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9/11: The World Remembers
Aired September 11, 2006 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Looking at some live pictures there on this September 11th.
Now, five years ago, screams of sirens, fear and disbelief. Today, somber moments of silence.
President Bush began this 9/11 anniversary shoulder to shoulder with New York firefighters and police officers. ` No words equal to the image of the battered fire truck door, a symbol of lives lost in service of others.
Then remembrance at the World trade Center site. Families clutched photos and fought back tears as they marked the moment the terrorists first struck.
And just a short time ago, bells tolled at a wreath that was placed at a scarred field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
And still to come today, prayers at the Pentagon.
Ahead from the NEWSROOM, live reports from Washington, Shanksville and New York. And that's where we began, as we did five years ago.
It's an essential emotional part of Ground Zero ceremonies each year, the name of each World Trade Center victim is read aloud by relatives or close friends. You can count the number, 2,749, but you can't calculate the depth of loss that remains.
CNN's Allan Chernoff is there in New York as the city remembers.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Betty.
For some people it's hearing all of those names recited. For others right behind me, it's walking actually into the pit, into the site of the World Trade Center, Ground Zero. And still, for others like myself, it's actually hearing the sirens of the fire engines.
About an hour and a half ago, just after the end of formal ceremonies here, we did hear several fire engines sounding their sirens, and it personally brought me back to that horrific day when sirens were heard throughout New York City. In fact, they had been heard for several days after 9/11. But all of those signs of remembrances certainly bringing people back. As you mentioned, spouses and partners had an opportunity to speak earlier this morning. And among those was Susan Slewack (ph), who remembered her husband, Robert.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of all the many things I wish I could still tell him, there is one thing my heart wants to say above all the rest, feelings best expressed in the words of an American song.
How much do I love you? I'll tell you no lie. How deep is the ocean? How high is the sky?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHERNOFF: A beautiful Irving Berlin song.
Of course, we all walk around with the pain of loss deep inside of us, going around our day-to-day activities, but today is the sort of day that really brings that pain to the surface. Most of all, of course, for the families of those who were lost five years ago -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Yes, the pain is so very real for so many of us, even if we didn't have friends or family in those towers. So as we look back, we also want to look ahead to today, Allan.
So let me ask you -- talk to us a little about the developments at Ground Zero. I know there's been a lot of delays.
CHERNOFF: A tremendous number of delays. Governor George Pataki, in fact, had hoped to have the Freedom Tower standing right now, but as you can see behind me, it pretty much is an empty pit.
The only thing that's really active down there is the PATH train station that takes commuters from New York to New Jersey and back. But otherwise you just pretty much have a 16-acre hole in the ground.
There are plans to build the Freedom Tower. They've started the foundation of that. And there are also plans to build three other towers. But it certainly has been mired in politics, in battling, back-stabbing, very nasty, indeed.
I spoke to the master architect, Daniel Libeskind, earlier today, and he said he is frustrated, but he understands. You've got so many constituents involved here. And he says five years from today, you certainly will see much, much more development -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Well, today that frustration put aside as all of us stop and remember what happened five years ago.
Allan Chernoff, thank you for that.
September 11th has had a place in the Pentagon history long before 2001. On that day, this date in 1941, ground was broken for the vast and iconic structure that would house the central leadership of the U.S. military. It was also the date in it 2002 when, after three million man hours of effort, the damage inflicted by a hijacked airliner was fully repaired.
Today, the Pentagon's history, mission and image are front and center in solemn ceremonies. And CNN Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre is there -- Jamie.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Betty, a lot of people here at the Pentagon are reflecting about where they were five years ago when the attacks took place. For me, I was on the other side of that building where our office was. My first inclination was to stay inside so that I could make use of the transmission lines to report on what was going on, but very quickly I realized I had to get out.
MCINTYRE (voice-over): Before I left my Pentagon office, I took a picture of the smoke filling the empty hallway. Outside, Rumsfeld's car stood ready to whisk him away, but he never left. I snapped another photo as loud speakers warned another plane was heading to the Pentagon. It never came.
The sky was blue and cloudless as the smoke plume grew. By the time I got to the crash site, the side of the building had already collapsed.
(on camera): All that's left of the original damage is this blackened piece of limestone that's been engraved as a memorial. But on that day, this entire area was covered with thousands of tiny shards of aluminum, all that was left of the jetliner.
