Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience
Aired September 10, 2011 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIAN CLARK, WORLD TRADE CENTER SURVIVOR: 8:45 I was typing away at my keyboard and at 8:46, just a minute later, I heard this double explosion, a boom-boom. And then my peripheral visions caught something in the window behind me. I spun around, and just two or three yards from me, 84 floors in the air, right against the glass, swirling flames. You know, not what you're used to seeing. It dissipated after two of three seconds and floating in the air of singed paper, computer papers, newspapers, whatever, office papers, just all singed and floating like thinny (ph), flaming, smoking confetti. I thought an explosion had happened just a couple of floors up, a welder had hit a gas line or something.
RICHARD FERN, WORLD TRADE CENTER SURVIVOR: They were yelling a bomb had just went off.
RON DIFRANCESCO, WORLD TRADE CENTER SURVIVOR: When the first plane hit tower one, I thought it was a Cessna that hit and ran over and saw the damage.
FERN: Papers flying out of the window and flames shooting from the upper floors. I called my wife in New Jersey, to let her know I was OK, you might be seeing something on the news, and that I wasn't involved it was the building across the way.
CLARK: At about three minutes to nine, I called home, told my wife something has happened next door, turned on the television, there's a developing story. I'm OK. It's next door.
STANLEY PRAIMNATH, WORLD TRADE CENTER SURVIVOR: The first building apparently was hit and I didn't have the clue, I was in the elevator coming up. The phone rang as I got closer to the desk and my mother was on the phone. "Stan, how are you doing?" "I'm doing fine." And my brothers, Steve, Paul, Bill, they took turns at asking me the same question. And I'm thinking to myself, "Wow, it's not evenly 9:00 there's a lot of love here." Hung up the phone, assuring them I'm fine. And nobody up to this point told me that a plane hit the first building, nobody. And I just happened to raise my head and I'm looking in an angle towards the north building and what I saw was chunks of fireballs coming down from the sky. And we're watching we saw chunks of fireballs. My god, what is happening?
FERN: I ran into Brian Clark, he's a coworker of ours. and I told him that people were jumping from the building. We walked over, and we were watching more people jump to their death and Brian just walked away, he couldn't believe what he was seeing. CLARK: The strobe lights flashed throughout the office, and old siren gave a woop-woop, and a very familiar voice, in fact the man who had conducted all the fire safety drills, came on the P.A. system and said, "your attention, ladies and gentlemen. Building two is secure. There's no need to evacuate building two. If you're the midst of evacuation you may use the re-entry doors and the elevators to return to your offices. Repeat, building two is..." and went through the announcement again. And so I got out of my office and I sort of told everybody, you know, move, you know, we've got to go to the center core and wait for further instructions. That's what we were supposed to do. I volunteered to be a fire marshall after the '93 bombing. I had grabbed my flashlight, which the Trade Center had given me, put a whistle around my neck...
FERN: I told him, I'm going downstairs, you know, I'm not feeling comfortable up here anymore. I'll come back up later if they allow us back into the building. Pressed the button for the elevator, the light lit up to go down, waited a couple of seconds, the doors opened up. I figured looks like a good elevator instead of walking down 84 flights of stairs.
PRAIMNATH: I'm watching this plane and every split second it's getting larger and larger and this plane it's cominging towards me, I can see the "U" in the tail and this plane is looking me eye-level eye contact. And the plane starts to tilt as it's coming towards me. And all I remember seeing, lord, I can't do this, you take over. I dropped the phone, screamed, dove under the desk. And last minute, the plane tilted like this and just crashed into the building.
DIFRANCESCO: The plane hit our floor.
CLARK: Again, that double explosion boom-boom.
FERN: It went underneath me.
DIFRANCESCO: The plane like from 78 to 84 and took out our trading room.
CLARK: In a split second our room just fell apart, our floor, if you like, fell apart. Everything came out of the ceiling. I mean, it was total destruction.
PRAIMNATH: Every wall is flattened. Every piece of furniture was broken. The only desk that stood firm was the one I'm hiding under. My bible was on top of that desk.
DIFRANCESCO: At that point we thought the building was going over.
FERN: The whole building was going to topple over, the sway.
CLARK: The building swayed slowly one way toward the Hudson River, to the west, six to eight feet was the sensation. I mean, just -- we were used to a little sway in the wind, but this was extraordinary, a horrible feeling.
FERN: And by the time it came back, I just jumped up and just had to get out of the elevator.
CLARK: So with this group of people following me, we went down three floors when, on the 81st floor landing, a woman said, "Stop, stop, you can't go down. There's flames, there's smoke, we've got to go higher." And she just, you know, was insistent, blocking us, we couldn't go down past her. And as I listened to her, my flashlight shown around, suddenly I hear a banging and this voice.
