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CNN PRESENTS

CNN Presents: "America Remembers, Part 1"

Aired August 17, 2002 - 20:00   ET

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


AARON BROWN, HOST: Welcome to CNN PRESENTS. I'm Aaron Brown. Whether you lived in New York or Washington, D.C., small town America or even abroad September 11, 2001 changed you some. Americans feel more vulnerable and less innocent. Non-Americans were reminded again of the meaning of American resolve.
As we watched on that warm and sunny September day, as we watched the unimaginable unfold, the towers hit and collapse, the rescue teams trying to carry out the survivors, as we began imagining the number of dead, we struggled often to find the right words.

But with time, we have seen national disbelief become national determination, fear become resolve, and as we approach the one-year mark of the September 11th attacks, CNN PRESENTS begins a two-part look at the extraordinary events of September 11th and America's response. And so now, Part 1 of "America Remembers."

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: There are certain days that will always etch in your memory. The day Kennedy was shot I remember exactly where I was and what happened. That was certainly the most momentous day until 9/11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On September 11, I was in the middle of literally trying to get away from (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I was at home. I was in my kitchen.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: I had just walked into my apartment after having dropped my three kids off at school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was sitting in my office overlooking the newsroom and the morning meeting was going on.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: It was the most routine day. There was virtually no news that day.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: It's going to be a great day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were out covering the New York election.

BROWN: I was driving down the West Side Highway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elsewhere a pretty quiet day, beautiful weather, Midwest, Northeast. JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I was on my way to the Pentagon. I was just pulling into the Pentagon parking lot.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: September 11th is my birthday.

KING: I turned on the television. Everybody else is asleep. I see the building. It will be etched forever. This day changed all of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time (UNINTELLIGIBLE). There's been a crash.

LIN: All of a sudden during the commercial break, everybody started running through the newsroom, and I turned around and I said, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. What's going on?" And one of the vice presidents said unconfirmed reports of a plane into the World Trade Center. Thirty seconds later, I hear in my earpiece from the control room, get to the set. Get to the set. We're going into breaking news, and up comes the picture of the World Trade Center Tower with a huge, smoking, gaping hole in it, and I said "Holy God."

This just in. You are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. That is the World Trade Center and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. The CNN Center right now is just beginning to work on this story.

SEAN MURTAGH, V.P. OF FINANCE AND ADM. CNN: My office faces south towards where the Trade Center used to be.

LIN: Sean, what can you tell us about what you know?

MURTAGH: This is Sean Murtagh, Vice President of Finance for CNN. It started with a meeting with the head of our properties group. A few of us stood up, probably caught the last five, six seconds of flight of the first plane flying straight into the North Tower. Impact, fireball, and when it hit it was like, you got like a, you know like a thud in your stomach of did I just see what I just saw?

LIN: Sean, what kind of plane? Was it a small plane, a jet?

MURTAGH: It was a jet.

LIN: You're talking about a large passenger commercial jet?

MURTAGH: A large passenger commercial jet.

SID BEDINGFIRELD, CNN NEWS GROUP: I thought it could have been an accident. I thought the plane was much smaller. Our shot was from a good distance off. It was when we confirmed that it was, in fact a 767 that I realized what we were in for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are now beginning to put together the pieces. VOICE OF JEANNE YORMAN, WITNESS: There's a ton of smoke coming out right now. It is a remarkable scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like six, seven floors were taken out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember that moment in the newsroom when we were looking at the hole caused by the first plane and people are saying, wow that's weird. What was that, an accident, a small plane? And somebody said, no,, no, that's no accident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're picking up this large fire on the lower floors.

PHIL HIRSCHKORN, CNN PRODUCER: As you were driving downtown, the first jaw-dropping moment for us was at least a mile or two from the site because the hole in the north face of the North Tower was many floors wide and many floors high, and you knew if it were a plane, it probably wasn't a Cessna or a stunt plane at that point in time.