(voice-over): I took pictures of the plane pieces next to a yellow fire hose, what looked like a cockpit window, and a twisted chunk of fuselage.
(on camera): As I left, I took this fateful picture, and was promptly arrested. When I took the picture, I was standing here in the south parking lot, the police officer handcuffed me for violating the Pentagon ban on photography. Seems as silly now as it did then, but I wrote him a letter, said no hard feelings, invited them for a tour of CNN.
(voice-over): I sent along a picture of me on the air reporting later in the day after he had to let me go. He never responded.
MCINTYRE: And today, of course, there are ceremonies marking what happened here. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney, the Joint Chiefs chairman, General Peter Pace, all smoke this morning. This afternoon President Bush will be laying a wreath here at the Pentagon. But there are also private ceremonies and small remembrances going on all over the building.
On my way out here today just a short time ago, I ran into a man who was looking at a picture of one of the 29 members of the Army corridor who were killed in the attack. A small wreath was placed there. And he was telling me that his friend and he were planning a joint retirement ceremony just a few days after September 11th. He had left the office a few minutes earlier before the plane hit. He survived. His friend did not -- Betty.
NGUYEN: You know, everyone pretty much remembers exactly where they were when all of this happened. And I have to ask you, you were there on that fateful day. Today, five years later, the big question is, are we safer? Is America safer?
What are you hearing from Pentagon officials about that?
MCINTYRE: Well, I think that, you know, the general consensus among people in the U.S. military and the government, in particular, is that we are "safer." Obviously, security's been tightened everywhere from here at the Pentagon, to airlines, to all kinds of places around the country. But the question is really not so much are we safer, because we clearly are, but are we as safe as we can be? And is the United States prevailing in this war -- declared war on terror which it's fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world?
And that question is one that is getting considerable debate, especially as both the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are becoming deadlier and more problematic as each day goes on.
NGUYEN: Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon.
Thank you, Jamie.
Well, the 9/11 hijackers did not intend to strike Shanksville, Pennsylvania, a rural spot that few Americans who live beyond Johnstown or Pittsburgh have ever heard of. Today the name Shanksville stands at a testament to sacrifice and courage.
CNN's Bob Franken is there.
Good afternoon, Bob.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon, Betty.
Because, as you know, we now are told that this was a plane that the hijackers intended to make the fourth attack plane and were planning to fly it into either the White House or the Capitol. But as word spread by a cell phone among the passengers on board United Flight 93 that -- that this plan was going on in the United States was under attack, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
They attacked the hijackers. The plane crashed here in the field, where President Bush came again to lay a wreath at a ceremony at the site where the plane went down, which is just a little bit to the right of us, about a quarter of a mile away, in what had been a strip mine that had been covered over. It's once again covered over as plans are under way to come up with a permanent memorial.
The president then met with members of the families of the people on board United Flight 93 for an extended period of time and left just a short while ago to head to Washington and ceremonies at the Pentagon.
This has become a site with a temporary memorial which is really nothing more than a chain-linked fence where people by the thousands, well over 100,000 each year, will come off the beaten track, as this is, and they'll leave different mementos that are chosen to honor those on United 93. Those are taken away every once in a while to a museum where they will be cataloged. As I said, at some point there is going to be a permanent memorial.
There were ceremonies here this morning before the president arrived to recite the names of those who had been aboard that airplane and to pay homage to people who have become reluctant but true heroes in the history of this country -- Betty.
NGUYEN: CNN's Bob Franken in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Thank you, Bob.
It is hundreds of miles away from the 9/11 attack sites, but an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, is forever linked with the events of that day. President Bush was visiting a second grade class when he was told America was under attack.
CNN's John Zarrella is in Sarasota.
And I understand you were able to talk with the teacher of that class today.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Betty. We actually had an opportunity to talk with both the teacher and some of the students that were in that classroom five years ago. They were in second grade at the time.
What you're seeing there now is video from this morning's assembly. It was billed as a memorial assembly. Third, fourth and fifth grade students sang.
One of the most moving moments was when those students, besides singing "God Bless America," actually sang Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be an American."
That assembly taking place about 9:00 a.m. this morning, during which time there was a message, also, about a minute and a half message from the president talking about education, because the president was, in fact, here five years ago. His intended purpose was to talk about education.