And I'm pushing the debris, one-one-one and I'm dodging all these cables hanging, short circuiting and sparking with the sprinklers on, looking at the piece of the plane that was broken in the doorway, other part of the floor is in flames, I can hardly breathe and I'm scared of getting sucked out, and I started to scream, "Somebody, anybody please help me."
CLARK: I couldn't make it out. I strained to concentrate, made it out. But this stranger was yelling "help, help, I'm buried. Is anyone there? I can't breathe." So I instinctively grabbed the person beside me, Ron DiFrancesco, a coworker of mine, I said, "Come on, Ron, we've got to get this guy." And the fire escape door had blown off the wall a bit. We had to push the drywall back and then sort of squeeze sideways through that slot. And I have this memory today of all my coworkers and the heavy set woman turning around and going up the stairs.
PRAIMNATH: As soon as I start screaming, somebody at the other end of the floor had a flashlight and they were shining it.
CLARK: Halfway to the stranger's voice screaming for help, Ron was completely overcome with smoke and he turned around and he left me, he went back to the stairs and he went up. I continued on because around me I can't explain was this bubble of fresh air.
PRAIMNATH: And as I got closer, to where that light was, I'm confronted by that one sheetrock wall that stood firm.
CLARK: And we discovered, rather strangely, that we were separated by a wall. So I stood a desk up and I stood up on top of that desk and looked down into the pit where he was and I said, the only way out of there is for you to come up.
PRAIMNATH: "Think about your children. Climb over. I'll catch you on the other side." I jumped the first time, tried to grab on. Missed. And part of the hanging loose ceiling that was still there, fell and trying to prevent it from hitting my face I raised up my hand. A black sheetrock screw went through here and got stuck on the other side. I'm in worse shape than better. The man said, "Hit in the wood, the nail is going to come out." Hit in the wood, the nail came off, the hand just ballooned.
CLARK: I said, "You must do this."
PRAIMNATH: And I jumped and grabbed onto that wall.
CLARK: Up he came and I somehow hooked under his armpit or something.
PRAIMNATH: One fluid motion. I don't know how he did it.
CLARK: Lifted him up over the wall, and he fell down on my back, really.
PRAIMNATH: I grabbed this man, held him and gave him a kiss. I didn't know how to thank a man who just saved my life.
CLARK: This big kiss. I said, "Whoa, I'm Brian." He said, "I'm Stanley," as he stood up, sort of dusting his -- said, "I'm Brian Clark. Nice to meet you." He said, "We'll be brothers for life." And I said, "Well, I don't have any brothers, you know I've always wanted one, so you can be my brother."
PRAIMNATH: This man did an act that I'll remember for the rest of my life.
CLARK: At that time I noticed that he had a puncture wound on one of his palms...
PRAIMNATH: And in his left palm he had a gash.
CLARK: And I said, "In fact, we'll be blood brothers for life," and smashed the hand together. It's kind of strange thing to do in this day and age, but nonetheless I did it. and I said, "Come on let's go home."
PRAIMNATH: I was touched. The core of my being was touched. And we started this long journey home.
CLARK: Then it was the big decision. I had shown the light down the stairs and I just sensed in my mind that I wanted to test it. I wanted to see those flames for myself. So Stanley and I, my new brother, he and I started pulling debris away and we sort of dug our way through a slot and we, on the 78th floor, which we learned later was the center point for the impact, the wall was cracked and the flames were sort of licking up through the cracks, but it wasn't a raging inferno. It was sort of quietly licking up, I guess it was starved for oxygen in the interior. Stanley and I continued on down on the stairs, down, down, down. Back down through escalator into the main lobby, behind us. And we had seen nobody on the stairway. Our entire descent, we met the heavy set woman and that was it in the stairway. No firemen, no policemen coming up Stairway A.
PRAIMNATH: Brian and I reached downstairs. I don't know where to go. This man is saying walk this way and I'm following him.
CLARK: So I went, you know, peeked up. I said Stanley I don't see anything coming. Are you ready? He said, "yep" and we ran for a block-and-a-half.
PRAIMNATH: Run, run, run. Do not look up. Do not look around. Just go for it.
CLARK: Ron DiFancesco who went in the 81st floor with me, he went up to 91, caught up to the people laying down on the floor thinking that there was fresher air at floor level. He made his way back through the stairs and I guess he went through the slot that Stanley and I had sort of created down Stairway A.
DIFRANCESCO: And so I started to run downstairs and so I ended up on ground level and I went to walk out. And I wanted to walk out into the courtyard, but there was a lot of debris and people jumping and it looked like a war zone. So they made us go through the concourse area.
CLARK: When he was exiting the building, he heard an explosion, he spun around and a fireball was coming down the hallway at him. He put his arms up, blew him across Church Street. He woke up in the hospital two days later.
DIFRANCESCO: I had burns they say on 80 percent of my body and I had broken a bone in my back and, you know, I had my contacts in so they were melted to my eyes and my wife said she came into the hospital two days later and walked right past me. I guess my ears were turned inside out just with the burns my head was very swollen. And so I was in the hospital for 12 days and then I went home back to New Jersey to recover.
