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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Terrorist Attack Scares Nation Into Consciousness

Aired September 12, 2001 - 05:54   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VINCE CELLINI, CNN ANCHOR: Well you can add the date of September 11, 2001 to those seared into the national consciousness, Pearl Harbor, John Kennedy's assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing and now this one. The ninth month, eleventh day, 911 a national emergency.

CNN's Anne McDermott tells us how some residents of southern California reacted to this tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everyone watched the TV. Some crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very horrible.

MCDERMOTT: Some raged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we should retaliate and bomb the hell out of them.

MCDERMOTT: And these Los Angeles fire fighters watched with particular intensity because so many of their brothers and sisters in New York were dead. Maybe 100 firefighters die in a year across the nation, the figure in this one city, this one day will be much, much higher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything they need we're there for them.

MCDERMOTT: The pictures were just so insane that all of these University of Southern California students could do was stare. The younger ones had questions, lots of questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well when I first saw the news, I sort of wondered how protected we really are in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will we be able to catch all of the people?

MCDERMOTT: The teacher for once had no answers.

UNIDENTIFIED TEACHER: How, how, how. Why, why, Why. These are the questions.

MCDERMOTT: And here's one more. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think anything like this will ever happen again?

MCDERMOTT: Will it happen again? Psychologists say that's what can make people so crazy at first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not that we're afraid of the unknown, in the face of the unknown we fill it in. We think there are monsters out there and we actually end up frightening ourselves more.

MCDERMOTT: Did the President's speech help?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought his point that you know he that they can knock the buildings down but they cannot knock down our resolve, I thought that was a very good point he made.

MCDERMOTT: Many of these people in a L.A. area gym admitted they were frightened, and came here only for something to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm looking at the streets and it looks like Beirut and I can't believe it's my backyard.

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Smoke continues to billow out of the trade center building six hours after...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we're definitely going to go to war.

MCDERMOTT: This Korean War vet sure hopes no. But he knows the feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I seen what it's like right there. America under attack. People didn't have to die.

MCDERMOTT: But they did die and America's in mourning. Anne McDermott, CNN Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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