Now, if you look at the classroom he was in, classroom 301 here on the campus, which was the classroom -- Kay Daniels was the second grade teacher -- that's where the president was up against that dry erase board. He sat there, listening to the students reading.
And Kay Daniels, who we spoke with, the second grade teacher, has some very vivid memories of those moments right after the president was informed by his chief of staff, Andrew Card. Very vivid memories of how he looked and acted in those moments.
KAY DANIELS, TEACHER: Read these words the fast way. Get ready.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Playing.
DANIELS: That's playing.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Must.
DANIELS: Yes, must.
He was listening at the time. And I knew when Andy Card came over and whispered in his ear he didn't pick up his book. That was my first signal that something is wrong, because he left me. Emotionally, he left.
He was supposed to pick up his book, because we were getting ready to read the story, and it took him awhile to pick up the book because he was gone. But he came back. And I always say he came back for the children and he came back for our nation.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are great readers.
DANIELS: Yes, they are.
BUSH: Very impressive.
Thank you all so very much for showing me your reading skills.
DANIELS: It wasn't nervous, "I don't know what to do" nervous. It was, "I've got to do something and I've got to do it now. And I have to leave." And very professional, very considerate, but "I've got a mission right now, and I've got to go and accomplish it."
BUSH: We'll talk about it later.
DANIELS: When he had to leave like he left, I had to explain to them in second grade terms that President Bush had to leave because there was something terrible that had happened in America, and he had to go and attend to business. So, part of us is hurting right now, so he has to go and attend to it.
The time is etched in my memory. The day is etched in my memory. The students are etched in my memory, the president, everybody in the room, they're all etched in my memory. And I see it all the time. I see it all the time.
ZARRELLA: Now, Kay Daniels told me that she's actually written to the president a couple of times, Betty. And she's actually gotten responses, correspondence back from the president. But she would not say what was contained in either her letters to the president or what his responses were -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Well, that's understandable.
Let me ask you this. A lot's been made about the book that they were reading in that classroom. Remind us what it was.
ZARRELLA: Yes. This is it. This is the book.
It was a Story Book 1 Reading Master 2 (ph), and they were actually reading a story called "The Pet Goat," which is on page 153 in this book. And the president actually, as you heard Kay Daniels say, after he was informed by Andrew Card that America was under attack, for a moment he didn't reach down to pick up the book, but then, as you can see in that video, he realizes, I have to get the book. He picks it up, and he starts to follow along with the students who were reading from the first couple of pages of the story, "The Pet Goat" -- Betty.
NGUYEN: CNN's John Zarrella.
Thank you for that.
We do have a developing story that we want to bring you up to speed on. We got some new information.
Remember we told you just a little bit earlier about the Long Beach Airport. Here's some video coming in from KABC.
Are these live pictures coming in?
I believe they are.
What we know so far is that a suspicious package was found in a rental car. Well, what we know now, according to Long Beach Airport officials there, is that the airport is back up and running, and that device, that suspicious package, it was a non-explosive.
There were a bunch of delays a little bit earlier today. In fact, passengers weren't even being allowed into the airport because the proximity of where this car was found, it was taken back to the rental facility. And where the rental facility is, is right next to the airport. So because it's a suspicious package, or at least was, they didn't want to take any -- any kind of -- they wanted to take a lot of precautions, essentially, and make sure that if, indeed, it was an explosive, that it wouldn't affect the airport.
And what we know now is that after some minor delays, this was detonated, and the airport is back up and running. So that's the latest on the situation there in Long Beach, California.
Now, in other news, reaction and response. For most people that process, well, it takes a little time. But on September 11th, some people, they got no time. They had to act in the blink of an eye. And we'll relive that day through the eyes of a man who was in charge of the National Guard.
That's next right here in the NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: One plane, one tower. That was confusing enough. But that second plane, most of us were too stunned to process what was happening. Not my next guest.
Lieutenant General Russ Davis instantly knew he had to get to work. He is retired now, but five years ago he was the man in charge of the National Guard.
We thank you for being with us today.
LT. GEN. RUSS DAVIS, NATIONAL GUARD (RET.): Thank you very much for having me.
NGUYEN: Well, I understand that you weren't at the Pentagon the day of September 11th because of an off-site meeting.
