911  2001
An Attack by Political Extremists using Hijacked Airliners
J. I. Nelson, September 2011
I hate them.
Ten years later, my greatest consolation is that
the Arab world has moved on without them -- 
they are irrelevant
Bottom and links  
Aerial view of WTC Twin Towers from river before 911
The World Trade Center's (WTC's)  twin towers before the attacks of Tuesday,  11 September 2001.
The North Tower (left; radio/TV broadcast mast on top)  had the street address 1 WTC
and is often referred to as Tower 1.
The North Tower (left) was hit by a plane flying in from the left (coming out of the north to hit the north face);
The South Tower (right) was hit by a second plane flying from right to left to hit the south face visible in photo.
Only the first plane flew down the Hudson River Valley to the city,
but both made their final approach from the Hudson River (foreground).  
(All plane routes are shown at the bottom of this page.)

8:37    Someone at the FAA places the first FAA call to the  Northeast Air Defense Sector of NORAD. The following exchange takes place:

FAA: Hi. Boston Center TMU, we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.

NORAD: Is this real-world or exercise?

FAA: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.

8:46:26: Impact of  AA Flight 11.

JIN: These nine  minutes of advance notification that Flight 11 had been hijacked prior to its destruction of the World Trade Center North Tower was the most time that NORAD had to respond to any of the four hijacked flights.   

NORAD never tracked or intercepted a single hijacker.  All my life NORAD has been building radar stations -- dozens of 100 kilowatt transmitters feeding kilometer-long antenna arrays, computer systems ready to launch nuclear Armageddon in 10 seconds flat, 250,000 employees in the 1960s.  When we all needed them, they accomplished nothing.  And a thousand fighter jets?

Counting only the F-15 Eagle, the F-16 Falcon and the F-18 Hornet, we had over 1,500 fighter jets in active service, at a construction cost of  over $45 billion.  Not a single jet fighter intercepted a single hijacked flight.  Today we have ca 600 more F-18s at $57 million each,  and the new F-22 Raptor is flying (another $25B).   Tell me how these billions make my country stronger.  You changed the name from War Department to Department of Defense.  Go ahead, defend us.  

WTC North Tower-Outline O fPlane Entry In Facade 93-98th floors -Reuters.jpg
Photo: Reuters.
They never learned how to land in flight school.
The outline of American Airlines AA11 in the north face of the North Tower (WTC 1),
spanning floors 93 to 98.

8:46:26  The seismographs at the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory record the impact of  American Airlines flight 11.  At about 466 mph (recent calculations put the figure higher), the Boeing 767-223ER's aluminum fuselage shreds and the two steel alloy engines hurtle across the tower.   Flight 11 was fueled for a Boston to LA flight when it took off 47 minutes earlier.  Tanks taking 24,140 gal max were nearly full, at an estimated 23,980 gals. A 767-223ER weighs 370,000 to 387,000 pounds (depending on the engines chosen) when fully fueled and loaded for takeoff.  The tower sways for many seconds, but stands.  

WTC 1, North Tower-Jet Fuel Firebal at Moment of AA11 Plane Impact l-Jules + Gedeon Naudet.jpg
Photo: from film by Jules and Gedeon Naudet.

A rare photo of the first Tower being struck.
Jules and Gedeon Naudet were doing on-location filming when they heard a plane
much too low and loud.  Both brothers had cameras; Jules swung his up and
captured the the only good footage of flight AA11's impact on the North Tower.
This is a single cropped frame from the film, which begins immediately before impact.  
They rush into the lobby.  In a severed elevator shaft, the "car" has crashed at lobby-level,
bursting the doors with a rush of  ignited aviation fuel from 93 stories away.
They turn away, unable to film the burned and dying.

"We are in rapid descent ... we are all over the place.  I see water. I see buildings. I see buildings! We are flying low. We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low. Oh my God we are flying way too low. [Slow, deep inhalation.]  Oh my God!" (static)
--Amy Sweeney,  flight attendant AA Flight 11, North Tower
In older office buildings, the staircases were often shielded with poured concrete.  In both World Trade Center Towers, the staircases were shielded with two layers of "fireproof-grade" gypsum wallboard.  The North Tower is hit squarely, and all three staircases and the elevator shafts are taken out.  1344 people are trapped.  

