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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
9/11: 10 Years Later
Aired September 11, 2011 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning to you.
The sun is peeking through the skyscrapers here in Lower Manhattan in New York City. Ten years ago, at this moment, it was a day just like this, a day like any other -- except for the two towers, 110 stories, that for nearly 30 years defined this skyline, this city, this country.
Today, a decade after the buildings fell, a different landscape emerges. Memories are enshrined, alongside new towers rising to new and greater heights.
Good morning. We'd like to welcome our viewers here in the United States watching and around the world to CNN's special coverage commemorating the tenth anniversary of the attacks on 9/11.
I'm Anderson Cooper. I'm proud to be here, alongside my CNN colleague, Candy Crowley, who is on CNN "STATE OF THE UNION," normally, is seen each Sunday.
What an incredibly gorgeous morning it is here.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. And, you know, you should never be afraid of a beautiful morning, and yet we saw 10 years ago --
COOPER: How quickly that can change.
CROWLEY: So, love it, but it's also just so eerily reminiscent of that day that was so cloudless, and in both, by the way, Washington, D.C. and in New York City and Shanksville -- the places that were hit.
This is a day to me and we want to move forward and talk about the resilience of a country. This is a gorgeous place, what's shaping up here. We saw the memorial fountains. But it's just a day that sort of like, it's bricks on your chest.
COOPER: Yes. I'm coming down here and New York is obviously -- the streets are largely empty of traffic. It's early in the morning on Sunday and that's not surprising, but given the security concerns as well, I think a lot of people are kind of staying off the streets and I took a subway down here, and you just see so many family members -- family members who lost their loved ones that day, some are wearing t-shirts with pictures of the loved ones that they lost. They have all gathered here or gathering around in the streets around this area, for what is just going to be an extraordinary day of remembrances -- as Candy said, not just here in New York, but also in Shanksville and the Pentagon.
CROWLEY: Nearly 3,000 people died that day, fellow Americans as well as people from other countries around the world working here at the World Trade Center at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, because we know New York City was not the only city that suffered on 9/11.
Soon after the second plane hit the South Tower here in New York and we realized there was no accident. Word came of the attack in Pentagon and the crash in rural Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Those locations have ceremonies of their own this morning.
We have our Wolf Blitzer and John King covering those. We'll here from them in just a moment.
But, first, here's what we can expect to see today in New York City, the ceremony begins in 30 minutes. Family members of the victims will read the names of every person lost that day, those who died here in New York, as well as in Washington and Pennsylvania. Plus, those who died during the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
We will also hear from President Obama and former President George W. Bush. This is not a day for political speeches, we are told, but for reflections.
Today also is the day the World Trade Center Memorial opens. Family members will be seeing the names of their loved ones etched in stone for the very first time.
COOPER: And just look at those images -- I mean, there was so much contention over the years about what should be done at the site, and it is -- I think all that, especially on a day like that, has been put aside, and to actually see progress finally after so many years. There's been so much frustration. But then you look at these images, those giant reflecting pools, beautifully designed.
It wasn't clear how the design was going to work, but when you see them, not only during the day but at night, and they are approximately 200 feet in length on each of the side of the memorial pool. There's two of them. You are looking, I believe, at the north one right now. The design is called Reflecting Absence, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker.
But throughout the day, as the light changes, the reflection of the water changes as well. At night, it almost looks like the water sometimes is going the opposite direction, like it's going up. It's really extraordinary.
CROWLEY: And it is. And what I think you can see here, because here is this beautiful sort of park-like area. It has all the trees in it that soften up some of the hardscape that you see with the fountains. But immediately surround it are the working buildings.
COOPER: Right. CROWLEY: Buildings that people are going to work here. And that's what they struggled with, as you well know, all of these 10 years, was how do you integrate what some people see as hollowed ground into the busy downtown area?
COOPER: And as you said, the family members will be seeing the names of their loved ones names etched for the first time by these memorials. And it's really interesting, the way they decided the grouped the names, there are meaningful adjacencies that they've used. So, basically, people who worked in Cantor Fitzgerald, if the families wanted those names would be grouped together, the idea that in remembrance, they were together as they were in death.
CROWLEY: It's a beautiful memorial. But as we mentioned, ceremonies will be happening simultaneously at the other attack sites this morning.
