovered from the wreckage has exceeded the morgue's storage capacity. Remains are now being returned to trucks and will be transported to overflow sites after medical examiners inventory their arrival and carefully catalog any details that might help families identify them.To ease overcrowding inside the morgue, canopies have been set up in the parking lot beside the entrance. Beneath them, scores of exhausted workers, clad in blue paper aprons, face masks and paper bonnets unload body bags from the trucks, placing them on stretchers for inspection. But trucks from the site have arrived at a slow trickle throughout the week. Finding bodies in the mountains of tangled rubble has proved difficult. Today, the city officially listed...
  • 'We Are The Targets Of Misdirected Anger'

    For me, it began with a phone call. "It's completely gone!" burst out my friend from Manhattan, referring to the collapse of the Twin Towers. "I was just on my way to work when I saw it; I want to go back and help, but everyone is running in the opposite direction." Thankfully, he made it home safely. But, like millions of other Arab-Americans, he has yet to feel that he was out of harm's way.I'm a senior at Duke University. I'm also an American, Arab in ethnicity and Muslim in faith. And I have firsthand experience of the prejudices many other Americans harbor toward those like me. Last June, when I was working as a congressional intern in the office of Rep. David Bonior, I was singled out at a White House meeting and escorted out of the building without any explanation-evidently condemned by my name and physical features.Memories of that incident were with me on Sept. 11 as more horrible news kept trickling in. Moving around campus to grieve alongside fellow classmates, my initial...
  • Houses United

    Students at the U.S. Naval Academy had just learned of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and they were ready to go to war. "They were so angry they wanted to shoot someone before noon," recalls Adm. William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who teaches a class on naval warfare twice a week. "And I couldn't tell them who to shoot."Finding appropriate ways to channel anger in the aftermath of such horrific acts is the challenge facing every American. The urge to exact quick revenge is understandable, and the House moved swiftly this week to craft a document that would authorize the president to wage what he pointedly called a war against terrorism. The echoes of history reminded members of the importance of the language they invoke, and they sought to find words that would take into account the changed battlefield of the 21st century. "All the definitions are out the door," says Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a California Democrat. "This is not...
  • Family Vigils

    Down on the corner of 26th Street and Lexington Avenue, the pictures may be the most poignant reminders of all. "Have you seen this man," asks a flier taped to a curbside mailbox. "His name is Jason DeFazio and he worked at World Trade Center 1. He has a chipped front tooth that had been bonded, pins in his right knee, a scar and a tattoo on his left arm." Posted nearby, another page carries two photocopied pictures of Geoff Campbell. "Missing WTC 1 (possibly on 106th floor). He was running late for Rush Waters conference."For the last 24 hours, this intersection has become a magnet for the families of those still officially classified as "missing" since Tuesday's attack on the New York's World Trade Center. They've come to the 69th Regiment Armory here as part of their frantic search for news of those they haven't heard from in more than 48 hours. And after they've filled out a nine-page missing-person's file describing the identifying marks and clothing worn by their loved ones,...
  • Our Worst Nightmare

    Nothing like this has ever happened to America before. With chilling skill, terrorists struck at our heart last Tuesday, hijacking commercial jets, then crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon--cold-blooded murder on a mass scale. The human toll is beyond imagining, the psychic costs difficult to calculate. We always thought we were safe. We were wrong.
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    A New Date Of Infamy

    In the skies and across the nation, the worst terrorist strike in U.S. history is a story of horror, heroes and the resolve not to give in to killers.
  • Unimaginable Disaster, Next Door

    Day One: My wife and I live in a very comfortable loft, about 10 blocks north of where the World Trade Towers used to stand.We're "grandfathered" into the place in veritable perpetuity courtesy of New York City's loft laws, which were passed to protect artists who homesteaded formerly derelict light-manufacturing neighborhoods in lower Manhattan. (We're both painters.) And although we by no means qualify as rich, we were also "grandfathered" into an incredibly privileged life: art galleries, museums, restaurants, health-food stores and a beautiful riverside park, all within 10 minutes' walk of home.Last Tuesday, we went for our usual early morning run-through Hudson River Park, past the World Financial Center, to the little spiral pier (it's a work of public art) and back. We were joined by a painter friend of ours, Doug Hilson, who'd decided at the last minute not to go to his gym in the World Trade Center and to run with us instead. We waved goodbye to Doug a couple blocks from...
  • Letter From Laura