8:51: First documented jump from the Towers: North Tower ( north face, 93rd floor).

011 WTC South Tower UA Flight 175 Zeros In--FrankJDenicolaNYT.jpg
Photo credited to Frank J. Denicola by the New York Times is actually by Carmen Taylor.
 This photo has been sitting on my hard drive since I collected it 10 years ago.
As you see, the New York Times publicly mis-attributed the photographer/owner,
 who was Carmen Taylor.  Taylor first e-mailed it home to Arkansas (see below).  

United Airlines flight UA175 zeros in on WTC 2, the South Tower, 49 min after takeoff.
The plane,  a ca 300,000 lb 767-222 going an estimated 586 mph, hits the tower's south face at 9:02:54 (henceforth, 9:03).
Without an extra "Extended Range" fuel tank,  fuel capacity at takeoff is16,700 gal.
 With the North Tower already hit, eyes were on the sky and many photos were taken.

911 - South Tower - UA 175 plane Against Sky - Both Towers standing  
click to enlarge   (Photo: Sean Adair - Reuters)

911 Plane against sky flies into South Tower
Naka Nathaniel, New York Times

911 Flight UA175 against blue sky heads for WTC2 South Tower
We are looking south at the north face of the North Tower (with radio/TV mast),
where AA Flight 11 entered.  
On the right, UA Flight  175 is banking off the Hudson River's upper bay,
 to come up against the south face of the South Tower, which we cannot see.
It is still turning on impact, hits obliquely, and spares one of the three central-column staircases.  

911 Flight UA175 zeros in on WTC2 South Tower
Photo: Carmen Taylor via KHBS - KHOG-TV, Arkansas (same image as New York Times image above).

Carmen Taylor, an amateur photographer from Fort Smith, Ark., borrowed her son's Sony Mavica MVC-FD73 digital camera for her vacation in New York.  She had boarded the ferry to Ellis Island and had her camera up, snapping photos of the Manhattan skyline. "I looked up again and this plane went by so I just put my camera back up. That's when the second explosion took place," she said.  "We were terrified. We were wondering if the Statue of Liberty was the next target and that's when people started streaming out of their buildings."  Taylor got off the ferry and showed her digital photos to the swarms of dazed office tower workers. One man -- Doug Haluza -- suggested Taylor use his office nearby to e-mail her pictures to her local television station KHBS -KHOG back home in Arkansas using a phone-line modem.  They were lucky to get either a dial tone or bandwidth, but any PC could read the 3" floppy disks on which this early digicam recorded images.  

Carmen Taylor borrowed her son's camera for her New York vacation.
"Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

911 - Fireball engulfs WTC2 South Tower  
Chao Soi Cheong - Associated Press.  Click to enlarge.

We are looking at both Towers' eastern faces, lit by the morning sun.
It is 9:03 AM.  The South Tower (2 WTC, left)  has just been  hit from the left by another 767, UA 175 that took off for LA from Boston 49 minutes ago.  

The plane's fuselage shreds, and the two steel alloy engines hurtle across the Tower, but the plane has entered obliquely and one of the three staircases remains (barely) passable.

A tidal wave of shredded aluminum and fuel sweeps entirely across many floors between the 78th - 84th levels. The tidal wave of debris runs south to north,  mostly along the eastern face, and breaks out on the northeast corner (photo).  It is this eastern face which will later start the collapse.  

The debris continues to burn long after the jet fuel has disappeared in a fireball. It is the debris that keeps the fire going long enough to soften structural steel and doom 2 WTC,   Fifty-six minutes later (9:59), the South Tower collapses.  Anyone left in the North Tower has 29 minutes to run from a similar fate, but it can take an hour to get down from floors in the 70s (impact was floors 93-98).

Jules and Gedeon Naudet got photos of the North Tower being struck almost by accident, but many people photographed the second strike.