DAVIS: Well, we were at an off-site meeting, as you indicated. And in the middle of the meeting, this gentleman comes in, and he whispers in my ear, "I need to talk to you right away."
Well, it was a pretty important DOD official speaking, so I was a little reluctant to get up in the middle of his remarks, but he said it's really urgent. So I said, "What happened?" He said, "A plane flew into the world trade tower."
So we went outside and we collected all the senior guard...
NGUYEN: All right. Let's just stop right there. When you heard that, tell me, what goes through your mind?
DAVIS: Well, I was alive years ago when a B-25 in bad weather flew into the Empire State Building. And so I thought it might be that.
However, it was beautiful weather all over the entire East Coast. So I knew it wasn't an accident. Hardly. But I didn't have a clue. Didn't know what type aircraft or anything else.
So your worst case didn't (ph) say, well, maybe this is something really bad.
NGUYEN: And so what do you do next?
DAVIS: We went outside -- well, we went outside and we started talking about it. No sooner than we had gotten there and gotten the discussion going, another gentleman walks up and says, "I've got some news," and breaks into the conversation. You can imagine four or five generals around, and he breaks in, a fairly junior guy.
He said, "An airplane flew into the world trade tower." And I said, "We already know that." He said, "A second airplane flew into the second tower."
Now then you know it's not a normal day.
NGUYEN: Absolutely not.
DAVIS: We knew then we had a lot of work to do, so we just adjourned and said, "You go and take care of business." And I had these fairly senior guys with me and I wanted them to go ahead and do what they needed to do to get the job done, to respond properly.
NGUYEN: Well, so where do you start? And I understand that there were only 14 planes on alert for the entire country at the time.
DAVIS: That's correct. And then four in Canada. So a total of 18 airplanes for the entire North American continent.
We knew we needed to do get more airplanes airborne. I was not aware that the airplanes from Wisconsin -- I mean Massachusetts -- were already airborne, as well as the ones from North Dakota flying out of Langley. And they also, out at Andrews, had launched an airplane there to fly over the Pentagon and then down the river because there was an airplane missing headed this way.
It turned out to be United 93. They had lost it on radar.
So we knew we were going to do some additional things there and a lot of other things. We train and prepare in the military for contingency operations. We had never planned quite for anything like this, Betty, to be honest with you. We just didn't anticipate it.
But we worst-case an awful lot of things and we know how to respond. We've got to protect...
NGUYEN: Well, I mean, was there a moment, though, that you had to stop and to process this and figure out, OK, there's a lot going on, a lot of danger out there, we don't know if there's going to be another attack, how do I take this step by step and ensure the safety of Americans?
DAVIS: Well, you get on the phone, and you call and you say, "What are we doing about D.C.?" And because the building we were in, the 77 came right across -- American Airlines 77 came right across the building. And some people were in the parking lot and actually saw it.
I was on the phone talking to my office about the first two in New York when I saw a column of smoke. I asked my office staff, and they said they think it's the Pentagon.
NGUYEN: Oh, wow.
DAVIS: So we knew we were under attack. Our country was under attack.
And what do you do when you're under attack? You respond and defend. That's no different than you would do in any kind of a combat operation. And that's the mindset we developed.
And so we responded, as we were under attack, and we defend, make sure we do everything we can to reduce additional attacks, make sure we take care of the people.
NGUYEN: Well, in that defense -- right. Let me ask you this. Five years later, looking back at the lessons that were learned and looking ahead, do you feel that America is as prepared as it should be to deal with other attacks?
DAVIS: We've done an awful lot. You can never anticipate what the other person will do. If you understand military tactics, one of the things you attempt to do is surprise your adversary.
So it will be an attempt to surprise us. But we do an awful lot of things in the law enforcement arena and the military arena and just throughout the country.
We've got a Homeland Security Department now. Secretary Chertoff has a number of people who work for him, a large number of people, and they are working to try to avoid that and prevent it.
We in DOD -- I say "we," because I was there a number of years -- we do the same thing. We have contingency plans. And we planned a little differently because of the nature of this kind of a war.
A war on terrorism is unexpected. They don't come at us with tanks. We'd defeat them if they did that. So it's going to be kind of asymmetrical, we call it, a little different than what we might expect.
NGUYEN: Got to be on guard.
