US airspace is clear of aircraft except for military and emergency flights. Only a few transoceanic flights are still landing in Canada.
September 11, 2001.
Where were you?
2,996 souls were lost on that day, including 343 of New York's Bravest and New York's Finest who gave their lives trying to save others.
Oh, where was I during all of this? In a meeting. No one bothered to interrupt the meeting to mention what was happening. After the meeting, I walked out to my car, somehow managing not to talk to a single person. I got in the car and drove home for lunch, without turning on the radio. I got home, made myself a sandwich, sat down at about 12:05 PM, turned on the TV and discovered that the world had changed while I wasn't looking. Rudy Giuliani has said it best, many times (paraphrasing). "We learned on September 11, 2001 that we were at war. The other side had known they were at war for quite some time, but we didn't know it."
There's a very poignant picture on the NY Times website from 9/11/2006, with the caption "The Hole in the City's Heart"
Where were you?
And this is how the 9/11 Memorial looks today, September 11, 2012.
On September 12, we all promised ourselves that we'd never forget the events of that day. Have you kept that promise?
The times and events listed here are a very small excerpt of what's available at the Cooperative Research History Commons. The whole thing is well worth a read, if you have the time (it's extremely long). I’ve left out quite a bit, including many of the actions at the White House, Pentagon, NORAD, etc. There were many heroic decisions and actions made that day. And some less than heroic ones. Right guesses and wrong guesses; it’s all there at the link above. There’s quite a bit about Delta Flight 1989, which I didn’t cover, although I’m still unsure if that was a good idea. Delta Flight 1989? There was nothing wrong with it, but circumstances led the people on the ground to believe that it was the fifth hijacked plane. The timeline also seems to have been taken over by some 9/11 “truthers” in the last few years, so there’s more stuff to wade through than there used to be.
Too many of us seem to have forgotten what happened that day, and what it felt like to live through it and the following days. I forget myself sometimes, but the yearly exercise of doing this brings it all rushing back. Producing this is an emotionally draining exercise to say the least.
As I indicated earlier, Russia was conducting a military exercise in the North Atlantic and shut it down. Putin called Bush and told him that he knew that the U.S. was raising their military alert status and in response, Russia’s military would stand down, in order to make sure nothing bad happened in a moment of high tension. Putin also told Bush that the world must unite against terrorism and that Russia would stand by the United States.
"Freedom and Fear are at War." - U.S. President George W. Bush
"This is a battle with only one outcome: our victory, not theirs." - UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
Where were you?