CLARK: I enjoy living. And I've learned that life is precious. I mean, they were snuffed out, so many people, randomly, haphazardly and senselessly. You know, you take a deep breath and think what a gift life is. I'm deeply appreciative. I know how precious life is.
JOSEPH PFEIFER, NYC FIRE DEPARTMENT BATTALION CHIEF: We got a call a little -- around 8:00 in the morning for a gas leak in the street at Church and Lispenard. While we were standing in the street, we heard the loud roar of a plane. You never hear planes flying overhead in Manhattan because of the heights of the building. We heard this plane racing down the Hudson River. I saw the plane aim and crash into the north tower of the World Trade Center. And after that moment I knew that this was not an accident, that this was a terrorist event.
TOM BROKAW, NBC ANCHOR: I was at home. And I was having my first yoga lesson at my wife's insistence. And he was really putting me through lots of difficult poses. So at about 8:50 the phone rang and I was ri leaved to take a break and they said, "Some kind of a plane has hit the World Trade Center can you come right away?"
TAMMY DUCKWORTH, ASST SECY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS FOR PUBLIC & INTERGOV AFFAIRS: I was in Scotland. I, at the time, was the commander of the Blackhawk Assault Helicopter Company in Chicago, so when 9/11 happened I was desperately trying to get back to the states. And I was desperately trying to pool all of my pilots and crew members together from Scotland because we didn't know Chicago was going to be next. We had the only military assets in the city.
JIM RICHES, FDNY DEPUTY CHIEF: My son Jimmy was a firefighter on 9/11. He was assigned to engine four. I knew my son was working. His 30th birthday was the next day on September 12th. I went for my run along the shore down by Brooklyn, in Brooklyn under the Verzanno Bridge and the planes then hit the towers. I went home, turned on my TV set and I knew Jimmy was going to be down there, he was working right around the corner from the World Trade Center at the time. And I said, "Oh, boy, he's going to be right in the heart of the biggest fire New York City's ever seen.
DONNY RICHES, BROTHER KILLED ON 9/11: Lost my brother Jimmy on September 11th, he was a firefighter. I was in college, and I woke up, and I didn't even think that maybe even my father or my brother -- then I was trying to call home. I couldn't get through right away and when I finally did I remember my mom right away said, "We might have lost Jimmy." And I just broke down. It was the worst thing I could hear, just blind-sided and just sadness, everything. I just collapsed. I couldn't believe what I heard on the phone.
DAISY KHAN, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT: I was in Boulder, Colorado on a mountain top. It was the most beautiful day. And September 11th is the day that my husband and I were supposed to come back. And we were having a family breakfast in the hotel room when someone screamed from outside and said, "Better come look at the television." And there I saw the towers literally crumbling. And my husband's mosque was only 10 blocks from that site, so it was a very personal -- personally traumatic. It wasn't that America was attacked, it was my neighborhood? My city? And I'm not there.
Howard Lutnick, Cantor Fitzgerald: I was and I am still the chairman and chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald. On September 11th, 2001 it was my son Kyle's first day of kindergarten, so my wife and I took him that morning and that's where I was standing when the planes hit the World Trade Center, I wys standing with my son, Kyle taking a photograph in front of his school for his very first day of school.
Unfortunately, because the phone was on the very top of the building, the airplane that hit the World Trade Center came in below our offices and took out any possibility that anyone who was at work that morning could escape.
PFEIFER: I'm walking into the lobby. One of the fire safety directors came to me and said that the fire was somewhere above the 78th floor. So as the firefighters came in, we ordered them to go up, not to put out the fire. We ordered them to go into the building to evacuate people and to rescue those that couldn't get out.
One lieutenant from Engine 3 came up to me and just looked, concerned about whether we were going to be OK. I told that lieutenant to take his unit and to go up and start to evacuate and rescue those that were in trouble. And that was the last time I saw that lieutenant. That lieutenant in the lobby was my brother. And it was good that we met.
CINDY SHEEHAN, ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST: On 9/11, I knew that somehow that was going to cause my son's death. And I didn't know how it was going to be. We didn't hear from him. He was at Fort Hood, Texas. We didn't hear from him for a couple days because their bases were on high alert and they were really busy and stuff like that. Casey was sent to Iraq in 2004 and he was only in Iraq for a few days when he was killed in battle and he was a Humvee mechanic. And he actually refused the mission. He said no, I'm just a mechanic, I'm not going to go into this battle and his sergeant made him go. And a few minutes later he was dead.
DONALD RUMSFELD, FRM US SECY OF DEFENSE: When I went to the Pentagon early in the morning and I was hosting a breakfast for a group of the members of Congress to talk about the defense budget and they were concerned about an increase in the defense budget, which I was convinced was need. And as they were leaving, the senior military assistant came into the office and said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center tower, it was obviously an accident, at that point.
