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Where Were You on 9/11?

Aired September 11, 2010 - 21:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This just in, you are looking at -- obviously a very disturbing live shot there. That is the World Trade Center and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, one simple question. Many life changing answers. Where were you on September 11th, 2001?




KING: Thanks for joining us. We begin a very special week of coverage with a very different show tonight.

As anyone who watches this program knows, my interviews usually involve a lot of different questions on a lot of different topics. Tonight we're asking only one thing. Where were you on September 11th?

The answers, as you'll hear, are as individual as the people giving them. Some will come from those who experienced 9/11 terror firsthand, others from people that watched events unfold from a distance, caught up in shock and grief.

Stories of personal and, in the case of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, a little prophetic.


KING: You were right here when the Pentagon --


KING: And someone told me that you had spoken to a congressional delegation?

RUMSFELD: Right here in this room.

KING: In this room about terrorism that morning? RUMSFELD: I had said -- I had an 8:00 breakfast -- that sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, 10, 12 months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong, healthy Defense Department that contributes to -- that underpins peace and stability in our world.

And that is what underpins peace and stability is the fact we can't have healthy economies and active lives unless we live in a peaceful, stable world. And I said that to these people.

And someone walked in and handed a note and said that a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. And we adjourned the meeting and I went in to get --

KING: Next door --

RUMSFELD: The CIA briefing right next door here and the whole building shook within 15 minutes. And it was a jarring thing.

KING: And you ran toward the smoke?


KING: Because?

RUMSFELD: Oh, goodness. Who knows? I wanted to see what had happened. I wanted to see if people needed help. And went downstairs and helped for a bit with some people on stretchers. Let me think. And then I came back up here and started to realize I had to get back up here and get at it.

COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I was in Lima, Peru, meeting --

KING: Watching it. Somewhere else.

POWELL: I was with the president of Peru. President Toledo. At breakfast. We were having a meeting talking about economic issues, talking about how he wanted a better trading relationship with the United States, when the notes came in.

I got my note just a little before he was being handed a note. And when I saw the note and realized there were two planes --

KING: That's what it said?

POWELL: It said two planes, first a jet and a prop plane. It's always -- the first report is always a little off. But when I saw it was two, I immediately said it wasn't an accident. It had to be a terrorist incident.

And then within a few moments after that other notes came in and the magnitude of the disaster was obvious. And we -- our meeting was about to finish. I was in Peru for an Organization of the American States meeting to pass a charter of democracy for the western hemisphere.

And so I went to that meeting while my plane was being readied. I canceled the rest of my trip. While my plane was being readied I went to that meeting and received the condolences from all of my colleagues in the Organization of American States -- 34 nations.

And then they rose and applauded and then we -- by unanimity, we all stood up and endorsed this charter for democracy as a response to the terrorists.

JOHN ASHCROFT, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: I was flying to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I received --

KING: You were on an airplane?

ASHCROFT: I was in an airplane. We landed the plane, refueled, and then came back to Washington, D.C. And we were one of the planes that came back with a fighter escort and landing in a setting which was very troublesome.

I could see the smoke from the Pentagon from about 50 miles out. And it was a very distressing thing, obviously. It's not nearly as distressing for me to have witnessed that as it was for the people and the families whose lives were destroyed in that attack.

But it obviously is very disconcerting to return to this city in a setting where the kind of attack which had been launched on America was still under way.

LAURA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: I was in Senator Kennedy's office. I had gone over to brief the education committee on the results of a summit I'd had earlier in the summer about early childhood education.

Actually I heard as I got in the car about the first plane but, of course, we thought then it was maybe just some strange accident and then by the time we heard about the second plane, I was there in his office.

KING: Did they rush right -- did they rush you right back to get you on to --

L. BUSH: No, we stayed there, actually, for a long time. And it was -- he and Senator Judd Gregg came in, who was also on the education committee. He is a very good friend of mine and of the president. And we stayed there for quite some time -- until we got the word that they were evacuating the Capitol as well as the White House.