To us it just looked like a big fire. You never thought the buildings were going to collapse. You thought the fire was going to be put out. The other thing that happened was people started coming up to us, who were eyewitnesses to the incident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The plane was slightly on its side and that's why many think maybe it was in distress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It came in like a spear. It just speared through the building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I looked at my watch. I'm a little bit late. Holy smoke, the building I'm supposed to be in is on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing you saw on the street were rows and rows of people, just standing sort of hypnotized by the flames, in disbelief.

ROSE ARCE, CNN PRODUCER: When I got outside, I saw everybody was like looking up toward the sky and I started running downtown toward the building and I got maybe a block or two before I saw there was a motorist stopped on the corner, so I jumped up to her window and just waved my CNN ID in her face and said "Give me a ride. Give me a ride," and she let me in the car.

I got within a few blocks of the World Trade Center when suddenly there was this second sort of roar that came out of the sky and everyone just looked right up and another plane came and just barreled into the other tower. At first I thought I'm dreaming. Oh my God, this can't be. This hasn't happened.

I looked up and the first thing I thought is my God a plane is flying so low in a big city with these tall buildings. What's it doing so low? There was a schoolyard across the street and I remember there were kids that were being evacuated from the schoolyard and one of the girls looked up in the sky and she said to her father: "Daddy, look they're doing it on purpose."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was as ordinary a day as you can possibly imagine.

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can we talk about tax cuts?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can talk about it at the next event.

GARRETT: The president's schedule was there in Sarasota, Florida, Emma Booker Elementary School was the location.

BUSH: I am going to talk about education though.

GARRETT: He was to go there, read a book to some assembled children, give some very general remarks on the importance of reading and education and fly back to Washington. It couldn't be simpler. Before he goes to sit with the children to read, he is made aware that the first jetliner has struck the first tower in New York City.

His instincts are to think this is not an accident, but nobody knows, and it's a very cautious internal White House reaction. The Chief of Staff Andrew Card approaches from his right, leans down and says the following words: "The second plane has hit the second tower."

BUSH: Today we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. Terrorism against our nation will not stand, and now if you'll join me in a moment of silence. May God bless the victims, their families, and America. Thank you very much.

GARRETT: And then begins this amazing day long odyssey across the middle of the country as the president tries to get back to Washington but is advised it's not safe yet, Mr. President. You need to stay somewhere else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Air Force One departing Sarasota, Florida.

GARRETT: We need to keep you in a place of maximum security. Air Force One provides that security and until we're sure about what this is and what the bottom of all this is, don't come back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need someone to confirm that the FAA has grounded all planes across the air.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: As soon as the New York airspace, you know, became under attack, the decision was made to shut things down there and ground everything that was in the air immediately. The decision was made very quickly and it's an unprecedented and very dramatic decision to ground everything in the air over the United States of America.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Fire in the Pentagon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings, went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon, huge explosion, great ball of fire. Smoke started billowing out.

STARR: There was a voice in the hallway full of running people yelling, "Get out, get out, get out! We've been hit!" A fire truck came and started pouring water on the fire but it was having no effect. I mean this was extremely hot, extremely intense fire.

MCINTYRE: After I determined that there wasn't any more information for me to gather in the office, I left. Before I left, I decided I would try to do one more thing. I tried to take the camera that's mounted in the corner in my office and see if I could put it out in the hallway and point it down the hall toward the side that had been hit. Unfortunately we didn't have enough cable.

STARR: Secretary Rumsfeld was in his suite of offices on the other side of the building from the impact zone. He felt it and he immediately was on the attack site within moments, much to the displeasure of his security people, but he did it, and there are pictures of the secretary helping other men carry stretchers of the injured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another plane is headed toward the Pentagon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're seeing members of Congress are walking by us here on the sidewalks.

KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Senate and the House were both in session that morning and people started pouring out and I turned to a guard and I said "What's going on?" And he said, "There's a plane and it's headed this way." And at that point, I started running and I remember thinking to myself, how far away do I have to be from the Capitol to not die?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just go out of the immediate area of the Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue.

SNOW: I was standing on the sidewalk about three blocks away from the Capitol and all these members of Congress were walking by me. One person I talk to a lot is the spokesman for the Speaker of the House, and I said "Where's the speaker?" And he said, "He's not here." And I said, "Well, where is he?" And he said, "He's gone. He's somewhere safe," and that was the first word that we got that they have evacuated some of the top leaders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House is being evacuated.

JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was very clear. All of a sudden there were Secret Service guys, uniformed, ringing the building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody out. No choice. No choice, right now. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Go.

J. KING: They evacuated us across the street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been an explosion at the Pentagon.

KING: And then you started seeing everybody come out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw most of the senior staff come out. The last several hundred I saw leaving the grounds. We were told and ordered by the Secret Service to run. They were running through the gate.

J. KING: We were all on our cell phones in Lafayette Park and I can just remember saying I need to keep the building in sight because they kept pushing us back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing imminent but this is not the place to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go have lunch, do something else, please.

J. KING: And for the first time in five years around the building, I saw Secret Service with automatic rifles. I remember watching people running out the driveway of the White House crying. It was very hard to comprehend what is really happening here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it actually hit the Pentagon?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unclear. There's a fire over there.

J. KING: The tone of the town did change. It's hard to describe in the sense that it's not something you can grab and put your hands around. Everything was different. Everything was different.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The building is exploding right now. You got people running up the street.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Clear out of here now!

ARCE: There's a tremendous amount of smoke and planes going out of the building.

BROWN: Well, it is a grotesque sight.

ARCE: You could see the rush below on the street as people continued to run. Many of them were inside the building when they felt the explosion and they say there was just pandemonium. And here this just deafening roar of fire engines and police cars and nobody really knew what had happened other than that something had happened on purpose.

BRIAN KIEDERLING, CNN VIDEOGRAPHER: We just started wandering around the city streets. We wound up behind 7 World Trade Center getting some shots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not safe here. If you want to head uptown you can get a shot uptown but it's not safe here.

KIEDERLING: Panning the building, showing the smoke, showing the people leaving.

HIRSCHKORN: At this point, we're still shooting flames. I could see above where the plane had gone in. It was really bright red, like coals on a campfire. We would later learn that with the jet fuel it was about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

ARCE: The Trade Center is so tall and it looms over you that it looks like you're almost on top of that when you're looking up at it and you could see these people almost like little specs coming to the glass and Jim Hubrecks (ph) the guy's apartment I was in had his camera.

He was tightening the shot and tightening the shot and at one point, he finally said "Oh, my God there's people up there," and some of them were waving what looked to be maybe shirts or jackets out the window, trying to get somebody's attention.

I remember his daughter and his wife were there and they kept remarking that maybe they were waving for help. Maybe there was a net or maybe there was like a helicopter or plane and there was some kind of a rescue operation and then suddenly, you saw people one after the other jumping out the window. People were flailing against the wind as they fell, almost as if they'd had second thoughts. It was absolutely horrifying.

BROWN: There has just been a huge explosion. We can see a cascade of sparks and fire and now it looks almost like a mushroom cloud explosion and I'll tell you that I can't see that second tower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was this wall of smoke that just came up over the top of the building, a good 20, 30 stories tall, like a tidal wave. I grabbed the camera off the tripod and all I could think of at this point in time is the building just collapsed. There's a wall of smoke and debris coming at us. Is there going to be another explosion? Is there going to be gas, is it chemical? And we ran.

KIEDERLING: I was over the edge at that point in time and I'm saying to myself there's so many things in my life that aren't completed, so many open ends. I'm not ready to, you know, sacrifice my life or have my life sacrificed because someone wants to make a statement.