Our colleague, Wolf Blitzer, is outside the Pentagon with a preview of what will happen there -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It will be an emotional ceremony here at the Pentagon, Candy and Anderson. There's no doubt about that.
One hundred and eighty-four victims died right behind me at the Pentagon exactly 10 years ago when that American Airlines Flight 77 which took off from Washington Dulles Airport, scheduled to fly to LAX, to Los Angeles, and instead made an unexpected U-turn, five hijackers commandeered that plane, forced to fly right here to the Pentagon, 184 people were killed, 125 victims at the Pentagon and 59 people onboard.
There's a Pentagon Memorial that is there, and exactly at 9:37 a.m. Eastern, there will be a moment of silence. The formal ceremony will be at 9:30. Among those speaking will be the vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, the secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mike Mullen, will also be speaking.
Later this afternoon, after the president visits New York and Shanksville, he'll come here to the Pentagon to lay a wreath. This is one of those days that a lot of us will remember. Certainly, all of us remember exactly where we were 10 years ago when we got word of this horrible, horrible, hijacking series of events. Those five hijackers commander that American Airlines flight and forced it to fly right here at the Pentagon, behind me.
The moments of silence will be very, very powerful. We'll have live coverage, Candy, throughout the morning here at the Pentagon. We'll remember, we'll reflect at that Pentagon Memorial, those 184 benches that have the names of the victims on each one of those illuminated benches.
There will also be a memorial service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and that's where John king is standing by -- John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, Wolf, good morning to you and everybody watching in the United States and around the world.
The Pentagon, where Wolf is, is the center, the highlight, a symbol of American power. The World Trade Center, of course, is the symbol of America's great economy, and capitalist system.
Why tiny Shanksville, Pennsylvania? How has it made its way into the history books in the legacy of 9/11? Because of the heroism of 40 people who simply refused to let their hijacked jetliner be diverted to Washington where countless more could have been killed if the terrorists had struck their desired target, which the government believes was the United States Capitol.
So, here, in tiny rural Shanksville, you see the memorial behind me to those 40 people, their plane crashed here in a fireball because they fought back aboard the plane. Their heroism will be honored today as the ceremonies continue.
You see on that marble wall, 40 panels, the names of each of the 40 passengers and crew on United Flight 93 etched into that monument there.
As the ceremony plays out today, remember, this is not just a memorial, it is the final resting place. The plane crashed so violently with so much jet fuel aboard it the remains sadly was not able to be recovered fully. This is not just a memorial. It is a burial ground and a solemn, solemn, hollowed place.
The president of the United States will be here. First, though, at 10:03, a moment of silence. That is when Flight 93 crashed into this field, in this tiny remote town in central Pennsylvania.
The president of the United States will be here for the ceremony. He will not speak, but he will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony. And he will meet with the families.
Those families return to this site quite frequently. They were here yesterday for the dedication of this solemn memorial. The president will spend time with them today as he makes his way to all three of the big sites.
And, Anderson Cooper, as I bring it back to you in New York, the connection of these three sites, as part of our history, the World Trade Center
KING: -- the Pentagon, this tiny little town in Pennsylvania, on this day when we remember and reflect each of us, where we were that morning, it is striking how in just a moment in each of the few places, as you mentioned, a perfect, crisp September morning turned horrible.
COOPER: And I want to show you, John, President Obama, his wife, Michelle, former President Bush and his wife, Laura, are now at the site here. You are looking at live pictures. You are seeing them as we are seeing them as they were walking around the memorial grounds, and are walking by these extraordinary reflecting pools.
Really hard to get a sense of the scale of the moments coming from the television images, but they are truly enormous, 200 feet on each side approximately
As they pause to reflect, let's watch.
CROWLEY: I am assuming, Anderson, what we are looking at are the two -- one former president and the current president greeting some of the family members that have been involved, and a lot of them have been, in putting not just this day but this site back together again, striking that balance that we talked about earlier.
COOPER: That's Lee Ielpi, one of the fathers of the firefighters lost here at ground zero. He has been a regular presence here over the years. He was a former firefighter himself. He was able to stay and work on the site, on the pile as it was called then, searching for the remains of his son, and he was there when his son was found as well.
CROWLEY: Yes, some of these faces are familiar as we go down the line.