South Tower - Jet Fuel fireball a few seconds later
Chao Soi Cheong - AP
The South Tower fireball an additional moment after impact.  
Only parallax from this ground-level view makes the flames appear to explode against the neighboring  black building.  
The fireball is actually much higher (78th - 84th floors; see other photos).
The building, the Banker's Trust Building now owned by Deutsche Bank, is nevertheless doomed.

SouthTower-Je tFuel Fireball-3--Chao So iCheong - AP
Chao Soi Cheong - AP
Having burned long enough to create an upward convection current,
the South Tower fireball now rises.  

The fireball ignited the shredded contents of all the offices on a given floor, and those materials, not the aviation fuel, sustained the blaze long enough to bring the building's structure steel to red-hot temperatures.  Although there are special alloys (e.g., cobalt-vanadium steel)  that remain hard at red heat, their expense and other limitations confine their use to cutting tools in manufacturing.  In older office towers, poured concrete was used to shield key structural steel elements.  In the World Trade Center Towers, the sprayed-on steel fireproofing was just blown away.

911 WTC South Tower - Moment Of Impact -- Shower of Debris 9:03AM
 Spencer Platt - Getty Images
Photo just after the 9:03AM impact of UA175, a nearly fully-fueled Boeing 767-200ER jet, into the South Tower.  The plane flew into the opposite side of the left (south) Tower; we are looking at the entry wound of the right (north) Tower.  The planes attacked 17 minutes apart from opposite directions.  

911 WTC towers both hit; fireball just after 9:03 impact of Flight UA175 on South Tower
Spencer Platt - Getty Images
South Tower, looking at plane's entry side.

South Tower fireball grows older and rises.  On the far left (left of the left Tower, no plane struck.  You are watching the force of the explosion blow out all the windows.  Towers will never be built again with the flaws which led to these towers' collapse, and  trapped nearly 2000 with no route of escape (1344 in the North Tower, 600 to 700 at or above the point of impact in the South Tower).  But let us note that the impact of aircraft with maximum takeoff weights of about 300,000 lbs (South Tower, 767-222) and 370,000 lbs (North Tower, 767-223ExtendedRange), each  traveling at over 466  miles per hour, did not topple either structure.  

NYFD Ambulence races south to scene of smoking towers.
There was no roof access in either Tower.  

Some occupants of each Tower above its point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue, only to find the roof access doors locked.  Out of the crowd came Port Authority officers who attempted to unlock the doors.  But control systems would not let them.  The South Tower had a (disused) rooftop helipad.  

911 - Both WTC Towers Smoking, Empire State Bldg in foreground
Click to enlarge photo.  This is the statement of a seasoned professional photographer,
 Marty Lederhandler, AP.  Photo taken from the Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room.
The 9 o'clock hour in New York City, 11 Sept 2001.  It is after the South Tower (left) has been hit at 9:03, and before it collapses at 9:59.  Four minutes after it was hit at 8:46, people began jumping from the North Tower.  For nearly a quarter hour until the 2nd tower was hit, this chilling spectacle drove thousands to the South Tower elevators while they still worked.  Although the South Tower was hit lower (78-84th floors vs 93-98th), fewer people were caught above the impact area (600 to 700, vs 1344 in the North Tower).

After the elevators died, there were 56 minutes to walk down as many as 77 flights of stairs -- for some, an impossibility.

Martin "Marty" Lederhandler
23 Nov 1917 - 25 Mar 2010

As a Staff Photographer for the Associated Press, Marty was there for Debarkation Day (D-Day, Normandy; think "Saving Private Ryan") and 9/11, and everything in between, photographing every President from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton.  After 9/11, Marty said “The only other story that compares to this is D-Day.”  A life of 66 years of service now had a matching bookend on each side, and he retired.  

People Aghast at StPatricks Cathlook stare down 5th Ave
Photo: Marty Lederhandler -- AP

He said, "You know, I think those buildings could go over."
And I said, "There's no way." I said, "Those are steel structures."
And I didn't finish the sentence.

Brian Clark (World Trade Center Survivor, South Tower, 84th floor office; the plane struck floors 78 to 84) is one of only 18 people who found the 1 of 3 staircases that was (barely) passable, and got down it before the fires burned through the sheet rock (two layers, "fireproof grade") that failed to protect the escape route.   In the North Tower, all staircases were disabled, because the plane hit squarely and the tidal wave of fuel and debris --and  perhaps the heavy airplane jet engines as well -- went straight to the core.   