ARCE: There was this tumbleweed of debris that came out of the building and the building had all glass windows, so as the debris was coming toward me over the tops of everything, the brightness of the sun was just completely blacked out and it became almost like night. And then there was just silence and there weren't any more ambulances. You couldn't hear the police cars. You couldn't hear the people in the street any more.

I walked up to the glass and looked out and it almost looked like a blizzard had hit New York. There was this snow everywhere and there was just no noise coming from down toward the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay put. Stay put.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE VOICES)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fulton and Broadway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a plane down in Pennsylvania.

BROWN: Another plane has crashed, this one about 80 miles south of Pittsburgh,

O'BRIEN: This is United 93. This took off, was headed for San Francisco. It flew out, all the way out toward Ohio and then took a drastic 180-degree turn, was headed clearly for Washington, D.C.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the last places you would probably expect to be touched by the violence of an act of terrible terrorism like we have seen today. What we didn't know at the time was that there were four hijackers on board.

What they hadn't counted on was people on board making phone calls to their loved ones and to others. They knew then that they were next and they decided to do something about it. They got together. They discussed, and this is what really gets me, they voted. They voted to take back the plane.

We walk around to the edge of this ridge area, which is about 300 yards from where the crash site was, and I saw smoke rising up out of what looked like a small pit. The plane hit so hard that most of the pieces were crumpled in on top of itself, collapsed right there in that crater. They found the flight data recorder about 15 feet down.

I've heard this a number of times that Shanksville, Pennsylvania is the site of the first victory in the war on terrorism. These passengers, they fought back. The plane did not make it to Washington and there's no telling how many lives they saved doing that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a big impact with some noise. The floor shook and we all evacuated.

BROWN: There have been attacks in two American cities, New York and in Washington. The Trade Centers here in New York have been hit by airplanes. In Washington there is a large fire at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has been evacuated.

Obviously, we are in the middle of an extraordinary catastrophe. And there, as you can see, perhaps the second tower, the front tower, the top portion of which is collapsing. Good Lord. I remember saying, "Oh, my God" when the second building came down. There are no words, and went silent for a bit and let people watch it.

I've been a reporter most of my life. I've seen a lot of bad stuff happen in a lot of difficult places and I had never seen anything like this, certainly not in my country.

We've been talking about buildings falling, planes hitting, but this isn't about building falling and planes hitting. It's about people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A big explosion happened. Some guy came out. His skin was all off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was smoke everywhere and people are jumping out the windows over there. They're jumping out the windows I guess because they're trying to save themselves. I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't even look back. My six-year-old just last week asked my husband and I to take him to the observation deck and it's gone, and you know what, Americans will persevere and I don't think that we'll stoop to the level of these zealot terrorist pigs.

BROWN: It's about the people who were in those buildings and got out, the people who were in those planes and didn't survive, the people who didn't get out of the building, the firefighters who went in. It's a people story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I heard some rumbling and shaking, I thought maybe the air conditioner shut off and jumped on again. I turned around. I have a window seat and the entire sky was filled with - the first thing that struck me, it looked like a ticker tape parade. It's filled with computer paper and then debris.

I dropped the phone and then when I was heading down on 27, just about 27, the staircase moved and a crack in the wall appeared maybe about six or eight inches and at that point, you know, everybody and I'm sure they were thinking themselves get out. This is, you know, anything can happen now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nightmare, total blindness, choking feeling. You're covered in dust, rubble, smoke, everything. I dove under a truck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody keeping moving please out the driveway. Keep moving.

BROWN: These are people literally running for their lives, people literally trying to get their friends, their coworkers, people they'd never met before out of those buildings. Matt Cornelius (ph), you were on the 64th floor 65th floor? MATT CORNELIUS: I was just putting my stuff away and all of a sudden we heard a loud crash and the building started shaking, kind of moving like a wave.

