We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

From The Miami Herald (unedited)

By Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Published Wednesday, September 12, 2001

We'll go forward from this moment

It's my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense

of that which troubles the American soul. But in this

moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes,

the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem

to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of

this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your

coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon,

us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was,

please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause?

You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear?

You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart?

You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and

quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social,

political and class division, but a family nonetheless.

We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous

emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae -- a singer's

revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of

trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that,

we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe

entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though --

peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know

the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming

majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just

and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or

all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak.

Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.


Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we

are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality

of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves

understand that this isn't a special effect from some

Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a

Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of

their ambition and the probable final death toll,

your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of

terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably,

the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have

never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody

and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to

its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this

hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt

and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in

our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this

level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost,

go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people,

as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also

causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination

and accusation, fingers pointing to determine

whose failure allowed this to happen and what can

be done to prevent it from happening again. There

will be heightened security, misguided talk of

revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from

this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too.

Unimaginably determined.


You see, the steel in us is not always readily

apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom

understood by people who don't know us well.

On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn,

and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that

we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us?

It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know

the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider

the message received. And take this message in

exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what

we're capable of. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn.

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain—that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom—and that governments of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."


Time Line of Events:

8:45 a.m.: 1st hijacked plane hits World Trade Center.

9:03 a.m.: 2nd hijacked plane hits World Trade Center.

9:17 a.m.: The FAA shuts down all New York City area airports.

9:21 a.m.: New York City Port Authority orders all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area closed.

9:30 a.m.: Bush, speaking in Florida, says the country has suffered an "apparent terrorist attack."

9:40 a.m.: The FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports, the first time in U.S. history that air traffic nationwide has been halted.

9:43 a.m.: An aircraft crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately.

9:45 a.m.: The White House evacuates.

9:57 a.m.: Bush departs from Florida.

10:05 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris forms and slowly drifts away from the building.

10:08 a.m.: Secret Service agents armed with automatic rifles are deployed into Lafayette Park across from the White House.

10:10 a.m.: A portion of the Pentagon collapses.

10:10 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93 crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh.

10:13 a.m.: The United Nations building evacuates, including 4,700 people from the headquarters building and 7,000 total from UNICEF and U.N. development programs.

10:22 a.m.: In Washington, the State and Justice departments are evacuated, along with the World Bank.

10:24 a.m.: The FAA reports that all inbound transatlantic aircraft flying into the United States are being diverted to Canada.

10:28 a.m.: The World Trade Center's north tower collapses from the top down as if it were being peeled apart, releasing a tremendous cloud of debris and smoke.

10:45 a.m.: All federal office buildings in Washington are evacuated.

10.46 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cuts short his trip to Latin America to return to the United States.

10.48 a.m.: Police confirm the crash of a large plane in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

10:53 a.m.: New York's primary elections scheduled for today are postponed.

10:54 a.m.: Israel evacuates all diplomatic missions.

10:57 a.m.: New York Gov. George Pataki says all state government offices are closed.

11:02 a.m.: New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani urges citizens to stay at home and orders an evacuation of the area south of Canal Street.

11:16 a.m.: CNN reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing bioterrorism teams to respond to the incidents in a precautionary move. The preparation is not based on any known bioterrorism threat.

11:18 a.m.: American Airlines reports it has lost two aircraft. American Flight 11, a Boeing 767 flying from Boston to Los Angeles, had 81 passengers and 11 crew aboard. Flight 77, a Boeing 757 en route from Washington's Dulles Airport to Los Angeles, had 58 passengers and six crew members aboard. Flight 11 is believed to be one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

11:26 a.m.: United Airlines reports that United Flight 93, en route from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, has crashed in Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh. The airline also says that it is "deeply concerned" about United Flight 175.

11:59 a.m.: United Airlines confirms that Flight 175, from Boston to Los Angeles, has crashed with 56 passengers and nine crew members aboard. Emergency personnel at the scene say there are no survivors.

12:04 p.m.: Los Angeles International Airport, the destination of two of the hijacked American Airlines flights, is evacuated.

12:15 p.m: San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut down. The airport was the destination of American Airlines Flight 77, which was one of the aircraft to strike the World Trade Center.

12:15 p.m.: The Immigration and Naturalization Service says U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico are on the highest state of alert, but no decision has been made about closing borders.

12:30 p.m.: The FAA says 50 flights are in U.S. airspace, but none are reporting any problems.

1:04 p.m.: Bush, speaking from Barksdale Air Force Base, says that all appropriate security measures are being taken, including putting the U.S. military on high alert worldwide. He asks for prayers for those killed or wounded in the attacks and says: "Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts."

1:27 p.m.: A state of emergency is declared by the city of Washington.

1:44 p.m.: The Pentagon says five battleships and two aircraft carriers will leave the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, and head to positions in the New York area and along the East Coast. The carriers are to provide upgraded air defense for the New York and Washington areas.

1:48 p.m.: President Bush leaves Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana aboard Air Force One and flies to an undisclosed location.

2 p.m.: Senior FBI sources tell CNN they are working on the assumption that the four airplanes that crashed were hijacked as part of a terrorist attack.

2:30 p.m.: The FAA announces there will be no U.S. commercial air traffic until noon EDT Wednesday.

2:49 p.m.: At a news conference, Giuliani says that subway and bus service are restored in New York City. Asked about the number of people killed, Giuliani says, "I don't think we want to speculate about that -- more than any of us can bear."

3:55 p.m.: Karen Hughes, a White House counselor, says the president is at an undisclosed location, later revealed to be an Air Force base in Nebraska, and is conducting a National Security Council meeting by phone. Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice are in a security facility at the White House. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is at the Pentagon.