Behind them, the politicians that we saw quickly as we went by, and it's a day of politicians to kind of be in the background. Obviously, these presidents were at the Shanksville dedication. They had their first day at that memorial where they talked -- where Vice President Biden and President Clinton, I believe, both talked about President Obama and President Bush, two very different men dealing with the same problem and thanked them both for, quote, "keeping the nation safe since 9/11."
There you see the president with Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey. He was not the governor of New Jersey when 9/11 happened, but an enormous number of New Jersey residents died.
COOPER: Former Governor Pataki will be here. I imagine he's down there. We're not seeing him just yet. Their former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, was obviously mayor of New York.
COOPER: We're seeing the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
Throughout our coverage today, I just want to know, we're going to be trying to quite talk as little as possible. The smallness of our words are quite evident compared to the greatness of this memorial and of the sounds of the water. So, we want you to hear the sounds and see the sites and absorb them as you will throughout this morning. We thought that's appropriate.
And also during the coverage this morning, you're going to notice the bottom of your screen, the names of the 2,983 people who died at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and at Shanksville. And you'll also see the names of those people who died in first bombing of the World Trade Center back 1993. Those people who died back in 1993 are also -- their names are also included in this memorial, etched in stone down at the World Trade site. Because of the events, in the past few days, everyone has a lot of questions about security, of course, on this anniversary. There are always questions about security.
Security here in New York City is extraordinary tight today. Obviously, there have been credible threats, according to the U.S. authorities, credible threats, though several days ago, they were unconfirmed. We have been covering for the last few days the extent of the security preparations here in New York.
We have seen a lot of traffic stoppage at checkpoints, a lot of cars being checked. It's been pretty intense security really for the last two days. I'm not sure where I was in Washington, but we had not seen anything in New York for quite sometime.
CROWLEY: It was up here. So, it was very intense when we left Washington. We came by train. And there were authorities everywhere.
It was less in your face, I think, than when we got up here when they started to stop trucks and cars and three lanes of traffic went down to one.
COOPER: To one.
CROWLEY: It was -- it was a mess in New York City.
COOPER: We do want to give you a sense of what is happening right now because of the current terror threat. We think on this day it's important to really focus on the victims of this tragedy, and not focus so much on the terrorists. And I think it's fitting in a way where if they asked many Americans they would not be able to name any of the 19 hijackers. And I think there's something very fitting about that, that I don't think their names should be remembered in history, it should be the names of those whose lives were lost on this day.
Susan Candiotti, let's check in with here just to get the sense of update on the current terror threat -- Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.
Of course, the streets around here are very quiet because of the extreme amount of security. It's anything but quiet behind the scenes as investigators continue to work 24/7 to try to pin down the validity of this credible terror threat. I spoke with my sources not long ago and they tell me that so far it is quiet, and in their words of one official nothing has panned out to indicate that any of the three possible suspects believed to be headed to the United States from overseas to possibly plan to carry out an attack, a car bomb or truck bomb or some other kind of explosive, they have not been able to determine for sure whether anyone has entered the United States.
But they continue to work under that assumption. And a few of the new details are that, in fact, at least two of the three were headed to the United States as recently as last week. Remember, there are only four days into this investigation, and that two of the three are not only U.S. citizens, but of Arab descent.
Remember, they were trying to track down what they have called credible information from a credible source, an al Qaeda operative, through an intercepted communication, that's found some people were headed this way to carry out the attack. And because of that, we are seeing all that security that you have described all around the city.
Back to you, Anderson.
COOPER: Susan, we'll be checking in with you throughout the morning. Again, we're looking at former President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, alongside President Obama and Michelle Obama.
There's going to be a lot to see and hear this morning. We want you to be part of it, where you were on 9/11/2001, by sending a tweet to hashtag 911 where I was.
And let's just pause as we watch the current president and former president with some family members reflecting, looking at the memorial site.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All off-duty firefighters, all off-duty officers are hereby recalled.
Engine, 204, 201 --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can anybody hear me? I am a civilian. Can't breathe much longer. Come save us!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I copy that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Firefighter down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm monitoring a call in which Flight 11, the flight attendant is advising our rep that the pilot and everyone has been stabbed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First class galley flight attendant and our purser has been stabbed and we can't get to the cockpit. The door won't open.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can anybody get into the cockpit?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know who is up there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Chilling stuff. Well, much of our attention this morning, of course, is focused on the ceremony here in the World Trade Center.