BROWN: I remember talking to a guy who had gotten out and he talked about coming down in the darkness and the smoke and the screaming and the fear.

CORNELIUS: We made it pretty fast down to the 40th floor and then from there the smoke got a little bit thick and it was a lot slower. We maybe made a floor about every two minutes. It was packed. It was a virtual traffic jam.

BROWN: I thought what an incredibly power story this is and there must be thousands of them, thousands of people who got out who could stand next to me and tell me the same story and it would be as compelling the hundredth time I heard it as the first time.

You're a lucky man.

CORNELIUS: I am very lucky. I thank God very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By my watch, is it the same as everyone else, it's 9:07 a.m. when Andy Card leaned over and whispered in the president's ear.

ANN COMPTON: This is Ann Compton with a pool report. I am with the president in Louisiana.

GARRETT: He took the press pool that day, a very small traveling set of reporters who are always with the president.

COMPTON: We were not told where we would land until the time came. We do not know when, where, or how he is going to leave.

GARRETT: That pool went with the president on Air Force One into the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

COMPTON: The president has delivered to camera a statement that says that freedom has been attacked but freedom will be defended.

BUSH: Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. I've been in regular contact with the vice president, the secretary of defense, the national security team and my cabinet. The resolve of our great nation is being tested and make no mistake, we will show the world that we will pass this test.

GARRETT: And then quickly back on the plane. Then they flew to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska because there was a strategic air command center there, an underground bunker.

COMPTON: We are pulling through the base now. There are armed riflemen blocking some of the roadways, one of them in a kneeling position. There has been protection like this everywhere we've gone since we left Florida this morning. GARRETT: There is just a little brick building with a door and the building is basically not much bigger than the door itself and opens the door and they all go down these stairs just right down because they're going to this underground fortified concrete reinforced war command center created for the nightmare of a nuclear attack.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There were only a handful of journalists inside Kabul at that time, and the Taliban had forced us all to live in the Intercontinental Hotel, so we were all sort of gathered on one floor and people seemed to instinctively come to CNN's office to find out what was happening when this news began to filter out.

We were told that the Taliban foreign minister was going to make a press statement and we say could he make it in the hotel because that was something that we wanted to cover live.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Does the Taliban categorically condemn these attacks on the United States?

ROBERTSON: And first of all he started to say that this was something that the Afghans and the Taliban had tremendous sympathy for.

WAKIL AHMED MUTAWAKEL, TALIBAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We criticize terrorism in all its forms.

ROBERTSON: He said that he didn't believe that Osama bin Laden could be involved because he said this was far too complex an attack for him and that this was, you know, he was just a simple man living in Afghanistan at that time.

UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Can you rule out any involvement by Osama bin Laden?

MUTAWAKEL (through translator): No one has blamed or accused him formally.

BROWN: Just in the last few seconds, another building, Building Number 7, one of the buildings in support of the World Trade Center Towers has collapsed. This is no small building, as you can see. At 47 stories, it would stand out in most American cities.

ARCE: As all of this rubble adjusted itself, more buildings came down, the fire consumed more buildings. The structure of the buildings that were there was compromised and kept teetering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your eye on that building. It will be coming down soon.

ARCE: Yet still there were no people coming out of that and I think that was one of the things that really stayed with me after that is I kept thinking well you know maybe when everything comes down more people are going to come out and they're going to rescue more people, but there was just no noise coming from down there.

So we kept walking sort of around the disaster area, trudging through this snow-like substance. There were pieces of their desks and pieces of the photos on their desks and their Rolodexes and documents. I found this woman's resume. There was a resume from a kid that had gone to my college who was applying for a job to work in the World Trade Center.

It was very much like a weird movie like, you know, the day after like a nuclear accident or a nuclear winter. It didn't make any sense. So what do you have now, do you have a sense of anger, fear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, I just hope everybody is saved that can be saved. People that are dead, well, what can you do for them, just pray for their loved ones, you know, that's all.