DICK CHENEY, FMR US VICE PRESIDENT: And then as we watched, we saw the second plane strike. And then we knew it was a terrorist attack. Then my Secret Service agent, lead agent, came bursting through the door of my office and said, "Sir, we have to leave now," and grabbed me and didn't leave me any option, really, moved me as fast as he could out through the west wing and down into the tunnel that leads to the Emergency Operations Center.
When we got to the tunnel, we stopped, there was a place there that was relatively secure and it had a secure phone as well as a small television set and the agent informed me then that reason he'd moved me was because he'd received word over his radio that there was an airplane headed for "Crown," which is the code name for the White House.
RUMSFELD: I was sitting at the -- at the round table where I was getting briefed and the building shook, you could feel that a bomb or something had hit the building. I had no idea what.
PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FMR PRES OF WORLD BANK GROUP: The way I remember it is the whole building shook and I rather stupidly thought that it felt like an earthquake. Rumsfeld immediately made the connection and figured out what was going on and as, I think you know, he went running down to the crash site. It took me a few more minutes to realize what was going on, by which time there were alarms all over the building.
And the room was slowly filling with this acrid smoke which we had no idea what it was made of, but it seemed to me it was highly likely that it wasn't a good kind of thing to breathe. And my recollection of it is I said to Secretary Rumsfeld at least two or three times, "You should really get out of here to someplace that's not filling up with gas."
RUMSFELD: And the smoke was so bad you couldn't go any farther and you had to go downstairs and get outside. I walked around the side of the building and could see pieces of metal laying all over the grass out there and people that were wounded, people that were being brought out of the building who were dead and injured and the first responders had not jet arrived. And it was a -- it was a terrible, terrible sight. And I returned to my office and was engaged in the beginning process of trying to figure out what next and talking on the phone with the vice-president who was in the White House. The president called from down South where he had been speaking to a school group.
CHENEY: In Florida, told him that Washington was under attack, as well as New York, and strongly recommended that he delay his return so that we wouldn't both be in the same locale until we'd figured out exactly what was happening. There were a couple of things I was concerned about, and one initially -- first of all, of course, was to find out what the scale of the attack was, how many planes were out there that had been hijacked.
LYZBETH GLICK BEST, WIFE OF UNITED FLIGHT 93 PASSENGER JEREMY GLICK: My husband was taking a routine business trip to California and our baby was just 11 weeks old, so I went up to my parent's house to get some help with the baby, and I sat down to nurse the baby and I turned on the television and I saw a plane hit the World Trade Center. Jeremy had actually called before his plane took off as he always did and he had talked to my dad and everything was, you know, routine. And about, I guess it was 9:27, 9:28, the phone rang and I was in the kitchen where my parents were in the living room, which was down a long hallway. I just heard my mother say, "Thank God, Jeremy, it's you, we've been so worried." And I ran into the room and she was -- you know, all the color had gone from her face and she handed me the phone and, sorry, and he was on the phone and he had told me that his plane had been hijacked. At the same time that he's telling me this I see everything unfolding on a big screen television and, you know, he said his plane had been hijacked by three men he thought they Iranian- looking, they were wearing redhead bands and they claimed they had a bomb around him.
And, you know, at first we both kind of went into a little bit of a panic and then we just started saying "I love you" to each other almost automatically that when I think about it ten years later, I don't know if you can see into somebody's soul at that minute, but you know, we were so close, and I think just talking to each other brought calm and peace to each other and then besides we both had a job to do.
BOB BECKWITH, NEW YORK CITY FIREFIGHTER: When I got the word that Jimmy Boyle, who was the president of our union, the UFA, the Unified Firefighters Association. When I heard that he'd lost his son, his son was missing, I said, "I'm going down there to find this kid." I wasn't supposed to go down there. My family told me, don't go down, you're too old. And the -- I was 69 years old and they said, "Don't go down there." And I said, "I got to get down there."
And in the rubble we found a crushed fire truck. And we told the crane operator, he came over and he shook it out and he went out to the street and we told him, put it out there on the corner, which was Bessie and West, which he did.
GEORGE W BUSH (R), FMR UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: And I had choppered into the scene, into New York City and with Rudy Giuliani and Pataki -- George Pataki in the chopper and we took a quick motorcade to the Ground Zero area. You know, I remember driving down the west side of the avenue and lined with people hoping that the country could recover. And they viewed the president as a symbol of that potential recovery and Giuliani said, "You know, it's great they're all out here to see you. None of them voted for you."