Lieutenant General Russ Davis, head of the National Guard on September 11, 2001.
We appreciate you sharing a little bit of that moment in time with us today.
DAVIS: Thank you.
NGUYEN: They dealt with tons of concrete and steel, human remains, and their own grief. What it was like to work at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. A man who spent months at the site joins us coming up.
NGUYEN: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, today. She is thanking Canadians because, as you'll recall, many of the flights on September 11th were diverted to Canada.
Take a listen to what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: The people of America will never forget your skill and your professionalism. They will never forget that you made a place for them to be safe in a time of great danger. But more than anything, they will never forget the compassion and the kindness and the kind word and the love that was exhibited for them that day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Again, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thanking Canadians for their help on September 11th.
It is 2:30, almost 2:30 Eastern, and at this point we mark the moment in the 9/11 timeline with one of the first congressional members mentioning war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It will take some time to determine who they are and who supported these attacks, but I think we'll find them out, and they will suffer the full measure of our justice. This is -- this is obviously an act of war that's been committed on the United States of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: While Senator John McCain supported entering Iraq, two years later he said more troops were needed on the ground.
The 9/11 attacks were followed by months of back-breaking work in New York. Workers at Ground Zero faced dangerous conditions and unimaginable scenes of destruction. A port authority police department veteran recalls his experiences at the site in a new book.
"Closure" is the name of it -- "Closure: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Recovery Mission." And retired Lieutenant William Keegan Jr. joins me now from New York.
Thanks for being with us today.
WILLIAM KEEGAN JR., AUTHOR, "CLOSURE": Good afternoon, Betty.
NGUYEN: You arrived at Ground Zero just about this time five years ago. Walk us through what you saw, what you heard, what you felt.
KEEGAN: I left my home in central New Jersey to a barren New Jersey turnpike, which should have been full of cars, but was only full of army camouflaged trucks and ambulances arriving from south Jersey.
As I approached the Holland Tunnel and saw our garage was full of empty cots, I.V. poles and people in white coats, and they weren't doing anything, they were having cigarettes. And it was then that it dawned on me how bad it actually was, that how few survivors maybe had come out of those collapsed towers. As I exited the Holland Tunnel, I saw the dust, the papers flying in the air. I saw the people walking away, and there was very few covered in that white dust. And as I got closer to the World Trade Center, I noticed that all the rescue and recovery workers were walking around with that 1,000-yard stare, looking right through everything, staring out at the horizon.
They were covered in white and only their blue or green of their eyes was showing.
NGUYEN: My. You know, you had worked the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Were you at all, in any way, prepared for what you were going to experience?
KEEGAN: I thought so. As I was driving up the New Jersey Turnpike, I was going through a checklist in my mind of the things I had done in 1993. And I was so ill prepared when I got here because none of those things were pertinent anymore, and that there were going to be new rules here.
And one of those new rules was when Building Seven fell at about 5:00 p.m. And I was about 50 yards away from it. And I looked up to see this large cloud of dust, and I never thought something so large could move so fast. And it was one of the Hennessey (ph) brothers I was with who said , run!
And I still stared at it like a deer in headlights until, finally, my legs kicked in. It felt like a minute, but it was probably only a few seconds. And I started running southbound on West Street.
NGUYEN: Well, let me ask you this. You're sharing stories with us, and that's really what we want to hear, for you to walk us through some of the things that have stuck with you. You worked through twisted steel, you worked through body parts, you spent day in and day out at the Ground Zero site.
What are some of the memories, the moments in time that you have carried with you and still to this day, five years later, some of them that may even haunt you?
KEEGAN: Well, there are some images that haunt me, and I can't get them out of my head, as so many of the rescue recovery workers can't.
I'd like to remember on this day that that's probably the best evacuation of a skyscraper ever to occur in the history of America. Tens of thousands of people's lives were saved by those heroes who went into that building to try to get above fire. And I think we will remember those heroes today.
Some of the images that I saw during my nine months here, the esprit d'corps, the bonding, the support from this nation and especially from New Yorkers, for the rescue recovery workers on a daily basis, whether it be Nino's (ph) Restaurant was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing free food. Whether it was pair of gloves from Iowa from a third grader that had stuck inside them saying, Dear Mr. Rescue Recovery Worker, thanks for your work. I hope this glove keeps you warm and helps you work.