ARCE: What about tomorrow?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tomorrow there's going to be a lot of people being found in the debris.

ARCE: There was a huge part of that day where I became a little bit obsesses with how many people because we knew how many people worked in the buildings. We knew that there were thousands and we knew that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people that were rescuing them.

And there was some point in the day where I stopped doing that because it just suddenly occurred to me that God, it didn't really make any difference how many people had died because every single loss of life was going to be so painful.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: I remember one of the first things about Rudy Giuliani.

RUDOLPH GIULIANI, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: The situation is that two airplanes have attacked, apparently.

GREENFIELD: At one of his first press conferences somebody asked him about the death and he said it is going to be more than any of us can bear.

GIULIANI: The effort now has to be to save as many people as possible.

GREENFIELD: There's absolutely no evasive in his language. Giuliani got up and said this is as horrible as you can imagine and maybe worse.

GIULIANI: We lost the deputy chief of the fire department and the chief of the department; Deputy Chief Feehan, Chief Ganci, Father Judge, and Ray Downey, who I just gave a party for at Gracie Mansion for his years of service, we've also lost him.

ZAHN: What we can tell you tonight is the city is confirming that some 265 firefighters are believed to be dead, some 85 police officers missing tonight. It was very difficult for anyone to get this information because of the horror everybody was dealing with downtown. You know the last thing the police and fire department was interested in doing was trying to finalize numbers for us. They were saving lives.

BROWN: We can only surmise that we are talking in the hundreds, the thousands of people.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I think even those out there who may not believe that there is a God, at a time like this, we all reach out for a higher being. I remember saying on the air, God rest their souls, because you could only imagine how many people were in there. Of course, we had no way of knowing. I mean at one point they said something like 10,000 people could be in there. You know, it turned out to be just under 3,000, but you know it doesn't matter. I mean the numbers are just mind boggling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in my life. The Twin Towers are at ground level. The destruction is enormous, enormous (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(VIDEO CLIP OF CONGRESS SINGING "GOD BLESS AMERICA")

BLITZER: A pointed display of bipartisan unity at this critical moment in U.S. history.

SNOW: I think it was just off the cuff. Somebody started singing. I think they learned something out of being stuck in the same bunker together for a few hours.

BLITZER: We're told that Air Force One is expected to land in about 15 minutes. We're also told it's being flanked by three U.S. Air Force fighter jets.

J. KING: Occasionally on an international trip or because of weather, you'll look out the window and you'll see a fighter jet go by, a very rare occasion, and when they brought the plane back this time, he was escorted, escorted as you see in the movies, one of those moments where there are jets on the wings.

BLITZER: Marine One is the helicopter that has the president on board and lands on the South Lawn of the White House, which is the routine procedure when the president returns to the White House from Andrews Air Force Base. J. KING: Their goal at the moment was almost more than what he said was to show the president is at the White House and they feel secure enough that the president can be at the White House. It's psychology, if you will, to the country that the government is there.

There is stability. There's a crisis but that they're on top of it. Just the picture of the helicopter landing and the president walking in and then the president on television from the White House was meant to convey a message of they tried to knock our government out. They failed.

GARRETT: Do you want to be angry? Do you want to sort of tap into the country's sense of fury about this and the loss of life? Do you want to try to be reassuring? Do you want to be calm? What do you possibly tell the country at the end about what you're going to do and how this is all going to - these are enormous challenges.

The speech has to be less about fury, less about anger, less about vengeance, less about righteous rage. That was the president's instinct. His speech basically followed that general format.

BUSH: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. America has stood down enemies before and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. Goodnight and God bless America.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: As the United States struggled to heal from the attacks of September 11th...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Wanted dead or alive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: ...our nation and the world were thrown into a war against terror. Next Saturday, look back to the events following one of the world's darkest days from Ground Zero to the fall of Kabul on AMERICA REMEMBERS, next Saturday on CNN.

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