BECKWITH: And we hear the president is coming. Now, this is getting late afternoon. And we said, OK. But we kept working. And we were finding people, you know, and -- parts. And all of a sudden they said, "The president is here." So a couple of guys started to get down. And so I went out with them. I went out to the street. I walked out to the west street. And I saw the pumper that we had found in the rubble and everybody was standing on it. So, I jumped up on it to see what was going. And right across the street was a command post, a tent with all microphones in front of it. I figured this is probably where the president is going to be. I knew he was down the street, you could hear them, couldn't see them though. And then this guy comes over to me, to my right and he yells up -- you could hardly hear him. He said, "Somebody is coming over here. When you do, you help him up and then you get down." I figured it's a politician's coming over here and I'll help him up and down, do what' I'm told.
BUSH: I felt like I needed to say something and I got up on a pile of rubble and I wanted a firefighter to be with me. It was a statement of solidarity and, so I get up on this fire -- it turns out to be a fire truck that had been destroyed.
BECKWITH: He comes right in front of me and he puts his arm up, so I pulled him up. I turned him around. And I said, "You OK, Mr. President?" He said, "Yeah." He said -- and so I started to get down. He said, "Where are you going?" I said, "I was told to get down." He puts his arm around my shoulder. That's it. That's my story.
BUSH: It was a very emotional moment. I mean, the whole event was emotional because I was looking in the eyes of people who had rushed into danger to find loved ones and coworkers and people that they cared about and it was evident that it was going to be virtually impossible for people to have survived in the collapse, in the buildings, in the rubble that was there.
At first it was kind of a politeness. And then it seemed like to me people were wondering who I was, whether or not I had the leadership capabilities necessary to, you know, seek justice. There was blood lust, a lot of emotion. And people, the rescue workers, wanted their president to make it clear that whoever had done the damage to 9/11 would face American justice. I had made up my mind that was going to be the case, anyway.
CHENEY: The first priority, obviously, was Afghanistan, because that's where Osama bin laden was, that's where al Qaeda had been headquartered, that's where they'd established training camps that trained some 20,000 terrorists in the late 90s and so first we moved on Afghanistan. Iraq was of concern, because you had a situation in which we were focused especially on this problem of the weapons of mass destruction.
WOLFOWITZ: I remember one discussion in my office, must have been the Friday after the attack, it was before we went up to Camp David on Saturday. A number of people saying, look, this isn't just about retaliating for this specific attack, the goal is to eliminate global terrorism as a threat.
CHENEY: President made a decision, which I wholeheartedly supported, that we needed to deal with Iraq as sort of the next major threat, and that if we didn't act in a timely fashion, a very real possibility that we would see him reconstitute his deadly technologies. WOLFOWITZ: We actually spent some time, including with the Rumsfeld Commission, thinking about the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the United States and there were scenarios done placed think tanks in Washington, one of them was called "Dark Winter."
RUMSFELD: "Dark Winter" speculated on placing smallpox in three locations in the United States And within a year, close to A million people would have died under that scenario.
WOLFOWITZ: Then suddenly we have an anthrax attack, which to this day remains a little bit mysterious and certainly through most of that period we really didn't know where it had come from.
BROKAW: Well, the FBI says that they've got the guy and that he's the one who committed suicide who worked at Fort Dietrich. Well, we were so busy at the office and I happened to have, at that time, a great personal assistant, Erin O'Connor. She had gathered a stack of threatening letters and had them off to the side of her desk and I asked her about them. And then she showed me one that said, "Take penicillin now. Death to America. Death to Israel".
A couple of days later, Erin said to me, "I've got some kind of a skin inflammation going on." She -- very fair-haired, Irish American. She didn't seem unduly upset by it and she had gone to see a couple of doctors and they weren't sure what it was, but they had started her on Cipro, thank God, which is the antibiotic that you use. By the following Monday she was in pretty tough shape. She had a large mass and she came into the office and said, I'm feeling better because of the Cipro but I still have this mass. And her girlfriends took her into the restroom and looked at it and came out to me wide-eyed and said, "This is really serious."
So I have a friend who is a well-known infectious diseases expert. We sent her to him the next day and he was the first one to say to us, "I can't rule out anthrax." He had seen it in Africa. It's just hard for me to describe even now how disorienting that was. I called Erin immediately, she'd already been called. She was very, very upset with very good reason.
At the same time, we were hearing stories about ABC, obviously, CBS, the "New York Post," and then the capitol, Tom Dashell and we knew we were in uncharted territory.
The letter that said "Take penicillin now. Death to Israel, death to America," we still had. And when the HazMat crowd came in to test that from the NYPD, it was very hot.
Erin got well physically, but it was emotionally very difficult for her. If she could just, sitting in my office be the subject of that kind of attack, what else might happen?
CRISTINA JONES, AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT ATTENDANT: I understand, you know, how difficult it can be for passengers Snd we want to try to make that easier. At the same time, we're wearing a lot of different hats. We're the policemen, we're the firemen, we're the nurse, we're the surrogate air marshall. We're the first responder. HERMIS MOUTARDIER, AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT ATTENDANT: I was on flight 63, coming from Paris to Miami on December the 22nd.