We want to take you to another hallowed site, about seven miles north of here is a memorial to New York's firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty. Many of the city's current firefighters prefer to gather on the anniversaries of 9/11.
CNN special correspondent Soledad O'Brien is joining them today -- Soledad.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Candy, 343 firefighters lost their lives on 9/11, and there has been a little bit of controversy over the fact that the firefighters were not invited to come down to the ceremonies where you are at Ground Zero. This is where they always meet every year since 9/11. They come to honor their dead. And you could see the flags that are set up behind me. They'll start their ceremony around 9:30.
We got Peter Regan to come talk to us. His firefighter now. But back on 9/11, he was training in the Marines. And his father, Donald, was a firefighter. His father died, along with seven other members of Rescue 3.
Are you disappointed in not being invited to Ground Zero where the bigger ceremony is taking place today?
PETER REGAN, NEW YORK CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT: I am disappointed that the actual disinvite was put out there. I mean --
O'BRIEN: You could be down there as a family member who lost a loved one. You could be there. But you are here instead. Why?
REGAN: I'd rather be here, because -- I mean, this is where we're accepted. We don't need special invites and we don't need -- there is no disinvites. This is where units come, like other areas in the city, and we're always invited.
O'BRIEN: I was told that there are no speeches, there are no politicians, and there is no big over-the-top ceremony. It's very quite. It's sort of private and really focusing on all the firefighters who died on the job.
REGAN: Right. At these events, we honored the ones that died, firefighters especially. We don't forget the others that died. We don't forget the police. We don't forget the port authority, and average citizens that died, we don't forget.
But we do direct it a little bit more towards the fire department, because that's who we are. And everyone has their ceremonies, and we like to call one of these that this is ours.
O'BRIEN: Well, thanks for talking with us today. We certainly appreciate your time. And you can see behind me, this ceremony is going to get started pretty soon. We are expecting, Candy, thousands of people to come because they shut down about 15 blocks here and we are expecting a scene that might rival what you are doing down at Ground Zero later today. Back to you guys.
CROWLEY: Probably given the sacrifice, it definitely what rivals what's going on down here today. Also, obviously, in Shanksville and, of course, at the Pentagon.
A quick programming note for you. You can see Soledad's "In America" documentary, "Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11," tonight at 10:00 Eastern.
COOPER: Soledad was saying 343 New York firefighters died on September 11th. Massive loss, their families spent the last decade trying to remember those who they lost, and figure out how to rebuild their lives.
One that has come to their aid, and told their stories is actor Denis Leary (INAUDIBLE) "Rescue Me." It was pattern around firefighters and their loved ones, coping with loss and tragedy, and it's a fraction of what he's done to help. He joins us this morning.
It's extraordinary to kind of be here, I think, everyone on this morning.
DENIS LEARY, ACTOR: Yes, it's just a completely different feeling. We've shot down here. We shot down here not long ago for the final season. It's a different feeling, especially when you hear the bagpipes stat to play, especially anybody that had a family person or a friend who has a funeral who is connected to the line of duty death, it's always a very strange feeling, it kind of opens you up all over again.
COOPER: Why did you want to do the series you did? I mean, it was New York-centered? New York City Fire Department is an extraordinary organization and it's a very tight-knit organization? What about the experience --
LEARY: Well, my cousin Jerry Lucci (ph) was a firefighter up in my hometown in western Massachusetts. And in December of '99, there was a cold storage warehouse fire there and six firefighters were killed, and my cousin was one of them, a childhood friend of mine. And after that, I started the foundation to help the families.
But at the same time, a couple of my friends from the FDNY, Terry Quinn (ph) and Timmy Higgins (ph), who helped me get started up there, after 9/11, Timmy lost his life that day, and Terry was very adamant about me getting involved, getting the foundation involved.
And so, that was the beginning of it. I wanted to tell the story of that bravery. And after watching what happened with my cousin and the brotherhood up in western Massachusetts, and then witnessing the same thing here, I just thought it would be a really fascinating story to tell, to be inside of a firehouse and to see what brave men do for a living, but also possible to examine the after affects of this event.