KING: It's interesting a Kennedy and a Bush together.

L. BUSH: I know it. Exactly. And I thought about that at the time, of course. I knew how he had been so -- our whole country was so impacted by his brother's death, but how personally that that must have been for him and then to be with him on that -- on such a day.

LYNNE CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT RICHARD CHENEY'S WIFE: I spent that day down in the Emergency Operation Center, the president's center, down under the White House, watching it.

KING: Is that Colin's bunker?

L. CHENEY: Well, that -- no, it's a word that I use. It's called the PEOC. The Presidential Emergency Operations Center.

KING: And who was there?

L. CHENEY: Dick. I went down with him. Condee Rice was there most of the day. People came in and out. Norman (INAUDIBLE) was there for a long time. The FBI had -- the CIA had dropped in and out. We were in television contact with different offices.

KING: How many -- Lynne, how many different moods -- you know, I guess there's rage, anger. What happened those moments? What was going on?

L. CHENEY: You know, at the time everyone was just cool and professional.

KING: Really?

L. CHENEY: Yes. Of course, you know, there were gasps when the towers went down, but, really, so little display of emotion in that room and it was exactly right that there wasn't.

I've since, though, had a chance to look at some photographs that were taken and people have the most devastated looks on their faces.

KING: Where were you when you heard of the first crash?

GEORGE PATAKI, FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: I was in the city and I got a call to turn on the television. There was a plane hit the World Trade Center and then I saw the second one and immediately called the White House.

And spoke with the president in a very short period of the time and urged him to shut down the airspace around New York and they immediately shut down the airspace around the country.

Who knows what else may have happened if the president hadn't taken that step.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: When I first found out about it, I was just finishing a breakfast at the Peninsula Hotel in Midtown, Manhattan. I was notified that there was a -- that something had struck the World Trade Center.

And the first notification was that it was a twin-engine plane. So we rushed down -- we rushed down to the Trade Center and on the way down we found out that it was a large plane and while we were going down the second plane hit, and maybe about three minutes before we got there -- and I realized at that point that it was a terrorist attack when the second plane hit.

When I have time I reflect on it and I look at the devastation and just a minute ago as I was walking in here I said to someone, I cannot believe that someone actually did this to New York City, that they did this to our city.

How could they attack two buildings and we have, you know, 5,000 to 6,000 people missing? That's one of the -- you know, largest military attacks in history.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mayor, what's the situation right now?

GIULIANI: The situation is that two airplanes have attacked apparently -- what?


GIULIANI: All right. Well, then let's get -- let's go north then.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you especially know what happened to the airplanes?



GIULIANI: Come with us. Come with us.




It's 8:52 in here New York. I'm Bryant Gumbel. We understand that there has been a plane crash on the southern tip of Manhattan. You're looking at the World Trade Center. We understand that a plane has crashed into the World Trade Center.


KING: Pictures no one will ever forget, particularly not the people who reported the events of September 11th were stunned and terrified the nation. Following a summer when sharks and Chandra Levy dominated headlines, the 9/11 attacks gave American journalists a renewed sense of purpose.


DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS: We were getting ready to sign off, Charlie and I, and in our ear they say those words, hold on a second, and then the next thing they say, it appears a plane may have crashed into the World Trade Center.

And we did exactly what everybody in the country did, I think, watching it, you enter this state of sort of consecutive denials and you think, well, it must have been a tragic accident by an amateur pilot. And then you see the next plane coming you think, well, that must be a fire retardant plane. No, no, that must be a plane coming to help, and it takes a long time to compute that this is the thing we have never seen before and we had a wonderful reporter -- Don Dahler -- on the air from the scene itself and he said this is the sound of shrieking like a missile.

This is like a plane being used as a missile. And we knew. We knew.

PETER JENNINGS, FORMER ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: I think in many ways people are always keen to know what our own personal feelings were at the time. I really think in some respects that people like us at moments like that are protected somewhat from having emotional reactions.