Drywall -- not concrete -- could not shield the Towers' central core.  

BRIAN CLARK, 84th floor survivor:
[In the stairwell,] "Drywall had been blown off the wall and was lying propped up against the railings here, and we had to move it, shovel it aside. You could see through the wall and the cracks and see flames just licking up, not a roaring inferno, just quiet flames licking up and smoke sort of eking through the wall."

9:59 AM

911 - Collapse - WTC South Tower-Tipped  
South Tower.  Click image to enlarge.  Photo: Gulnara Samoilova - AP

Flight UA175 hit the South Tower obliquely (left to right), snow-plowing shattered offices and everything in them into
a wall of burning debris along the eastern facade (foreground),
which is now (9:59) buckling on that side, tipping the Tower.   
The entire support structure failed, including the central core,
so what you see tipped now came straight down
without falling completely out of the tower's ground-floor footprint.  
There is enough airspace in one floor of offices
to blow out the windows (photo: lower left) when the ceiling hammers down.  

911 WTC: Collapse of South Tower. Tipps as east wall crumples.
 Photo: Amy Sancetta - AP. 

The South Tower collapses as its east wall crumples.
Foreground: Banker's Trust Building, aka Deutsche Bank Building, torn down ("deconstructed" in place)  2010/2011
after it was deemed still standing, but irreparable.  

Photographer Amy Sancetta was in New York City with her bicycle to cover her 10th U.S. Open tennis tournament. She’d spent the week breaking in a pair of brand-new, super-fast Nikon D1H cameras, and was looking forward to some free time.

Sancetta was kneeling on her hotel room floor, stowing the cameras, when her phone rang. A plane might have hit one of the World Trade Center towers; could she go there?

Her first thought was, “Oh, great. Some guy has driven his little twin-engine plane into the trade center, and it’s going to take up my whole day off in the city.”

Now she had the photos, but the Nikon D1H had a 40-frame buffer, after which the camera would freeze so it could reacquire the images. As she waited, Sancetta suddenly realized that the debris cloud was about to overtake her, and she turned to run. Hurtling down the street, her thought was, “Jeez! If I get hit by that cloud, it’s going to ruin my beautiful new cameras.”

She ran about half a block, then turned into a parking garage — just as the cloud whooshed past. When she finally emerged, she stepped into what looked like a “winter wonderland of debris.” . . .  When she heard a second rumble, she lowered her camera and ran.  
--more stories

911 WTC South Tower's progressive collapse in full swing.
Photo: Jose Jimenez, Primera Hora - Getty Images

The progressive collapse of the South Tower is in  full swing.
Both towers pancaked.  

The Cortland subway station and the PATH World Trade Center station were both severely damaged during the collapse of the Twin Towers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and the Port Authority emergency control centers were all located in the World Trade Center complex and were useless. Communications hubs for Verizon, TRANSCOM, and the Port Authority as well as the MTA’s fiber-optic network were all located in or near the World Trade Center. All were totally or partially destroyed, severing communications during the first few critical hours . . .

911 Collapse of South Tower as Outer Columns BreakApart
Photo: Associated Press (AP)

The outer columns break apart as the WTC South Tower collapses.

911 - WTC South Tower Collapse-Huge Chunks Fall Onto Marriott Vista hotel, 3WTC   
Photo: Richard Drew

Click to see an enlarged, less-doctored version of this great photo by a great photographer.
The collapsing South Tower hurls huge chunks of its outer columns on 3 WTC, the Marriott Vista hotel.
The 825-room hotel was destroyed.

911 WTC Collapse of South Tower -- Debris Cascades Down  
Photo: Shannon Stapleton - AP  click to enlarge
The South Tower: hit last, collapses first.

10:28 AM
911 WTC North Tower pancakes at 10:28, 1 hr 42 min after being hit
Photo: Reuters
The North Tower pancakes 1 hour and 42 minutes after being hit at 8:46.