COOPER: You live in downtown New York. It must be -- I mean, there has been so much contention over the years of the building and the site, it must be nice to see it finally coalescing and coming together.
LEARY: It's a very strange -- I come by here quite often, and while we were shooting I would come by in the morning and sometimes at night on the way home. So, it's strange to see where it's at and where it's supposed to be. I think there's something soothing about the sound of the water alone. So, it's complicated.
COOPER: Yes. We appreciate you coming and spending a little time with us this morning. We are just minutes away, 8:46, of course, is the minute that so many lives changed and so many lives were lost when the first plane hit one of the towers.
Our coverage continues and we'll be right back after a short break.
COOPER: And welcome back to our continuing coverage. There will be no commercial interruption through after the 9:00 hour. 8:46 of course is the time when the first plane the tower, just a few minutes later 9:03 is when the second plane hit.
We are -- there will be moments of silence obviously at each of those -- each of those times. We want to just show you some -- some tight shots of the memorial itself because it really is an extraordinary thing. There you see some choir members, some -- and the large groups of people who are family members who are -- are waiting for the ceremonies to begin, which we anticipate very shortly.
We saw earlier, President Obama is here and Former President Bush, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, current Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And there are the reflecting pools of extraordinary squares and the footprints of -- of the towers.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: I'm going to do a very poor job of this, but while we're looking at the pool, I was listening to the architect about the meaning of the --- you know what he was thinking when he created this. And the water comes down from that larger wall that you are seeing. It then goes into the larger pool, and eventually sinks down into that small, small sized hole of -- that you can see when you see the wide shot.
And he said it is the water disappearing into nowhere, sort of evoking the people who died, the buildings that came down, kind of the water going in, and yet the water recurring back on top as life continuing on.
COOPER: "Reflecting Absence" is the name of the design.
COOPER: Michael Arad and Peter Walker.
CROWLEY: And the absence being that smaller square that you see in the middle of this. And it is -- it's enormous. When you look at it -- it -- it's next to the people that are now gathering -- we're told that it is packed down there.
CROWLEY: A lot of these families coming back for the very first time since the first memorial.
COOPER: And -- and so many, I mean I was talking to some family members just as I was making my way here, and there is an intimacy on a day like this when security is so tight, you find yourself in a group of people who are trying to get in or trying to get around and you end up talking to one another. And everybody kind of has remembrance with them, and in some cases some family members wearing t-shirt in other cases it's -- it's a bracelet; it's something they are wearing around their neck.
They -- sure the people have brought just mementoes -- mementoes, memories of those who have lost. Let's listen in as the haunting sound of the bagpipers go by the reflecting pool.
COOPER: -- have passed the bridge of the South Tower of the World Trade Center and now they are heading toward the -- where the North Tower was and now towards the Reflecting pool.
CROWLEY: With us here Anderson, Denis Leary, the co-creator of "Rescue Me," a story of a firefighter who lost a friend on 9/11. It's very hard to watch the bagpipes or these drummers without thinking firefighter.
DENIS LEARY, CO-CREATOR, "RESCUE ME": Yes, particularly, for -- as I said before, if you had a family member or a friend who's died in the line of duty because that's the sound that you hear generally speaking at the beginning and at the very end of the funeral mass, and usually at the burial site.
So it's -- it's very difficult to explain, it's very soothing and at the same time it -- it brings back a lot of very strong memories. But it also has a dignity and an honor to it that I think is soothing, you know.
CROWLEY: They are just a couple of minutes from the official start. The bagpipers will start out this ceremony, which will include some entertainment or memorial performances. One of those who will be here, brief remarks from some politicians, but not political remarks.
We will also hear some of the stories of those who lost a loved one. And there will be what has become an annual event of reading of the names of those who died here, this time also those who died at the Pentagon and in Shanksville and at the World Trade first bombing in the early 1990s. COOPER: We are now just ten minutes away from 8:46 a.m. when American Airline's flight 11 out of Boston hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center when everything began to change. Let's listen in.
COOPER: The President -- the President is about to head on to the stage. I want to thank Dennis Leary for -- for dropping by today and sharing a few moments with us, and you're remembrances.
LEARY: Thank you for having me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfold. Move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfold. Move.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Move.
PEOPLE: Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hail as the twilight's last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say did that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave -- of the brave.