KING: You're working.

JENNINGS: Because you're so focused and you're so working so hard.

KING: Does it set in later?

JENNINGS: Yes. But in that week, you know, it set in. It came and went. For me there was one very tough moment in the middle of the day. I turned around on the desk behind me and there was a message from my children. They're saying they called.

My son goes to school in California and my daughter school in Massachusetts. And I -- and I just lost it. In fact, I even lose it sometimes telling the story and I turned around to the audience and I said, now we've all got to talk to our children. We must talk -- you must call your children.

And that was the only moment that I just thought, hey, get it together, Jennings. You're losing it here.

So we have four major commercial aircraft which have been involved in either accidents or violence today.

TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: I remember it was such a beautiful day. You know, it was clear and crisp and it was Election Day in New York. So on the way running through the lobby I said to somebody -- one of my neighbors -- did you hear what happened? He said, the election is not over already, is it? I said, no, no, there's a plane that's hit the World Trade Center.

By the time I got a cab headed downtown, the second plane, then I heard the account of that happening. And it was a reporter that I knew on radio and he was describing it as an airliner and other people at Washington Square Park were describing the low flyover, and I knew that we were -- then had been a terrorist attacked. That there was a terrorist attack.

KING: Did you also know the world had changed?

BROKAW: I knew the world had changed.

It is just beginning I suspect for a lot of people to fully sink in about what we're going through and we are just halfway through this day.

KING: How far do you live from where you work?

DAN RATHER, FORMER ANCHOR, CBS NEWS: Well, 20 minutes when I've sort of gotten along. It took me about 12 minutes that morning.

KING: And what was that ride like?

RATHER: Well, I was listening to the radio, taking telephone calls, and I could see when I came to -- our broadcast center is between 10th and 11th Avenue, and 10th Avenue I did a stop to take a look and couldn't see much. Could see smoke coming out and also traffic was beginning to stack up and people were beginning to come back from that area not yet in great waves but, as any reporter would have said, this is huge. This is really huge.

And then made -- you know for about three nanoseconds I thought, wow, you know, Dan, the best thing is to get right to the heart of the story. And I thought about, you know, going down. I thought, no, I'd better get inside because there'll be a lot of anchoring to do.

The word of the day is steady. Steady. Yes, there have been some terrible things happening, but until and unless we know the facts it's very difficult to draw many conclusions.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS: It was very strange. At one point I wrote a note to Charlie Gibson. He had done something. And I wrote a note commending him and he said, isn't it great to be back in the news business again? Isn't it terrible the reason we are?

KING: Do you remember your first thoughts?

WALTERS: You just knew that something horrible had happened.

KING: You were numb, right?

WALTERS: Yes. You know, you just -- this is not possible. And then of course -- it's bad enough to see it but then to see that building coming down and not even being able to imagine how are they getting out? What are they doing? What is happening?

And to have to record it, I thought the anchors of all of the networks, in CNN, everybody, they just did a fantastic job keeping everybody -- as much addressed as we could.

ANDY ROONEY, CBS "60 MINUTES": I was in my office, West 57th Street. We have a window that looks directly south. We could not-- not actually see the building but we could see the smoke and everything.

KING: Do you remember what your first thoughts were?

ROONEY: Well, I thought it was a plane that had -- a small plane that somebody had lost control of. It didn't occur to me that it was a terrorist attack.

KING: And when you learned -- when the second plane went in obviously --

ROONEY: Became immediately apparent.

KING: Did you realize then that this world is upside-down?

ROONEY: Well, I'm not a quick realizer of things like that.


KING: You were slow.



KING: Well, what did you think?

ROONEY: I just sat there looking at television, sort of dumb, and thought how horrible it was. I had the grand aspects of it, did not occur to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in Florence the day that the -- September 11th. We got back here as fast as we could. But that was the first plane out was the following Sunday.