    In an effort to help children feel more secure after this week's tragedy, Laura Bush sent the following letters to U.S. school students via state school superintendents today.Sept. 12, 2001Dear Students:On Sept. 11, 2001, many Americans lost mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends in a national tragedy. Those who knew them are feeling a great loss, and you may be feeling sorrow, fear and confusion as well.The feelings and thoughts that surround this tragedy are as plentiful as they are conflicting. I want to reassure you that there are many people-including your family, your teachers, and your school counselors-who are there to listen to you.September 11 changed our world. But with each story of sorrow and pain comes one of hope and courage. As we move forward, all of us have an opportunity to become better people and to learn valuable lessons about heroism, love and compassion.As we mourn those who died, let us remember that as Americans, we can be proud and confident that...
  • The War On Terror Goes Global

    Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, will indeed be a "date which will live in infamy," as Franklin Roosevelt said almost 60 years ago, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But the analogy ends there. Last Tuesday's events are even more gruesome and tragic than what happened on Dec. 7, 1941. At Pearl Harbor about 2,300 American soldiers and sailors died. We can only guess at the numbers who have been crushed, burned and buried alive in New York and Washington. But it is safe to say that we have just witnessed the largest loss of American life in a single day since Antietam, the worst day of the American Civil War, when 23,000 were killed or wounded. And the dead in 1862 and 1941 were soldiers and sailors. Last Tuesday they were ordinary men and women, sitting down to begin a day's work.Pearl Harbor was actually a clarifying event. Roosevelt's associates recall that he seemed utterly calm afterward. He knew it meant that at long last America's ambivalence about World War II was over. The country...
  • 'We've Hit The Targets'

    At the time it seemed an empty boast, if a chilling one. On Feb. 7, 1995, Ramzi Yousef, considered the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was being escorted in shackles back to New York City. The FBI had just seized Yousef in Pakistan, and agents felt they could crow a little. An FBI SWAT commando pulled up his captive's blindfold and nudged him as they flew in a helicopter over mid-Manhattan, pointing to the World Trade Center's lights glowing in the clear night. "Look down there," he told Yousef. "They're still standing." Yousef replied, "They wouldn't be if I had enough money and explosives." Recalls Lewis Schiliro, a former head of the FBI's New York field office, "He was as cold as ice." Today Ramzi Yousef is safely in prison, as are five of his confederates from the failed 1993 attempt. But Yousef's passion for killing Americans is flourishing in a loose network of tiny Islamic fundamentalist terror groups spread around the world. And the main suspect in the...
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    'I Saw Things No One Should Ever See'

    These are dispatches from the front. Schoolteachers and firefighters, parents and police, trauma surgeons and tourists—they all struggled to explain the inexplicable. Here are their voices.
  • Coming Not-So-Soon

    This weekend's Emmy Awards? Postponed. Fashion Week in New York? Called off entirely. Major League Baseball? Forty-five games cancelled thus far.It's hard to celebrate anything even vaguely frivolous while the entire country remains in a virtual state of shock. Since Tuesday morning's tragedy at the World Trade Center, the entertainment and sports industries have delayed almost all of their programming and events. In addition, the schedules and release dates for TV shows and movies are being rethought-and the content carefully screened for anything inappropriate.A look at the latest:NBC and ABC have pushed their fall premiere weeks back to Monday, Sept. 24. The other two networks-CBS and Fox-are still debating the matter. The WB, which has been running regular prime-time programming all week, will kick off its new season tomorrow. Reports said Fox was leaning toward debuting its new shows on Monday, Sept. 17, as scheduled.Execs are also taking a close look what they're planning to...
  • America, Unchanged