Early observers thought the North Tower central antenna mast was stable for a moment after the outer facades started to go, suggesting the central core survived.  Indeed, one of three staircases -- all in the Tower's core -- remained (barely) passable in the North Tower, while all staircases were severed in the other South Tower.  But the main advantage of the North Tower (1 hr 42 min vs 56 minutes) is thought to be that  it was hit higher (floors 93-98, not 78-84) and had less weight on the vertical support coming from both central core and outer columnar skin.  

If one floor comes hammering down on another, the entire building pancakes.  What killed the first floor?

At first, structural engineers with a told-you-so air accused the original design team (Leslie E. Robertson, 34 years old at the time, and his partner John Skilling) of using only a pair of 5/8" bolts at one end of each floor truss beam and a pair of 3/4" bolts at the other.  These are the sizes used to hold up tall street lights and highway signs.   A WTC  floor pushing steadily downward cannot sheer these bolts off, but, if the truss itself heats and sags like a clothesline, it will pull hard enough to pop them.(tensile failure)  And, if the 4" thick floor hits the one below in a collapse, the hammer blow will slice off the bolts (shear failure).

Charles Thornton, Structural Engineer: "They had two 5/8-inch bolts at one end of the truss and two 3/4-inch bolts at the other end, which is perfectly fine to take vertical load and perfectly fine to take shear loads, but once the floor elements start to sag during a fire...okay...they start exerting tension forces because it becomes a catenary, like a clothesline, and those two little bolts just couldn't handle it." [JIN: there was also welding.]

The core was 79 x 139 feet in a 209 x 209 foot footprint tower, leaving floor trusses with 35-foot clear spans to the east and west walls, and 65-foot clear spans to the north and south walls.  The ca. 100,000 tons of structural steel used in each Tower's construction represent about 1/5th the buildings' total weight.  

Today, more painstaking analysis of better movie footage--confirmed by computer simulations--shows that the central antenna mast slid straight down as the central core failed first.  

For you and me, the  message to these people is a simple one: "Encase your structural steel in concrete or masonry or else I'll never rent or visit your death trap."  The water pressure will die, the sprinklers won't work, the electricity will be off.  Protect your structural steel.  

911 WTC North Tower collapses in place, beginning at 10:28 AM.
Photo: Reuters.
The North Tower begins to collapse at 10:28, 1 hour and 42 minutes after being struck.
Although flight AA11 hit squarely and severed all staircases and elevator shafts,
the tower that was hit first fell last.  

Bill Biggart heard that the first plane crashed into the WTC on the radio; he rushed to the site, and documented the devastation until the North Tower collapsed and buried him. He was the only photographer killed during the attack.  He is survived by his wife and three children.

“I am certain if Bill had come home at the end of that day, he would have had many stories to tell us, as he always did. And had we asked how it really was, he would have said, ‘Take my advice, don’t stand under any tall buildings that have just been hit by airplanes.”
-Wendy Doremus, wife of Bill Biggart

“If he had left when he promised to, for the rest of his life he would have been bitching about how we made him miss the photo of the second tower falling.”
Bill Biggart, Jr.

JIN: Good things come from special people.  Luck helps, but that's not all, that's really not it at all.

911 WTC Collapse of North Tower begins - aerial view  
Photo: NY Police Dept. - Detective Greg Semendinger - AP
Click to enlarge.
The North Tower in full pancake collapse (begun at 10:28).

The reddish building lower right is 7 WTC, a 47-story skyscraper above a Consolidated Edison electrical substation, with huge transformers as well as emergency generators at the bottom.

7 WTC housed Solomon Brothers, ITT Hartford Insurance, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offices, and other tenants.  It collapsed at 5:21 pm on 9/11 the same way as the towers did: fires weakened structural steel insufficiently protected by masonry.
Low water pressure prevented the building's sprinkler system from suppressing the fire.
The 7 WTC collapse in turn damaged the BMCC's (Bureau of Manhattan Community College) Fiterman Hall (classrooms).  Three layers away from the Tower, it was demolished in 2009.     

911 WTC Collapse of North Tower in full probressive collapse - aerial view  
Photo: NY Police Dept. - Detective Greg Semendinger - AP
Click to enlarge.