KING: What was it like for you to come back to New York?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we came back and we had a personal experience. We have an apartment down by the United Nations that overlooks the East River and looks downtown.

Normally you could barely see a corner of the World Trade buildings down there. When we came back we could just see a great cloud of smoke and in the evening the red glow of fire still burning.

But we opened our windows. The apartment had been closed for the day. We had to shut them instantly. The fumes were so bad and we -- we're probably three miles north of the --

KING: Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was not pleasant.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A lot of people getting off the island right now.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Right now they're walking. A lot of people are getting up to the bridges and they're working over the 59th Street Bridge. They're walking over the Brooklyn Bridge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Long Island Railroad, we need service. New Jersey. You want to get to New Jersey, folks. You have to go to 34th and 11th into Jacobs Javits Center. Your only chance to getting to New Jersey. The Long Island Railroad limited service. See the subways. It's not working.



TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's just hard even to co contemplate the utter carnage and terror which has engulfed so many innocent people.

PRES. JACQUES CHIRAC, FRANCE (Through Translator): It is with enormous emotion that France has just learned of these monstrous attacks. There is no other word that has struck the United States of America.

YASSER ARAFAT, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: God help them. God help them. God help them.

ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: In this most difficult hour, all Israelis stand as one with the American people.


KING: Tonight we're asking one question, where were you on 9/11? Some of the most dramatic answers have come from the many world leaders we've talked with, leaders as of present and past.


KING: Where were you on 9/11, Mr. President?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Australia. But I had an unusual experience because my former staff member, Cheryl Mills and Bruce Lindsey, were in Cheryl's office down in Tribeca with a full view of the World Trade Center. So they called me between the time of the first tower was hit and the time the second tower was hit and talked me through it.

KING: Were you watching it, too?

CLINTON: I later -- I turned it on but I was downtown in a little town of Port Douglas where I had taken my family for vacation after the '96 election.

KING: Did you come right back?

CLINTON: I did. The White House was kind enough to give me military transport and I left the next day and got home as quickly as I could.

KING: What goes through the mind the immediate former president watching this?

CLINTON: I remember exactly what happened. Bruce Lindsey said to me on the phone, my god, a second plane has hit the tower, the second tower. And I said bin Laden did this. That's the first thing I said.

He said, how can you be sure? I said because only bin Laden and the Iranians could set up a network to do this and they wouldn't do it because they have a country and targets. Bin Laden did. KING: Did you also think at the same time we came pretty close to getting him?

CLINTON: Yes. I thought that my virtual obsession with him was well faced and I was full of regret that I didn't get him. I mean I immediately thought that he had done it.

KING ABDULLAH, JORDAN: I was in the air over Nova Scotia when we first started to hear the news.

KING: What did you do?


KING: Where were you going?

KING ABDULLAH: We were coming to the United States. I was actually coming to Los Angeles and we were going to see the president a few days after that and then up to the United Nations Security Council.

And it didn't dawn on us right away. I mean a plane had gone into the building. We didn't realize the extent. And I remember going to the cockpit and turning on the BBC World Service and it began to slightly dawn on us the extent of the catastrophe.

And we headed home. We realized it was not the right time to burden the American administration with another guest.

BLAIR: I was literally just about to give a speech. In fact, I was about to address our Trade Union Congress, and it's one of those events, obviously, you will never forget where you were and what you were doing at the time. And I just watched -- watched it with a sense of shock and disbelief, frankly.

KING: Did you know that there were that many Britishers in that building?

BLAIR: We didn't know, Larry, for sure. But I mean it was obvious that because it was a major financial center there would be British people there. And, in fact, the numbers of British people killed make it the worst terrorist incident in terms of British people that there's been.

PRES. HOSNI MUBARAK, EGYPT: Of course when I saw this incident on the television, I was sitting by chance -- listening to one of the channel so I saw this plane coming to the -- one of the towers, I couldn't believe it. At the beginning I thought maybe something, a dream. Then after some time I changed the channel to CNN. Another tower.