JONES: This is the flight that later became known as the "Shoe Bomber Flight." We were carrying Richard Reid. In fact, he had been noticed during boarding by several of the boarding crew members. During the dinner service he had not wanted to drink or eat.
MOUTARDIER: On a 10-hour flight it's not normal that someone refuses the cross Atlantic. So, we even made jokes that probably he is on a diet and we finished the service, everything was OK. You know, Cristina was in the back, they were fixing the galley. We were ready to show a movie.
JONES: I was in the back galley, stowing the service items, when it was noticed by passengers and crew that there was a burning smell in the cabin.
MOUTARDIER: It smelled like a burned match. And you know, in my mind the only person who could be doing something wrong is the person who stand out from all the other once. So I went and I talked to him. I says, "Excuse me, sir, what are you doing?" and he ignore me. I says, "Excuse me, sir, what are you doing? What are you doing?" He ignore me completely. But he was huge and he was sideways, so he covered with his shoulder, what he was doing. So I couldn't hold -- I just pull him back. When I pull him back is when he just lit the match.
And I was expecting to see a cigarette or a cigar and I saw a big shoe in his legs with the shoe laces standing, burn halfway. I jumped on the top of him trying to get the shoe away from him. Twice, I tried to reach because he just push me the second time. So I just run to the back and get Christina.
JONES: She was very frightened and panicked and shouted to me to go get him. Go get him.
MOUTARDIER: Go stop him. Don't let him pick up anything from the floor.
JONES: He bent down. There was something between his leg and the wall of the airplane. And he's working frantically at something. I jumped into the seat next to him and I wrapped my arms around his upper body in an attempt to pull him up away from what he was doing.
He bent his head down and latched onto my hand and he bit me over the knuckle, over my thumb and I couldn't remove my hand from his mouth. And it was really painful. And at that point I started screaming "Help me. Help me. Help me. Stop him".
MOUTARDIER: That's when I started screaming, all the languages that I know. In English, French, Italian, because the plane was full of French and Italians and I am native Italian and French speaker.
JONES: And passengers came from over the middle aisles, from forward, from back. MOUTARDIER: The Italian guy who was in front of him -- Mr. Reid, he had a ponytail, so he grabbed him from the ponytail and immobilize him.
JONES: He released my hand. I moved out of that area. I saw Flight Attendant Letty (ph) in the other aisle and I screamed to her to get the flex cuffs.
MOUTARDIER: The passengers didn't know what was going on, but you could see fear in their faces.
JONES: First Officer Kent really took control of the situation. He did an incredibly awesome job of tying up Richard Reid.
MOUTARDIER: He was fighting. He was fighting back.
JONES: And I was in the forward area when the shoe appeared and I looked at it and thought, what's that? What now? And it was quickly determined that it was an explosive device and it was the knowledge of what had happened on 9/11 that was fresh in everyone's minds. I think that flight attendants on board those flights were extremely courageous. And they're my heroes.
I know that two of the flight attendants, Amy Sweeney and Betty Ong actually made phone calls to flight service identifying the hijackers on board that plane. One of whom was Mohamed Atta, 20 minutes before the first airplane hit, which was invaluable information for the authorities.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI, FMR NEW YORK MAYOR: About two weeks after September 11 I went to Shea Stadium to watch the Mets play, because they were just returning home and they were wearing the fire department and police department hats. And I went there, usually when I go to shea stadium I get booed because I'm a Yankee fan, and a very, very annoying Yankee fan.
Well, I showed up that night. It was after September 11, it was the first game back in New York after September 11 and I got a standing ovation at Shea Stadium. Afterwards the press asked me, "How did it feel to get a standing ovation at Shea Stadium?" Because all the press corps knew I got booed there and applauded at Yankee Stadium. And I said to them, "It felt very, very good. It showed how everybody can come together, even Yankee and Met fans after September 11. But I'm going to feel better when they boo me again. So I'll know we're back to normal."
BUSH: So, I'm warming up underneath the stadium and I had thrown out other first pitches, and I knew what it was like to throw a pitch with a bulletproof vest on, and felt pretty confident that I'd be able to make the pitch. At the time, Jeter comes in and says, "You're going to throw from the mound?" And I said, "What do you think?" He said, "Well, if you don't throw it from the mound they'll boo you." I said, "OK I'll throw from the mound."
And as he left he said, "Don't bounce it, they'll boo you." So I've got his words echoing in my mind. I got adrenaline was coursing through my veins and the ball felt like a shot put and Todd Green, the catcher, looked really small, 60 feet, 6 inches seemed like a half mile. And anyway, I took a deep breath and threw it and thankfully it went over the plate. And the response was overwhelming. It was the most nervous I had ever been. It's the most nervous moment of my entire presidency, it turns out.