    Summer is over in America. Fat and happy is history, a closed chapter in our national experience. By midday Tuesday, with the surreal horror sinking in, the sense spread widely that life in the United States will change as permanently as the skyline of New York City. But change how? Despite the unspeakable carnage, maybe we shouldn't change so much after all.In the news business, we are in the habit of pumping up events. intern missing! president clashes with congress! Now we are trying, in the national interest, to preserve some calm. And with good reason. For a time last Tuesday morning it felt as if some unseen enemy might actually decapitate the nation's financial, military and transportation systems. The Pearl Harbor analogy didn't suffice. This was war on the American mainland for the first time since 1865, when Grant accepted Lee's surrender at Appomattox. As the death toll rises to stunning levels, we can't imagine going back to pedestrian debate about Social Security and...
  • The Toll On Our Psyche

    It was surely no accident that the terrorists struck at the symbols of America's military might and economic strength. Where the Pentagon stood intact and seemingly impregnable just seconds before, where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center once appeared to scrape the very sky as soaring emblems of American power, there lay rubble and ruin--images forever frozen in time as the moment when America finally, and perhaps forever, recognized that it was not invulnerable to horrific attack by those who hate her. With the most devastating blow ever landed on U.S. soil, the terrorists did more than rack up a staggering death toll: they struck at the country's very psyche. As Los Angeles psychiatrist Calvin Frederick put it, "It's psychological warfare."The terrorists were clearly intent on more than a shocking body count. "The target of terrorism is not the terrible number of deaths and injuries," says Dr. Robert Ursano, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniform Services...
  • A President Faces The Test Of A Lifetime

    The safest place, they told the president, was in the air. The Secret Service insisted that George W. Bush flee west from Florida, away from the chaos and carnage of New York and Washington. There were, his top political aide, Karl Rove, said later, specific, credible threats to the president's safety. What Bush needed most was air cover: F-15 and F-16 fighter jets they could scramble at a nearby base.It was a melancholy flight: the leader of the free world, in the air and on the run, in his own country. The president flew to an Air Force base in Louisiana to refuel and to give Bush a chance to speak briefly to the people. The Secret Service advised him to fly deeper into the interior--a bitter reprise of his summer "Home to the Heartland" tour--to a command post in Nebraska. "You don't argue with the intel of the Secret Service," said Rove.Back in the besieged capital, members of Congress were grumbling privately about Bush's absence. "He has to reassure the nation, and he has to...
  • How The Hijackers Did It

    How much experience is needed to fly a passenger jet into two large buildings? Very little. As I watched the shocking sight of two jet aircraft being flown deliberately into the Twin Towers, I immediately started wondering how the hijackers had found their target. Based on my experience as a 747 pilot with almost 13,000 flying hours, I think I have some answers.First, just locating those buildings is not as obvious as it sounds. Objects look very different from the air, plus the planes would have had to be properly positioned to hit the towers. The regular pilots would have known how a plane's trim-essentially its balance-changes as it increases speed. But I don't believe any power or threat could make them fly into a building, and I have no doubt that the two cockpit crews were killed or disabled before the planes hit those towers.So how did the hijackers manage it? The simple answer is a modern simulator. Today's simulators visuals are so advanced, every detail of a particular...
  • What Would Dad Do?

    My father always used to say, "If we found out the world would end tomorrow, the highways would be crowded and the phone lines would be jammed with people trying to get to someone else, just to say I love you."I don't think he made that up, but he used to say it frequently. I don't know what he would have said to America, and the world, if a horror like Tuesday's attacks had happened while he was president. But I hope, along with many other things, that he would have said that. Because in so much darkness, it's a blink of light-small as a firefly, but something. And because it's true. We saw that on Tuesday. We heard about it; we'll be hearing about it for a long time.I wish I could talk to my father about this, but I can't. Alzheimer's has made that impossible. I wish I knew what he would say to the country, but I don't-not really. I know, however, that he would be a large shoulder to lean on, and a comforting presence for a country that seems so small when shuddered by so much...
  • Letter From Nablus

