The following is an extract based the Journal of our Editor, Andrew McIntosh, who lived in the Midwest from 1999 to 2006.
Friday, September 14th, 2001. Lawrence, Kansas. Again, a beautiful Fall day with clear blue skies.
The 11th of September will go down in history as a day of infamy. The world, and the United States, will never be the same again. Today, just three days after the worst attack on American soil, our friend gave birth to a baby girl at St Lukes in Kansas City. And, what a world for a young girl to be born into, so different from any other time. President Bush has said an Act of War as been perpetrated against the United States – the first war of the twenty-first century.
A world so different from the carefree attitude of just a week ago. Today was a day of National Prayer and Remembrance, celebrated here in the US and around the world.Great support for the US has come from the European Union, seen as support to return the favor for US help in World War Two. The Change of the Guard at Buckingham Palace saw the band playing the US National Anthem.
In the first day or so I heard the words “mind numbing” used to describe the movie like images of passenger jets hitting the WTC and the catastrophic events that followed. Now the mood has changed and people, while still remembering, are talking about “war.” The Congress approved a $40 billion package for NYC and Federal usage to fight terrorism. A national emergency has been declared today and 35,000 US Reservists and National Guardsmen were activated.
Some commercial flights have begun, with most airports only opening today. Some airlines opened for a small time before shutting down again due to threats. Talk that some airlines will go out of business.
It is now becoming clear that the hijacked airliner that crashed in woods outside Pittsburg was probably due to the passengers fighting back to take control of the aircraft. Apparently some passengers spoke by phone to loved ones and heard about the WTC and Pentagon attacks. Knowing they shared the same fate, they took deadly action to save more lives than just their own. Some reports say the flight was heading towards the Whitehouse.
Nearly 200 people are confirmed dead in the Pentagon attack – over 60 passengers on the air craft, including the wife of the US Solicitor General. Over 4,700 are missing in the NYC rubble of the WTC, which still smolders today, smelling an awful “burned electrical wire odor” apparently.
Approximately 350 Firefighters, responding to the World Trade Center fires are still missing, including the Deputy Chief of the FDNY. Several dozen Police are missing. Dust covers wrecks of NYC fire trucks, police cars and ambulances tells the story of what happened – these rescue workers had no time to escape the sudden coo apse. Many firefighters caught in the stair wells on the way up.
Hospital staff are ready with beads and supplies, but the rescuers are finding very few survivors, only body parts. Hospitals have commented on the lack of injuries.
President Bush visited “Ground Zero” in NY after his speech at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Under massive security (jet fighters), he gave moral support to the rescue workers. It was interesting to watch – the workers chanted “USA, USA, USA” and Bush stood on a pile of rubble with his arm arounds a fireman, and to get cheers said
“The people who did this will soon hear from us all.”