The helicopter has swung to the right from the previous picture,
and moved in.  Fabulous, Greg,
remember new intake filters and an engine overhaul.  

911 WTC Collapse of North Tower throws silicate ash over entire lower Manhattan area - aerial view  
Photo: NY Police Dept. - Detective Greg Semendinger - AP
Click to enlarge.  

The collapse of the second, North tower is over.  
It is an impressive dust cloud, but there are no towers under it.  

The dark building  (left, above) is the Banker's Trust Bldg (later called the Deutsche Bank Bldg).  
It was deemed irreparable; demolition was completed Jan 2011.
Close to the Hudson River (top right) is the World Financial Center,
where the twin, green-topped American Express and Merrill Lynch Buildings survived.  
The American Express building with its distinctive green copper, pyramidal-shaped roof, is visible;
its sister MerrillLynch tower lies further south, off the top of the picture.  
If you look at a building plan for the WTC site, use your browsers BACK button to return here.

5:21 PM
911 Collapse of 7WTC at 5:21pm on Sept 11

Photo: Timothy A Clary - Agence France-Presse (AFP)
7 WTC, a 47-story reddish skyscraper prominent on the north side of the WTC campus, collapsed at 5:21 PM on 11 September 2001.

7 WTC collapsed for the same reasons the Twin Towers did: failure of structural steel, unprotected by masonry, from the softening heat of fires.  Just as the multiple, water-tight hulls and bulkheaded compartments made the Titanic unsinkable, so 7 WTC's automatic fire suppression system, with its sprinklers throughout the building, made collapse from structural failure impossible.  Unfortunately, water pressure was low that day.  

"I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," [2600-2700 deg F, depending on alloy] says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."


911 -- New York City skyline from the Hudson River at 10:29, one minute after the collapse of the 1 WTC North Tower collapse begins.
Photo: Robert Deutsch - USA Today
10:29AM on  9/11/2001, 1 minute after the North Tower begins coming down.
We are looking downwind across the Hudson River.  The wind, characteristically from the west, is blowing silica dust from the Hudson Riverside WTC complex eastward across all of lower Manhattan.  

911 - NYC skyline shrouded in dust after the 10:28 collapse of 1 WTC, the North Tower.  
Click to enlarge.
Looking north-east somewhat upward at Manhattan, not just straight east across the river.

911 - Smoke and Dust fill the New York City skyline after the WTC Towers' collapse. 
Photo: Kathy Willens - AP.

22 April 2008:
Former EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman cannot be held liable for telling residents near the World Trade Center site that the air was safe to breathe after the 2001 terrorist attacks, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.  The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said legal remedies are not always available for every instance of arguably deficient governmental performance.  A lower court judge had earlier (2006) refused to dismiss Whitman as a defendant.  U.S. District Court Judge Deborah A. Batts said her actions were "conscience-shocking", but her judgment was overruled on later appeal.  

Before you try to help anyone in an oil spill, a reactor meltdown, an earthquake collapse, anything, go to your doctor first.  Get a baseline physical, X-rays, blood test.   The government has learned to prevent the collection of baseline data on the people it serves.  The government has learned that baseline data makes it too hard for them to refuse to  aid the people they serve, too hard to escape accountability under the law.  Good baseline public health data is the best way to defend yourself.  If you die of their cancer, they'll tell you it was your cigarette.  

911 - The First Sunset, looking north from Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Photo: Rusty Kennedy - AP.
First sunset, 11 September 2011, looking north from Atlantic Highlands, NJ

"The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010" is named after a first-responding New York policeman who died (5 Jan 2006) from incurable, progressive deterioration of his lungs caused by Ground Zero dust.  Congress filibustered The Zadroga Act  until Jon Stewart ridiculed them in public.  It passed, it is better than nothing, and it cleverly excludes all coverage for cancer.  

911 Glare and smoke lights the New York City skyline on the first night after the attacks.
Photo: Charles Krupa - AP.
The first night after the 911 attacks, looking north east.  

911 - The first sunrise over the New York City skyline after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.
Photo: Tannen Maury - Agence France-Presse (AFP)
The first sunrise after the attacks of 11 September 2011.  
Southern Manhattan skyline from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.