    On the streets of the West Bank city of Nablus this afternoon, the mood was one of deepening apprehension. In contrast to the scenes of jubilation in the region that played out across the world's TV screens Tuesday night, many Palestinians with whom I spoke appeared stunned by Tuesday morning's attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon-and worried about what it might mean for their own lives."I was praying with my wife last night that these terrorists would not turn out to be Arabs," a taxi driver named Hassan told me as we drove through the alleys of Nablus's old bazaar district, which was eerily subdued and nearly devoid of shoppers at 4 p.m.The driver feared that the attack could spark a wave of anti-Arab hatred in the United States and Europe, he said, and prompt a fierce crackdown on Palestinians by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon while the world remained preoccupied with the American tragedy. Indeed, in the predawn hours Wednesday, Israel launched its second incursion...
  • Letter From The Collapse

    Maybe the most surprising thing about the collapse of the World Trade Towers was that, until the moment the south tower actually fell into itself in eerily quiet slow motion, no one suspected it could happen.I live about 15 blocks from the complex, and I started walking toward the buildings as soon as I saw the first plane attack on the morning news. On my way down 6th Avenue, people in suits were walking to work, more amazed than frightened at the sight of the two towers burning. Most paused once in a while to look back at the fires, then continued on. Even when I came within four or five blocks, where crowds of people stood transfixed, there was more concern about falling debris and panic about loved ones inside the buildings than there was fear that they might actually come down.People were screaming in horror as victims jumped or fell from the higher floors. Even so, from the outside, the disaster looked like a bad skyscraper fire from a movie-a very bad fire to be sure, but one...
  • Michigan To Prosecute Price Gouging

    Beyond the panic in the streets of New York city, there was panic at the gas pump in some cities Tuesday. Motorists flooded to gas stations in the mistaken belief that the terrorist attacks on America would lead to a fuel shortage. Some gas station owners took advantage of the situation by hiking prices to above $5 a gallon.At one Sunoco station in Cleveland, cars snaked down the street waiting to pay $4 a gallon to top off their tanks. Police, however, shut down the station Wednesday morning, charging the owner with price gouging. Cleveland Police dispatched cars to several gas stations "in case fights break out," a dispatcher said.In Michigan, Attorney General Jennifer Granholm is filing charges against as many as eight gas stations for price gouging. Granholm was deluged with nearly 500 consumer complaints about gas prices that reached as high as $6.75 at one Jackson, Mich., station. Several consumers reported paying between $4 and $5 per gallon for gasoline that at the beginning...
  • Network Synergy At Work

    As horrible as it was, the surreal image of a hijacked jetliner slamming into the World Trade Center wasn't the only picture drawing stunned double takes from viewers. Tuning to MTV and VH1 and finding grim-faced CBS anchor Dan Rather was surprising, too. Ditto for viewers who flipped to TNT or Court TV only to find CNN. And when sports fans turned to ESPN, it had been displaced by ABC News, anchored by Peter Jennings.There was a method to the media madness: corporate synergy. With tragedy unfolding throughout the day yesterday, the handful of corporate giants that now control the most popular broadcast and cable channels ran their coverage on all of their outlets. The most far-reaching example: AOL Time Warner. It controls TNT, Court TV, local cable-news channels, TBS Superstation and CNNfn as well as CNN-which ran on all of them. Even AOL-owned WB, the youthful broadcast network, dumped its entertainment schedule last night to carry CNN.Then there's AOL's rival Viacom, parent to...
  • Deadly Miscues

    As firefighters, police officers, and medical personnel picked through the smoking building wreckage early Wednesday morning, the gnarled bodies of three fire trucks peeked out from the rubble near the base of 1 World Trade Center, a charred reminder of a tragic miscalculation in the first minutes of the rescue effort Tuesday morning.Because emergency personnel were desperate to save lives and had no way of anticipating the ultimate scope of what would soon prove the worst terrorist attack in American history, they may have operated on the false assumption that the damage was complete after Tower One was struck by American Airlines Flight 11 just before 9 a.m. That assumption might have dramatically increased the death toll among fire fighters and other rescue workers who were the first arrivals at the scene of the disaster. New York Fire Department casualties are expected to reach the low hundreds, and are already known to include Department Chief Peter J. Ganci, and the First...
  • The Rescue Begins