Those are some of the images. My young guys, 22 and 23 years old, uncovering friends of theirs that had been in the academy with them. And seeing them laying in this debris and being able to recover them and pulling a picture out of their pocket that they had been carrying around for months so they could lay it on a flag-draped Scopes (ph) basket, and walking out with their heads high.
That's with a we were here for. It was a sacred mission. We took it that way. There was nothing that could have taken us out of here, not the dangers, not the lengths we went to.
And that's the reason I wrote this book, "Closure", is I wanted people to understand what lengths we went to.
NGUYEN: Well, let's talk about those lengths. Yes, let's talk about those dangers because you worked there for month after month. Do you have any ailments? Are you dealing with post traumatic stress disorder? Do you have survivor's guilt? I mean, what are you going through?
KEEGAN: I would say, to some greater or lesser degree, all of those things, as are my men and women that work for me. I have had those sinus problems. I have had those bronchitis, I have a diminished lung capacity. I have the digestive problems.
But I'm one of the lucky ones. As we've been hearing lately, when Mount Sinai released their report, seven out of ten rescue workers are now suffering pulmonary distress and probably will for the rest of their lives. And now we've heard about cancers.
But one of maybe the untold stories is the post traumatic stress disorders that are coming. This is an insidious disorder because it does not show its face until later, three or five years later. And that's the period we're entering now. And we are starting to see that.
I have friends of mine that will not leave their house. They're medicated. They sit there, a nervous wreck, not being able to sleep. They're all 35, 40-year-old people with vibrant lives ahead of them before they had worked down here. And one of the most difficult things is to hear the denials that nothing has to do with the other.
This is what really bothers the men. There's an isolation that we felt when we bonded down here. And we went back into society -- of course, we were here nine months. We went back to society and felt that isolation, this disconnect. All these denials of what we're going through is just further isolating us. And if there's one number one cause of suicides, it's isolation, where you don't feel as if anyone understands, and there are no answers to your conditions. And that's what my men and women are going through right now, and it's important that we start moving forward. NGUYEN: Well, I'm sure it's probably one of the reasons, too, why you wrote this book, "Closure". And let me just ask you in closing, the Port Authority lost so many people on that day. As we look back, now five years later, how do you think that your friends, your coworkers, the victims of this awful attack would want us as Americans to remember today?
KEEGAN: Well, like I said in the beginning, I want you to remember those heroes that were killed that day and their families. That's foremost. And that's what we tried to do when we came down here. And we didn't ask questions when we walked in here. We knew it was dangerous. Whether the EPA said it or not, we knew it was dangerous down here. The fires were still burning, plastics were burning, benzene and all of these other conditions. We understood that. That's what we do for a living and we do it by nature, not because it's our job, because we're drawn to these jobs, because that's what we do. And it's because of that, now when we walked away, it seems like after that May 30th day, where everyone was applauding us and how much they appreciated, and I believe New Yorkers and this country do, but the leaders need to start making those moves to show their appreciation for what we did, and let's move beyond these denials, and let's start moving toward the solution. No blame, no finger-pointing. Let's just find solutions.
NGUYEN: Lieutenant William Keegan Jr., Port Authority Police Department. We appreciate your time today on this fifth anniversary. Thank you.
KEEGAN: Thank you, Betty.
NGUYEN: Paramedics Michael Martin and Philip Colada (ph) stopped at St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village before heading to Ground Zero, and the lack of ambulance traffic there gave Martin cause for concern. It was the first time that morning he began to realize maybe there were more fatalities than wounded to treat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MARTIN, PARAMEDIC: When we got to St. Vincent's, what I noticed was there were no ambulances there. You know, you have something happening, and St. Vincent's, probably the closest trauma center to the Ground Zero, to the Trade Center, and there were no ambulances there. And I was wondering why there were no ambulances there. They weren't bringing out have any injured, stuff like that. So that's where my perspective lied, getting there and seeing no ambulances in front of St. Vincent's.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: 2:39 Eastern. It was during the next 10 minutes that Mayor Rudy Giuliani would talk about the resiliency of New Yorkers. After being trapped inside a building and walking through the dusty streets, he admits the casualties are enormous.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: The number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear ultimately. And I don't think we want to speculate on the number of casualties. The effort now has to be to save as many people as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Guiliani and New York Governor George Pataki went on to enlist the help of federal troops in the rescue effort.