"The dust was a mixture of mercury vapor from the thousands of florescent tubes, gazes from the improperly burning jet fuel, asbestos, pulverized concrete dust from the structure itself, as well as untold hundreds of other volatile chemicals made from the burning computers, monitors, carpeting, clothing, and bodies that made up the mess at Ground Zero."  Tom Hansen, Chandler, AZ,  reviewing on Amazon  the book   CITY OF DUST: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11.  

911 - The New York Skyline on 12 September 2001, looking eastward from East Orange, NJ  
Photo: Tom Dillon - USA Today.
The first day after the attack.  The New York Skyline on 12 September 2001,
looking  east (& a little south)  from East Orange, New Jersey.

The book, CITY OF DUST: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11 has great joe-citizen reviews on Amazon:

"The most obvious, although grim, lesson is this: however much you distrust "government" , it's not enough. There is no doubt that in the aftermath of 9/11--not just the first days, but weeks and months afterward, Giuliani [Mayor], Christine Whitman [Federal EPA head], and other government representatives deliberately misled everyone about the danger posed by the dust that coated everything. Scientists were well aware that , given the construction materials (including asbestos) and contents of the buildings (computers, light bulbs) the dust likely contained some quantity of unhealthy stuff, and yet as early as 9/12, the government was advising everyone that the dust was "safe", presumably in order to promote the agenda of reopening "Wall Street" and business at the earliest possible moment. Various non-government scientists have to sneak past guards to take samples of the dust for examination. Offers of help from doctors, scientists, etc., including teaching the workers who began clearing the rubble, are refused. Huh??? .... This part of the book is riveting and discouraging."
M.S. Butch, Katonah, New York

911 Statue of Liberty in a dusty New York City skyline the morning after the attacks

Statue of Liberty overlooks a dusty New York City skyline the morning after the attacks of 9/11.

The day after 9/11, the Statue of Liberty stands against a smoke-filled lower Manhattan skyline.
Photo: Stuart Ramson - AP.

The 1st day after the attack, looking north-east across New York's Upper Bay.
“I am glad to reassure the people of New York...that their air is safe to breathe and the water is safe to drink...”
Christine Todd Whitman,
EPA Chief, September 18, 2001

Photo: Annie O'Neill, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Wednesday, 12 Sept. 2001 was a quiet day -- no planes.  
Perhaps the only non-military flight on the East Coast that day was to deliver blood to the New York area.  
This photo was shot out the window of that plane.  
Home in Washington, DC, I heard a plane and looked up.
"Very high -- one from Europe that doesn't know yet," I thought.
Running back out, the binoculars told a different story.  
America now had fully-armed jet fighters flying over domestic cities.


Lower Manhattan enveloped in smoke after the 911 attack -- long view from Staten Island

Lower Manhattan enveloped in smoke after the 911 attack -- long view from Staten Island.
The World Trade Center Health Registry estimates that
410,000 people in New York and New Jersey have been "heavily exposed" to WTC toxins

Ikonos satellite photo 11:43 AM on Wednesday, 12 September 2001.
IKONOS satellite photo (ground resolution, 1 meter),
 looking south, 11:43 AM on Wednesday, 12 September 2001.

Front page of the San Franscisco Examiner on 911

Witness To North Tower Collapse on 911  
click to enlarge
Witness to the North Tower's collapse.  (Photo: Shawn Baldwin, AP)

911 Timeline by 911 Commission
Soon after the attacks, FBI Director Robert Mueller announced "there were no warning signs that I'm aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country."  For me as an American, the most important lesson of 911 is that our government failed to protect us and never apologized for it.  

911 - An Attack by Political Extremists using Hijacked Airliners
Page 1: Tall Buildings -- you are here
Page 2:  The Pile and the streets
Page 3: Taking Charge - I give my respect and gratitude to those who took charge of how to die . . .
                                            and jumped.  Their public act saved 2000 lives in the other tower.
Page 4:  The Pentagon, Pennsylvania & the Freedom Tower
                    The WTC site back then
                    Ground Plan & Buildings
                    Freedom Tower  
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