COOPER: The flag which had flown at the World Trade Center site was recovered from the site.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forward march.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Left face. Forward march.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: Ten years have passed since a perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights. Since then we lived in sunshine and in shadow, and although we can never unsee what happened here, we can also see that children who lost their parents have grown into young adults, and grandchildren have been born and good works and public service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost.
In all of the years that Americans have looked to these ceremonies, we have shared both words and silences. The words of writers and poets have helped express what is in our hearts and the silences has given us a chance to reflect and remember. And in remembrance of all those that died in New York in 1993 and in 2001, at the Pentagon and in the fields near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, please join in observing our first moment of silence. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake when it's swelling. There's a river whose stream shall make glad the City of God, the holy place of the Tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved. God shall help her just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged and the kingdoms were moved, he uttered his voice and the earth melted. The Lord of Hosts is with us and the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come behold the works of the Lord was made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two. He burns the chariot in fire. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I'll be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.
BLOOMBERG: They were our neighbors, our friends, our husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents. They were the ones who rushed in to help -- 2,983 innocent men, women and children. We have asked their families to come here to speak the names out loud, to remind each of us of that person we lost in New York, in Washington and Pennsylvania. They each had a face, a story, a life cut short from under them.
As we listen, let us recall the words of Shakespeare, let us not measure our sorrow by their worth, for then it will have no end.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gordon A. Aamoth Jr.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Edelmiro Abad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maria Rose Abad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Andrew Anthony abate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vincent Paul abate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Laurence Christopher Abel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alanos Abraham.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: William F. Abrahamson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Richard Anthony Aceto.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heinrich Bernard Ackermann.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Paul Acquaviva.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christian Adams.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald LaRoy Adams. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patrick Adams.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shannon Lewis Adams.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Steven George Adams.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ignatius Udo Aganga.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christy A Addamo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my beloved Joshua Todd Aron, we miss you and love you forever. You're always in our hearts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my sister, Marlyn Capito Bautista, we love you and miss you. You're always in our hearts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terence Edward Adderley Jr.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sophia B. Addo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lee Adler.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Daniel Thomas Afflitto.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emmanuel Akwasi Afuakwah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alok Agarwal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mukul Kumar Agarwala.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joseph Agnello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: David Scott Agnes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joao Alberto DaFonseca Aguilar, Jr.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brian G. Ahearn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeremiah Joseph Ahern.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joanne Marie Ahladiotis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shabbir Ahmed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terrance Andre Aiken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Godwin O. Ajala.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gertie M. Alagero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Andrew Alameno.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my uncle, firefighter, Dennis M. Kerry, Sr. Big D, we miss you, we love you and your light and love shine through your three beautiful grandchildren, Grace, Juliet and Ryan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And my uncle, Dr. Lee Allen Adler, we love and miss you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Margaret Ann Alaria.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gary M. Albero.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jon Leslie Albert.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Peter alderman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jacqueline Delaine Aldridge Frederick.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: David D. Alger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ernest Alikakos.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Edward L. Allegretto.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eric Allen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joseph Ryan Allen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Richard Dennis Allen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Richard L. Allen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christopher E. Allingham.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anna S. (INAUDIBLE) Allison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Janet Marie Alonzo.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anthony Alvarado.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Antonio Javier Alvarez.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Victoria Alvarez-Brito.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my uncle, James Kenneth Samuel Jr. We miss you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my beautiful daughter, Laura Angiletta. Laura, we love you, we miss you. (INAUDIBLE).
CROWLEY: So you have watched the beginning of the reading of the names. Anderson, it's hard to say you love this part of it, but to me 9/11, yes it happened to a nation. Yes, it shook the world. But this was a story about an uncle, an aunt, a mother, a father, a daughter, and just when they say "and my uncle", this to me is one of the more poignant things that happens down here.
COOPER: It makes it all very personal obviously. It's not just something that we are seeing from the ground and over a vantage point. We're seeing it from the ground level. From the cost of all of this, the human cost.
So many people focus on 9/11 on this day, but the people who are reading the names now, they live with this every single day.
CROWLEY: In the end -- I want to bring in our Drew Griffin -- because in the 9/11 really is a big story. You know, you look at it -- it's (INAUDIBLE) because inside it are so many individual stories that make up, you know, the entirety.