Really it was shocking. I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought a nightmare. I was wondering how could something like this could happen in the United States.



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country.

Freedom was attacked by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended. 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."


KING: Welcome back. Tonight just one question on LARRY KING WEEKEND. Where were you on 9/11?

In answering, I guess it's inevitable some of the people would make comparisons to another terrible day still etched in our memories.


KING: Where were you that morning?


KING: Do you remember how you first -- was the television on or?

KENNEDY: Yes, it was, and then I think I was on the phone with my husband who's downtown so --

KING: Was he anywhere near there?

KENNEDY: No. Not too near but you could say he was --

KING: You know, you've lived with shock your life, literally. Your life has been a series of shocks. What was that like for you?

KENNEDY: Well, just -- I think everybody just -- obviously was just horrified and I think that the -- you know, the loss was so overwhelming but I think it did bring people together and that was something that that was really an extraordinary thing.

ANN RICHARDS, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: To tell you the truth, the first thing I thought, Larry, was what I thought when I was in Dallas and John Kennedy was killed. I thought I've got to get home.

And whatever home means to you, your instinct is that I've got to get to the place where I feel safe, where I feel protected, where I know there are people who love me, and the more I thought about it, in reality America is my home.

I've always thought of home as being that little country place where I grew up. But the reality is that this whole nation means so much to us, and we don't really think about it or realize it until something happens like that travesty on 9/11.

BOB DOLE, FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: I was on my way for a little physical checkup at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington. I just walked out the door of the apartment building. I live in Watergate South. And the doorman had said you know there had been a plane that flown into a building in New York.

And I said, well, that's a terrible thing. And we didn't know of course the enormity of it or -- until we arrived at the hospital and I learned more about it and the second plane and it's sort of like other days that will be -- you know, that's going to be etched in our memory forever. And this is certainly an important one.

BETTY FORD, FORMER FIRST LADY: Actually we were in Beaver Creek at our home up in Colorado. And my husband --

KING: You both?

FORD: Yes. My husband had gone out to swim and came back from the pool and normally we don't have television on in the morning, only in the evening when we're watching LARRY KING.


FORD: But -- the television was on and I heard all this noise and racket and I quick turned -- I was upstairs and I quick turned the television on to see what happened and I couldn't figure out where it was. I knew this was a terrible tragedy but I didn't know where it was.

KING: How was the president?

FORD: He was just totally stunned by the whole effect. He couldn't believe this could happen in our country.

MARIAN PEARL, JOURNALIST DANIEL PEARL'S WIDOW: I was in Patna. This is -- that's in Bihar that's like the most remote and medieval state of India. I was doing a story there.

KING: Was Daniel with you?

PEARL: Yes. Absolutely. He was with me.

KING: How did you hear about it?

PEARL: Well, we were coming back from this march. We were following a disciple of Gandhi who was going in their most dangerous area of India, and just walking. You know, and having all these villagers following him that we were watching.

KING: You like stuff like this, huh?


KING: Anyway, so how did you hear?


PEARL: And then we went back to the hotel and put the TV on and so like in the middle age there and we saw, like going like in the medieval state there, and we saw the first World just collapse, you know, in front of us. It was like pretty real. That's how we found out.

KING: Did Daniel immediately get on the phone --


PEARL: First, yes.

KING: Got to go cover this?

PEARL: Yes, yes.

KING: Got to be part of the story.

PEARL: Oh, yes. He's South Asia bureau chief. He was the South Asia bureau chief so you know -- Afghanistan was not exactly part of his beat, but Pakistan was.


KING: Back with more of where were you on 9/11 after this.


KING: We're back on this ninth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Here's more of "Where Were You?


KING: Where were you -- what -- tell us the situation on September 11th. You have offices -- give us the situation regarding you and that building.

SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF NEW YORK: Well, we had an office on the 101st floor which is part of Cantor Fitzgerald, and Howard Lutnick has been very, very good to Chances for Children for many years now, and indeed to children in crisis in Milan and in London.

And I was just coming out of the "Good Morning America" studios and I looked up and Johnny, my assistant, said, you know, an airplane has gone into our office on the 101st floor. I just couldn't believe it. There's a clear blue sky. I said it simply wasn't possible.

And then I realized, of course, it's a terrorist attack and then -- you know, and then I just, like, couldn't believe it because we lost many friends in the building.

KING: So the television is on, you're seeing the buildings, both in disaster mode, and you're talking to your wife who's just been hijacked?


KING: And she says?

TED OLSON, WIFE BARBARA DIED ON 9/11: She says we've just been hijacked. She told me that they did -- they did not know she was making this phone call. She told me that she had been herded to the back of the plane. She mentioned that they had used knives and box cutters to hijack the plane.

Mentioned that the pilot had announced that the plane had been hijacked, I believe she said that. And she -- I had to tell her about the two airplanes that had hit the World Trade Center.

KING: Why?

OLSON: I just felt that I had to. I had to tell her.

LISA BEAMER, HUSBAND TODD WAS FLIGHT 93 HERO: I was walking out the door to go to the grocery store and the phone rang and it was a friend asking Todd was OK and where he was. She knew he was flying that morning. And I had no idea what she was talking about. And she told me the World Trade Center had been hit with an airplane.

And I mean I turned the TV and, of course, like every American I was just shocked and knew the day wasn't going to turn out anything like I expected and just glued to the TV.

KING: So the second plane hit.

BEAMER: So the second plane hit and I still hadn't any thought that Todd was involved. I wanted to talk to him because I think everyone wanted to connect --

KING: Were they giving you flight information then of where the plane was going? Did you know --

BEAMER: I didn't know what flight he was on. I knew he was going to San Francisco. The crash in Pennsylvania came on the TV and at that point I was very concerned. I knew that's the direction that his flight would have been going and the timing was about right.

And initially they said it was a flight that was bound to Chicago, so I thought, OK, we're off the hook with that one. And a few minutes later they came back on and said it was on Newark to San Francisco bound flight, on United.

KING: Did you know then?

BEAMER: I knew immediately and I was standing behind the couch looking at the TV and I just remember, I yelled no. And my friend was there. I said, you know, it's OK. You know maybe he's on a different flight. We don't know anything yet. And I said, no, this is his flight. And I had already seen the pictures and I knew that no one was walking away from that plane.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP) KING: Lisa Beamer's husband Todd was of course one of the heroes of Flight 93. We haven't heard as much about some of the other victims of the 9/11 attacks and this week we want to remember them and the people they left behind.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He worked long hours and e-mail was a good way for us to just kind of touch each other in the day. And I sent him an e-mail at 8:47 and within the subject line it said "Ily Nt" or I love you, no text. I just felt like I had to tell him that I was thinking about him at that minute.

And I don't know why. And I turned on the TV and I saw what had happened. And I made this moan four times and my 3-year-old son saw me and said, what's wrong?

I'm just really glad that he had -- his last week of his life was with his kids. And I sat them down and I just said daddy is not coming home. Daddy died.

I don't know how old your kids have to be, but that has to be the hardest thing.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was respectful, intelligent, courteous, caring. Always went out of his way for you.

My sister Maria got in touch with James twice. She asked him, where was he? He was on the 105th floor. My sister asked him if he was alone. He said no, I'm not alone. There's a lot of people here. They were stuck.

And at the same time that my younger sister and I were running for our lives, my younger brother James Cartier, 26 years old, was losing his.

There's no closure. There's nothing. There's a giant void, an emptiness that will never, ever be filled.


KING: Tonight asking just one question, where were you on September 11th? Many entertainers make careers out of playing out dramas. On 9/11 they watched with us all as a horrific drama was being played out in real life.


CELINE DION, SINGER: I was Rosemary. It's near Montreal. I was at my parents' place.