    By afternoon, it was quiet. And that may have been the most ominous sign of all. Outside the NYU hospital in downtown New York-just four or five blocks from the site of the devastated World Trade Center-staff waited for the injured to arrive. For the most part, they didn't."There's tons of ambulances, tons of personnel, and almost no patients," said Michele Okamoto, a registered nurse handing out face masks as protection from the pervasive dust.Given the scale of today's devastation, area hospitals expected to be swamped. But after an initial flurry, mostly treating those cut by flying glass or suffering broken bones as they fled the Twin Towers before they collapsed, the rush subsided. Ambulances ferried in firefighters and police officers who needed to be treated for smoke inhalation-but only at a rate of one every 15 to 20 minutes. "There's nothing coming in," said Omid Javadi, a senior surgery resident at the hospital.Bellevue Hospital, situated on 34th Street between 1st and...
  • What To Tell Your Children

    As parents recover from their own shock over the tragic events in New York and Washington, their next task is to deal with the inevitable questions from their children-particularly after youngsters have seen horrific images on television.The first rule is any traumatic situation is to assure children that everyone in their family is OK and that they are safe at home with you. Always answer questions as honestly and simply as possible. Tell them that there has been a terrible tragedy and that the police, firefighters and other public safety workers are doing everything they can to help the people who have been hurt and to make sure that no one else is hurt. If you don't know all the answers, say so. When they ask who the "bad guys" are, explain that we don't know but we're trying to find out. If they are familiar with the World Trade Center or the Pentagon, you can explain that these buildings were the targets.Beyond that, the information that you provide largely depends on the age...
  • Brooklyn Vigil

    We hated those damn buildings. They were boxy, they were ugly, and they were out of scale even within Lower Manhattan's riot of skyscrapers. They were smug.Yet as all of us in Brooklyn hold vigils on roofs for the smoldering remains of New York's famous Twin Towers, we who lived in the shadow of Manhattan's greatest symbol are even now unable to accept that our skyline and our city will never be the same.On television, the talking heads were saying that the terrorists who masterminded Tuesday's attack wanted to "strike at the symbols of American power," but when you live in Brooklyn, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are not symbols. They are omnipresent facts on the ground, visible from everywhere, as unavoidable as germs in a daycare center or a speck of dandruff on a just-cleaned interview suit.George Willig, who climbed one of the towers in 1977 as a stunt before such things were actually popular, once told me that the reason he did it was because the buildings were so...
  • An Icon Destroyed

    Six years ago, when bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef was taken by helicopter to lower Manhattan where he would later be tried and convicted of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, one of the FBI agents escorting him loosened Yousef's blindfold momentarily. Below them the Manhattan skyline lit up the night sky like a trove of jewels, and the twin towers of the World Trade Center reflected the moonlight."See, you didn't get them after all," the agent said to Yousef.Yousef fidgeted beneath his heavy manacles. "Not yet," he said quietly.Today's attack on the World Trade Center brings to mind the bombing on February 26, 1993, in which six people were killed and thousands injured. But there are some critical differences. Back then, the attack was planned by a single well-honed terrorist who became the leader of a rag-tag group of dedicated revolutionaries, former Afghani soldiers, fellow believers, braggarts, hoodlums and hangers-on. The keenly intelligent and manipulative Ramzi...
  • Who's The Mastermind?

    "Who's got the brains and the money to do this?" asked one veteran of Washington's war against terrorism as the details of devastation flashed across the television screen this morning. Who indeed?Cautious speculation could include home-grown true believers preaching their own version of God and Country, like recently-executed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh; or the guerrillas and drug lords of Colombia, where U.S. troops and covert operatives are ever more deeply embroiled. But the first guess by many intelligence officials in the Middle East, Europe and the United States was the "jihadists" who have congregated in Afghanistan around Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden: "A whole flock of organizations that don't necessarily follow his direct orders or ever have contact with him," says Richard Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia, who is now at the Council on Foreign Relations.Bin Laden is a talker. He publicly declared "holy war" on all Americans in 1998 and...