COOPER: -- which have not been told. That's one of the things you have been working on.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know what I find remarkable always about these events on 9/11 is the response by ordinary people was so extraordinary. So many of these people that responded, that were there -- I know you guys are going to talk to and about the heroes that we know of. But we found so many of these individual heroes and individual participants in this day who have become literally footnotes in the 9/11 commission report.
We tried to focus on the heroes among them, and those that have been carrying guilt among them for ten years for not trying to stop what they thought could have stopped, and telling their stories really for the first time, feeling that now is the time.
COOPER: You actually went through the footnotes of the 9/11 commission report to find these people. Who are some of them?
GRIFFIN: Well, it's so poignant right now. We're talking about Americans like -- we talked to a fighter pilot, a reserve fighter pilot from Massachusetts. He's also a United commercial pilot who flying down here, racing at the speed of sound just to get to Manhattan to try to intercept American Airlines 11. By the time he got here, air traffic was telling him the second plane had already struck. He had no idea there were two planes involved.
And suddenly he had switched into fighter pilot mode and was defending Manhattan for the next five hours. He would patrol the skies over Manhattan and literally watch as the towers fell beneath him not understanding what was going on.
Remarkably, in a resilience, two days later this guy got on a United Airlines jet and flew to Tokyo, rebuilding the airline system in the United States.
CROWLEY: Do you find, when you talk to a lot of these people -- I am fascinated by the ones who live with the guilt, who say maybe if I had done this, this would have been different because I talked to so many people who sort of gave me the details of their loved ones death, why they were in the building; or maybe if they had the loved ones survive, why they were not in the building.
It always came down to such little bitty things. Did you find the details of where peoples' stories were told?
GRIFFIN: The airline ticket agents who checked in the terrorists that morning are some of the most stunning. Because one man in Dallas, one man in Portland, Maine both had the same instinctual reaction; these are bad guys. One even said look if these two were not Arab terrorists, what are they?
But they repressed that. They were service agents at that point. They were customer service relations. They pushed it aside. They said "I am just being a racist. I need to get these people on their planes." They have carried incredible amounts of guilt for ten years. And they have told us their stories, and are still struggling with it, because at that moment they could have just denied them entry to that airplane and perhaps, perhaps, this would not have happened.
COOPER: Well, it's always -- I mean after any loss, any death, those who survive are left wondering what could I have done differently; I mean a small little decision. One thing changing could have affected things and a whole circle of events might never have occurred. It's obviously impossible to go back. But to live with that for so long, it's got to be --
GRIFFIN: There's a United Airlines dispatcher in Chicago, he was in charge of 16 flights going from the East Coast to the West Coast that morning, including the two United flights that crashed. He knew there was a hijack in progress, was talking to United Flight 93 and sent out a text message to all his pilots, "beware of cockpit intrusion".
Anderson, Candy, he has lived with the guilt thinking those were the wrong words. If I was stronger, if I had said something different, United 93 might have locked their door at that moment and those guys wouldn't have gotten into the plane and the plane would not have gone down in Shanksville. He literally has been sailing on a sailboat for six years. He's never flown again. He just feels so guilty.
CROWLEY: Amazing stories. I want you to stick with us a little bit. But tell us when your special is airing.
GRIFFIN: 9:00 tonight, Eastern time here on CNN. There is uplifting stories. There are sad stories. There are real stories that you have just never heard before. And on the tenth anniversary, these people have decided to share their history with the rest of us.
CROWLEY: (INAUDIBLE) It's amazing, and can't wait to see it, Drew.
We're coming up to the top of the hour here. I just want to let you know where we are. There will be through the course of the day, six moments of silence. We've already had one when the first plane at 8:46 Eastern hit the north tower. We will be coming up soon at 9:03, the time the second plane hit the south tower. Just remarkable moments.
And you will see that each time -- obviously when the other two planes hit in Shanksville, and the Pentagon, and then the moment the towers came down. We are coming up as we go into the next hour, Anderson, on those moments which, if you -- which we saw on live TV if we were not down here, it literally took our breath away. COOPER: We will, of course, bring those moments to you live and in silence, as names continue to be read out, as they will be now for several more hours, obviously for family members who are there, many you see holding pictures of their loved ones. So many want to be here and so many want to watch obviously around the world on television.