KING: Were you up or do they have to wake you?

DION: We were up and we were watching --

KING: Television.

DION: Television. And of course like everybody else --

KING: Was the baby with you?

DION: No, the baby was sleeping. And like everybody else we thought it was a nightmare, and it is a nightmare, but we thought it was not real. We got very nervous about what we were seeing on television and I started to cry and I said I can't believe how we can raise children in this world?

I ran downstairs and looked at my son sleep. I came back up and I said -- I answered to myself, I know why.

JODIE FOSTER, ACTRESS: It was the first day of my son's preschool. I was asleep and was quickly awakened by it and watching TV like everyone else.

KING: What were your first thoughts?

FOSTER: Yes, I just couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it. Just couldn't. Just impossible to believe.

KING: Did you -- did the boy go to school?

FOSTER: Yes, he did. Did I tell him about it? Absolutely not.

KING: What do you think of the aftermath of it, all that's gone on?

FOSTER: Well, it's an amazing time in American history, it really is. For -- there's a part of us that's -- all of us, that are so proud of New York City and people in Washington and how they've reacted, of the community feeling, but also this horrible feeling that we in some ways are -- Americans are like these beautiful children that are kept from really seeing what's out there.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I was in my house and -- here in L.A. and woke up with the kids. That's where I was.

KING: The kids?

CRUISE: Yes. The kids.

KING: And did they see it when you saw it?

CRUISE: Yes, they did.

KING: Reaction?

CRUISE: They didn't understand. They didn't quite get it. So I just -- with everything going on, I sat down and I just told them that they're safe, that they're going to be OK and, you know, not to worry about it. And then we just kept them away from the television. They're young kids. We just kept them away from the television and just talked to them about there are some very bad people in the world and -- not a lot of them, not a lot of bad people in the world but very -- you know --

KING: What did Tom Cruise think?

CRUISE: I was furious.

KING: Angry?

CRUISE: I was so angry. I was absolutely furious.


KING: When we come back, an appropriate close for tonight's show. Allen Jackson performs in concert, "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?

Stay with us.


KING: Alan, how did you -- how did you come to write "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning"?

ALAN JACKSON, SINGER: Well, Larry, it just -- it just came out of nowhere in the middle of the night. I played a show earlier that night. I flew home and I was laying in bed. At about 3:00 in the morning I woke up and the chorus was just literally running through my head, the melody and the lyrics.

And I got up in my underwear an went downstairs and put it on a little digital recorder so I knew if I didn't, I'd forget it by morning and wrote down -- I mean, I recorded some of the verses as well and got up the next day and finished writing the verses for the song.

So it was just a gift from God, I believe.

KING: And when you perform it, as we're going to see in a minute, are the crowd's reactions always the same? I mean is this a real emotional occurrence?

JACKSON: Yes, it's a very moving part of the show. It's really a difficult song to mix in -- it changes the whole mood of the show. I had to really kind of rethink my show schedule when we started doing the song live in concert but the crowd reaction is always amazing. It's very emotional and uplifting. And it's a little nervous for me every time. It really moves me as well.

KING: Especially more on emotion tonight, Alan, you're in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, kind of a suburb of Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania, not far from where that flight went down on 9/11. That's going to add something for tonight, isn't it?

JACKSON: I know and I had the opportunity to sing on the streets of New York and it was really moving to be there where the towers were and this is the first time I've played this close to the crash site, as far as I know.

And so, you know, people sometimes tend to forget about the Pentagon and where this plane went down and I always try to remember that that was as well a big part of that tragedy.

KING: Alan, we wish you the best of continued success. Good luck with the album "Drive" and thanks so much for closing the show for us tonight.

JACKSON: Larry, thanks again for having us. We appreciate it. We'll see you on CNN.

KING: You're a good man. We're in the song, too.

Here is Alan Jackson to close it out singing "Where Were You" and he's on stage in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.