3:55 p.m.: New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani now says the number of critically injured in New York City is up to 200 with 2,100 total injuries reported.

4 p.m: CNN National Security Correspondent David Ensor reports that U.S. officials say there are "good indications" that Saudi militant Osama bin Laden is involved in the attacks, based on "new and specific" information developed since the attacks.

4:06 p.m.: California Gov. Gray Davis dispatches urban search-and-rescue teams to New York City.

4:10 p.m.: Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex is reported on fire.

4:20 p.m.: U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he was "not surprised there was an attack (but) was surprised at the specificity." He says he was "shocked at what actually happened -- the extent of it."

4:25 p.m.: The American Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange say they will remain closed Wednesday.

4:30 p.m.: President Bush leaves Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska aboard Air Force One to return Washington.

5:20 p.m.: The 47-story Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex collapses. The evacuated building is damaged when the twin towers across the street collapse earlier in the day. Other nearby buildings in the area remain ablaze.

5:30 p.m.: CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King reports that U.S. officials say the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania could have been headed for one of three possible targets: Camp David, the White House or the U.S. Capitol building.

6p.m.: Explosions are heard in Kabul, Afghanistan, hours after terrorist attacks targeted financial and military centers in the United States. The attacks occurred at 2:30 a.m. local time. Afghanistan is believed to be the home of Saudi militant Osama bin Laden, who U.S. officials say is possibly behind Tuesday's deadly attacks. U.S. officials say later that the United States had no involvement in the incident whatsoever.

6:40 p.m.: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld holds a news conference in the Pentagon, noting the building is operational. "It will be in business tomorrow," he says.

7 p.m. : President Bush returns to the White House. He is scheduled to address the nation at 8:30 p.m

Full text of President Bush's speech

Wednesday 11, September 2001

"Good evening

Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbours.

Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.

These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.

Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.

And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbours who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared.

Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C., to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow.

Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.

The search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.

Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me."

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. 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. Good night and God bless America."



Pope John Paul II called the attacks an "unspeakable horror" which has thrust the U.S. into a "dark and tragic moment." The pontiff says, "I hurry to express to you and your fellow citizens my profound sorrow and my closeness in prayer for the nation." Addressing his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II told Americans that "those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed horror and sent condolences to U.S. President George W. Bush. "There have been the most terrible, shocking events taking place in the United States of America within the last couple of hours," Blair says. "We can only imagine the terror and carnage there and the many, many innocent people who have lost their lives." This was "perpetrated by fanatics who are utterly indifferent to the sanctity of human life, and we, the democracies of this world, are going to have to come together to fight it and eradicate this evil completely from our world."

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a news conference and expresses deep sympathy to the American people, calling the incidents a "terrorist act, this terrible tragedy." Russian President Putin added, "the entire international community should unite in the struggle against terrorism . . .this is a blatant challenge to humanity."

French President Jacques Chirac expressed outrage, and assured the United States of France's support and sympathy. "France is deeply upset to learn of the monstrous attacks that have just struck the United States," says Chirac. "In these terrible circumstances, all French people stand by the American people. We express our friendship and solidarity in this tragedy."

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said: "the German people stand by the United States of America at this difficult hour." "I want to express to you my deep condolences and my unlimited solidarity to you and the American people. Our sympathy goes to the victims and their relatives." Schroeder said, "They were not only attacks on the people in the United States, our friends in America, but also against the entire civilized world, against our own freedom, against our own values, values which we share with the American people." Calling Tuesday's attacks a threat to peace and freedom everywhere, he said, "We will not let these values be destroyed – in Europe, America or anywhere in the world."

Japan's Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, said "this outrageous and vicious act of violence against the United States is unforgivable."

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak called the attacks in New York and Washington "horrific" and added in a televised statement: "Egypt firmly and strongly condemns such attacks on civilians and soldiers that led to the deaths of a large number of innocent victims."

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Americans "Our hearts are with you and we are ready to provide any assistance at any time." Israel declared Wednesday a day of mourning and set up a blood bank for the injured. "This is a war between good and evil and between humanity and the bloodthirsty," said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He added that the attacks would be "a turning point in the war against international terror."

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her, and guide her

Thru the night , with a light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies ,

To the oceans, white with foam

God Bless America, My home sweet home.

God Bless America, Land that I love

Stand beside her, And guide her,

Through the night, With the light from above,

From the mountains, To the prairies,

To the ocean, White with foam,

God bless America, My home sweet home.

God bless America,

My home sweet home.

God Bless America, one of America's unofficial national anthems, was composed by an immigrant who left his home in Siberia for America when he was only five years old. The original version of "God Bless America" was written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989) during the summer of 1918 at Camp Upton, located in Yaphank, Long Island



SITE # 1

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America's Tears
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Where was I that day? A question that has been answered concerning the Kennedy Assasination, Americans landing on the moon, the Space Shuttle Disaster, the attempt on the lives of President Reagan, and Pope John Paul II. Now billions will remember where they were when the world was turned upside-down by people who used evil in the name of God.

On September 11, 2001, I was receiving an award from Walmart as the New Jersey Teacher of the Year. As my principal and I returned to our building, we had been informed that the world had gone insane. Upon entering my classroom, I viewed the carnage that was occurring in New York City. As I began to get sick at the thought of my wife working in Manhattan, they announced that the Pentagon had been struck. As the minutes dragged onward, several students' parents had to be called due to loved ones working in New York. It was/is an unbelievable nightmare. America lost its innocence that day, but we have a newfound purpose to rid the world of terrorism. We shall see victory.

God Bless Our Country






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