Well we have arrived at the moment when on 9/11, 2001, the FAA announced that U.S. airspace would be off limits to all but official or military aircraft until at least noon the next day. The Feds had banned takeoffs and ordered quick landings hours earlier. And in some ways, the wounds are still fresh for the airline industry. Though in 2006, the skies are as crowded as ever, if not more. Our meteorologist, Jacqui Jeras, is tracking traffic out there. Hi, Jacqui.
JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Betty. Yes, 9/11 certainly changed the airline industry forever and air traffic as well. There were about 4,500 planes flying in the air at the time that it was issued that they had to cease operation.
I want to show you our flight explorer system because it really gives you a dramatic idea of what things were like and what it looked like. Every single dot that you see here on the map is an airplane or the estimated position of an airplane which is in flight. And look at that high concentration across the eastern parts of the United States. This picture is what it looked like on 9/11. And then it looked like this. So a pretty dramatic difference.
I want to zoom in and show you the northeastern corridor into the megalopolis and show you how many airplanes. There you can actually see all the different planes. We're able to highlight each one and find out where it came from and where it's going. And there you can see the plane that I isolated there was leaving Baltimore and is on its way to JFK.
We'll zoom into New York itself, and the different colors that you see there have to do with the elevation of the airplane. The gray ones that you see are much closer down towards the ground. You know, my husband, Betty, by the way is a pilot and he flies out of the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. And he wasn't in flight that day, but he was in training in the building nearby, and he said when they grounded all the planes, it was like a moment of silence for all the pilots, that it really hit home for them. They had heard about the incident earlier in the day. But when they walked outside, it was incredibly eerie not to hear any kind of air traffic overhead or on the ground.
NGUYEN: We didn't hear a lot of it for many days to come. Jacqui Jeras, thank you.
It was a bad day for Bermuda. The tiny island nation braces for the worst as Hurricane Florence blows by. We have an update ahead on CNN, your hurricane headquarters.
NGUYEN: All right, just imagine being stuck on an island in the middle of the ocean as a hurricane heads your way. That's what they're dealing with in Bermuda today. Winds from Hurricane Florence have been pounding Bermuda for hours, knocking out power to thousands. Our Karl Penhaul is there in all the wind and joins us with a live update. Hi, Karl.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Betty, the worst of this storm seems to be passing now. A hurricane front rolled along the west coast of Bermuda about 40 miles offshore. And that really did seem to save Bermuda from the worst of the hurricane. It came past as a Category 1 hurricane. It never strengthened to the Category 2 stage.
That said, Bermudan police and the Bermudan weather service did report very strong winds. At one point, there were gusts over 100 miles-an-hour and sustained winds close to 90 miles-an-hour.
Now, because of this storm rolling in, some 2,000 tourists found themselves stranded here after the international airport was closed. Most of those tourists are American. But according to the Bermudan police, all seems to have gone well, according to initial reports. There are no reports that anybody was injured in the course of this hurricane, and so far there are only reports of minor, minor damage to trees down. Some roofs being torn up, but no major structural damage. There was at one point very heavy wave action. The surf behind me really swelled up, and the waves were crashing over the cliffs behind. But now the tide is going down a little bit. The winds are dying down. So we're not seeing so much of that heavy surf action now, Betty.
NGUYEN: Good news. No injuries, very little damage. Especially in light of the fact, I want to confirm this with you. Is it true there was only one emergency shelter open there in Bermuda?
PENHAUL: There was only one emergency shelter open. That was a senior high school. The Bermudan authorities said has capacity for all people that would need to be moved. But they said that based on their experience with Hurricane Fabian three years ago, that most people preferred to move in with neighbors and relatives here on the island.
What you'll also remember, Betty is that Bermuda has very strong and stringent construction codes. And most construction codes for the new buildings are very stringently enforced. That means that the buildings are built to withstand hurricanes, and that does, in this case, seems to have been what's happened and obviously the authorities base their planning and emergency planning around those factors as well, Betty.
NGUYEN: Good news there. Karl Penhaul joining us live from Bermuda. Karl, thank you.