J RICHES: March 25th, 2002, we're down there and they'd found the helmet, my son's helmet was crushed and he had the 114 on it and it had his name on it, so we knew he'd probably be nearby. With that, a whole crew of us got down there on our hands and knees and we dug, you know, with our hands and we usually had the big grapplers, once we found that we came in and that's when we would move and found him in his turnout coat, his turnout pants and his boots and decomposition had set. In it was naturally six months later, and we wrapped his body in an American flag, put him in a body bag, wrapped him in an American flag, just like we did all the people that died down there. We wrapped them in American flags and we put them on the stretchers and we had a procession out and we lined up all the men, everybody stopped. There was no digging. My three sons came. My one son Timmy was in the fire department, then, they brought him down. And my other two sons were young and were at home and I called up and they came over.
TOMMY RICHES, BROTHER KILLED ON 9/11: We actually -- dad brought us down there and we were all actually able to carry him out.
D RICHES: There was a lot of emotion. And it was sad. And everybody aside lined up along the ramp and went down and everybody was very respectful. You could feel the love there, like from a lot of the guys, the firemen, the cops, port authority cops, everyone. Everyone was just together like family and, you know, you could feel the support.
TOMMY RICHES: Shows the type of person my dad is, he was there the next day after the funeral making sure that he could help the other fathers and other people find their missing. You know, he didn't just give up, we made sure everyone got to go home, you know?
TIMMY RICHES, BROTHER KILLED ON 9/11: He stayed until the end. Until they got the every last person out of there. There were times some days you just couldn't go down. Your body was just emotionally and physically destroyed. And I don't know how he did it for the year that he did do it.
JAMES YEE, SPOKESPERSON FOR US MILITARY: Being a spokesperson for the U.S. Military, led to me being hand-picked, chosen specifically, to serve as the Muslim chaplain down in Guantanamo Bay after our troop went into Afghanistan and after we began taking prisoners and housing them in this camp called Guantanamo.
But in the process of raising concerns about prisoner abuse in Guantanamo, I thought I was being recognized for doing a good job. And was actually given what we call R&R, rest and relaxation, where I was allowed to take a two-week leave to go home. I was able to get on a plane, which would land in Jacksonville, Florida and I had a connecting flight back to Seattle to see my wife and daughter. But I would never make that connecting flight to Seattle. Instead, when my plane landed at the Jackson Naval Air Station, I was swarmed by customs officials, immigration officers, intelligence officers that included army counterintelligence, naval criminal investigators and also the FBI. At first the customs officials claimed that I was carrying some suspicious documents and I was secretly arrested and then locked away in maximum security prison in Charleston, South Carolina.
Nobody knew I had been arrested. I was arrested in secret. I never showed up at the airport in Seattle to meet my wife and daughter. Later I would learn that they cried for hours waiting for me to show up and I never did. My parent had no idea what had happened to me. So, it was like I had disappeared in America in my own country. I was also shackled at the wrists, at the waists, at the ankles. And when they transported me, I had these goggles, blackened, put over my eyes so I couldn't see, and then I had these heavy industrial-type ear devices or ear muffs put over my ears to prevent me from hearing. And that's called sensory deprivation and it's done to instill fear, intimidation, and confusion.
So I was held in prison for 76 days. I was never charged officially with spying or espionage or aiding the enemy, even though the government was accusing me very publicly of those things. By March of 2004, all charges had been dropped and by late April, 2004, my record was completely wiped clean. And when I separated from the U.S. military, I even received a second U.S. Army commendation medal for exceptionally meritorious service.
KHAN: Most Americans are -- their perception of Islam is largely shaped by the events that happen overseas. So, if they see a stoning of a woman or they see a suicide bombing, these are very powerful images, and -- but they don't see the stories of Muslims who are law- abiding citizens, who is your doctor or who is your street vendor who is very integrated into America, happy to be here, living in a democratic society, living amongst people of all faiths and really disproving all the things that extremists say.
First I could not believe that there were people that would actually hate people that they did not know or would just hate a group of people for, you know, because of the actions of a few. It seems to me very unfair. As an American, we don't do that.
VALERIE PLAME WILSON, FMR CIA OFFICER: It is important to hold your government to account for their words and their deeds. We live in what I believe to be the greatest democracy. With all its failings, it's still the best model that we've come up with and it is really imperative that people are -- take the last decade and the lessons learned and make sure that you apply them and hold your public officials to account.
GEORGE PATAKI, FMR NEW YORK GOVERNOR: I remember walking the streets of lower Manhattan that morning after the towers came down and just shaking hands and talking to people to try to buck them up and it was obvious that people didn't care if you were young or old, rich or poor, black or white, Christian or Jew, it just didn't matter, we were all Americans, we had been attacked in a horrible way and we had a sense of unity that tragically we don't still share today. And I think that's one of the sad things about this past decade is that that sense of common purpose, that love of our freedom that united us as Americans not just on September 11, but for days and weeks after that, kind of vanished.