Coming up on 2:50 Eastern right now. It was at this moment in time on September 11th, 2001, that President Bush landed in Nebraska on Air Force One. He would spend the next few hours at the strategic air command. Within the next hour, he would conduct a national security briefing.
Well a 9/11 movie in the Hollywood headlines. Brooke, what's on tap?
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Betty. ABC's controversial 9/11 mini-series goes on as planned, but was anybody watching?
And the shocking death of a reality TV star's son. I'm going to have a full report when CNN NEWSROOM returns.
NGUYEN: Well, it's a blessing and a tragedy in the Bahamas for Anna Nicole Smith. An ABC took a lot of heat over its retelling of the run-up to the 9/11 attacks, but did people watch? For all the details, let's turn it over now to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT's" Brooke Anderson.
ANDERSON: Hi there, Betty. Well, despite all the hype, ABC's controversial miniseries, "The Path to 9/11," took a back seat to -- get this -- football.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to have you inflaming tensions with the Yemenis, you understand? This is a fledgling democracy which I have nurtured on behalf of the State Department, and I do not want you coming in here running all my good work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seems to me the bombers of the corps may have ruined a bit of it. I was talking to a petty officer...
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ANDERSON: The highly scrutinized docudrama debuted last night. Now, last week, former President Clinton administration officials were angered over parts of the film that depicted former President Clinton as being too distracted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal to focus on terrorism. ABC told CNN it was not a documentary, but rather a dramatization that included fictionalized events.
Despite calls for ABC to pull the movie, "The Path to 9/11" did, indeed, air and included the depictions that caused the controversy. All the scuffs, however, didn't do much for ABC's ratings. Preliminary reports say NBC's premiere of Sunday night football was left doing the end zone dance, winning the night with an estimated 20.7 million viewers.
ABC and the miniseries finished second, with 13 million viewers. It did, however, fare better than CBS's third airing of its 9/11 documentary, which was seen by an estimated 10.6 million people. Part two of "The Path to 9/11" will air tonight, but will take a 20-minute break at 9:00 Eastern for President Bush to address the nation. And really sad news today from the family of former "Playboy" playmate Anna Nicole Smith. The body of smith's 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith, was found yesterday. This was just three days after Anna Nicole gave birth to a baby girl in the Bahamas. The cause of Daniel Smith's death has not yet been determined. A spokeswoman for TrimSpa, the diet products company that has been endorsed by Smith, declined to provide details, saying only that Smith died, quote, "in his bed." Daniel was in the Bahamas for the birth of the baby.
A photograph of Daniel and mom Anna Nicole, along with this statement, has been posted on Smith's Web site. Quote: "We have yet to learn the cause of death but do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor. Anna Nicole is absolutely devastated by the loss of her son. He was her pride and joy and an amazing human being. Our sincerest condolences go out to their family."
All right, coming up tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," Hollywood versus the terrorists. A rare look at how the government recruited the most creative minds in Hollywood after 9/11 to help prevent another terrorist attack. Plus, Hollywood's biggest stars share their emotional memories of 9/11. It's all on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," 11:00 Eastern.
Betty, back to you.
NGUYEN: Thank you.
We'll be watching, Brooke. Thank you.
Well, the New York Stock Exchange is just blocks away from Ground Zero, and it became a very different place in the days and weeks after the 9/11 attacks. Susan Lisovicz joins us from the NYSE now.
Susan, what's the mood on Wall Street today?
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Betty, I think it's obviously a very solemn day. Five years sounds like a long time, and in some ways it is, because there have been what appear to be permanent changes down on Wall Street since. But if you talk to any trader on this floor who was here on 9/11, you quickly go back to that moment. And a lot of the traders tear up, which is saying quite a bit. It's kind of a macho place, the floor, the trading floor. It's like a giant locker room.
And that's understandable, though, the emotions here, because Wall Street's a very small community. Everybody here knew someone who died that day. And physically, it was an overpowering experience. There are 40-foot windows just beyond the camera where I'm standing, and people could not see outside those windows because of the blizzard of debris that was raining down from the World Trade Center site just three blocks away. The building literally shook when the second plane hit. So a very powerful experience and a life-altering experience for the men and women here -- Betty.
(MARKET REPORT) LISOVICZ: And that is the latest from the New York Stock Exchange, five years after 9/11. CNN NEWSROOM will return in just a moment.
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