JIM RICHES: On 9/12 we had a feeling throughout the whole country of patriotism throughout the whole country, everybody was American. We were all looking out for each other -- black, white, Latino, whatever.
BROKAW: There was, at the moment of the attacks and in the days afterward, a kind of joining of hearts and mind and will in America to get through this together and somehow that's begun to fray. And I think that's sad. I don't think it's a worthy tribute to the people who died and that ought not to be our legacy. We have to find a way to rekindle that flame in some respect.
CLARK: I no longer dwell on the 9/11 events. People ask me to tell the story, and I can tell it. But on a daily basis I don't think about it.
DIFRANCESCO: I still deal with it daily, right. And I'm fortunate, but I still -- I have a lot of baggage, I guess you'll say, so -- and I'll carry that with me to my grave.
FERN: It was very difficult speaking about my experience. It really took years. And even after maybe a year or two, I couldn't put all the pieces together.
DIFRANCESCO: You know, a lot of spouses were saying, you know, "What did my husband say?" And that was very difficult. You know, was he frightened? We were all very frightened, so it was quite difficult.
PRAIMNATH: And I struggle with it that survival skill for a long while. Lord, why me? Of all these good men and women. Why me?
JIM RICHES: And it put life in perspective. It's short. You could die at any day. You know what? Live life to the fullest, you know, because tomorrow could be your last.
BEST: I remarried and -- to a wonderful man, so my life now, you know, it's very joyous. I don't think you ever get over the loss or the pain. Somewhere along the way I've learned to separate the pain from joy. I know many families, you know, do want more of revenge. And for me, I think judgment comes in another life from here.
PFEIFER: 9/11 is not just a New York City Fire Department or New York City event, it's an event of global trauma. It actually connected all victims of terrorism and it's really the world community coming together and saying that these are acts against humanity and we can stop it.
SHEEHAN: I think that I would just spend the rest of my life full- time grandma and teaching -- teaching my grandbabies what I should have taught my son. FERN: I'm thankful that I can wake up every morning. There are so many other people that didn't have the opportunity that I have to wake up every morning and to be grateful for every day that I have. I'll even have people at work, you know, I see them get upset, you know, over what just goes on in work. They'll tell me, you know, why don't you get upset? They all see me smiling. And I tell them, s long as there's not an airplane crashing into this building, you're having a good day.
Dedicated to the lives lost and the families left behind on September 11, 2001,
World Trade Center, New York City
Flight 93, Shanksville, PA
The Pentagon, Washington D.C.
RICK STENGEL, TIME MAGAZINE: At our best we honor the past by doing something for the future. To recognize the sacrifice and courage of those who were most directly affected by the events of 9/11, "Time" in association with HBO and CNN created "Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience." I'm Rick Stengel, managing editor of "Time". You've just seen some of the extraordinarily powerful and arresting stories of the survivors and the heroes of 9/11, as well as ordinary people whose lives changed dramatically in the days and years that followed.
We are proud to have brought you these stories and invite you to experience the complete collection and share your own story on Time.com as well as in a special issue of the magazine itself. As Howard Lutnick says in "Beyond 9/11," we move forward but it stays with us. Thank you.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: CNN's series of September 11 programs continues this weekend. Join me for my documentary "Footnotes of 9/11," Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. It's the story of a handful of people who woke up that morning expecting just another day at work, instead fate would thrust them to the frontlines of one of America's darkest days. From ticket agents who checked in some of the hijackers to a Secret Service agent protecting the white house. Ordinary Americans who had their lives forever changed on that fateful morning. We found their stories hidden in the 1,742 footnotes of the official 9/11 Commission Report. Here's a preview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
September 11, 2001
GRIFFIN (voice-over): They came to work expecting just another ordinary day.
The Ticket Agent
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy don't look like an terrorist, nobody does.
GRIFFIN: People living ordinary lives.
The Airline Dispatcher
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I knew was there was trouble and I wanted to warn everyone.
GRIFFIN: Suddenly, thrust into one of the most horrific days in American history.
The Air Traffic Controller
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said we have some planes. We clearly had a hijack in progress.
GRIFFIN: There are 1,742 footnotes in the official 9/11 Commission Report.
The Fighter Pilot
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just said be prepared to shoot down the next hijack track. I just came back and said, "Roger."
GRIFFIN: These are the stories buried in those footnotes, many never before told.
The Secret Service Agent
(END GRAPHIC) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They kept coming. And then at one point we got under a minute and I think Terry (ph) said it's about 30 seconds out.
GRIFFIN: Of their experiences that day, and the days and years that followed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do I see Mohamed Atta driving by me, looking at me in a car?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should I have said something else? What is more to the point than "beware of cockpit intrusion?"
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I go out on a beautiful day, I look up and I go, that sky is September 11 blue. That's what was taken away from me.