Return to Transcripts main page

CNN 10

Remembering September 11th, 2001; Hurricane Florence set to hit the East Coast

Aired September 11, 2018 - 04:00:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another one just hit the building. Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears that something hit the Pentagon on the outside of the 5th corridor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a report now that a large plane crashed this morning north of the Summerset County Airport which is in Western


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: It all started at 8:45 on a clear Tuesday morning. We had a live camera up on what looked like a smoking slash

across one of the World Trade Center Towers. A passenger plane had flown into it and I remember some of us here at CNN thinking this was some sort

of freak event. Then a second plane flew into the other tower. That was at 9:03 a.m. and at that point there was this deepening dread in everyone.

Something was wrong in a way we`d never seen before. Airports, bridges, tunnels in New York and New Jersey shutdown. Within 30 minutes, President

George W. Bush said we were under an apparent terrorist attack and minutes after that every airport in the country was closed. That had never

happened before.

It wasn`t over though. At 9:43 a.m., a third passenger jet crashed into the Pentagon. Dark smoke rolled up from that part of that huge building.

All lives and many cameras were on that and the two burning towers in New York. And as all of us watched at 10:05, one of those towers gave way

where it was smoking . The top part crushing down on the rest of it and sending up debris in boiling gray clouds. Five minutes later part of the

Pentagon collapsed and a fourth hijacked jet crashed in a rural part of Pennsylvania. The White House, the United Nations, the State and Justice

Departments, the World Bank all evacuated. America bound Atlantic flights were rerouted to Canada and the second Trade Center Tower came down at


So many closings, evacuations, shutdowns, except for emergency response teams, the heroes of 9/11, the country virtually stopped what it was doing

and gathered around TV screens. The President appeared just after 1 p.m. and asked Americans to pray and there wasn`t much else we could do. The

destruction was more or less done around 10:30. It was less than two hours from the first crash but the change it inflicted was immeasurable. More

Americans were killed on September 11th, 2001 than on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. And when President Bush addressed the nation that

night at 8:30, his tone was one of sympathy, resolve and warning to anyone who`d planned or supported the attacks.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

CARL AZUZ: In the difficult days that followed, we learned that the Al- Qaida terrorist group led by Osama Bin Laden was responsible for all of this. And America`s attention and anger turned to Afghanistan who`s

Taliban leaders were giving Al-Qaida a safe place to live and operate.


CARL AZUZ: The events of the day that changed America. On December 18th, 2001 Congress passed a resolution allowing the President to designate

Patriot Day. This has been done on each anniversary of the attacks. Flags are flown at half staff. American`s pause to remember the victims of

September 11th and memorials like this new one in rural Pennsylvania honor the innocent lives lost. The tower of voices stands 93 feet tall. It`s

located on the Flight 93 National Memorial Site near Shanksville. This is where some of the 9/11 hijackers are believed to have intentionally crashed

the plane after passengers and crew members tried to get control of it back from the terrorists.

The tower features 40 wind chimes. One for each of the victims and it`s architect says it sounds will always change with the wind that blows across

the field making it a type of living memorial. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are scheduled to participate in a Memorial Service

here on Tuesday. A service in Arlington, Virginia is also planned in honor of the 184 people who were killed at the Pentagon when American Airlines

Flight 77 was crashed there. And in New York City, CNN was allowed to tour the National September 11th Memorial and Museum when it opened. On this

17th anniversary of the attacks, we`re taking you inside to show you how the events and those effected our remembered.


JOE DANIELS, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF 9/11 MEMORIAL: These tridents were from the North Tower. They were recovered in the aftermath of the attacks. We

brought them back here and basically built a museum all around them.

KATE BALDWIN, CNN REPORTER: Joe Daniels is President and CEO of the 9/11 Memorial. You`re not whitewashing it. This is the raw, dirty material.

JOE DANIELS: Exactly. I mean, this is the steel that - - that bore the attacks.

BALDWIN: The museum is built almost entirely underground, some 70 feet down. It sits in the precise footprint of the World Trade Center.

DANIELS: So this is exactly where the South Tower started and went up 1,350 feet.

BALDWIN: A striking display of the sheer scale of the destruction with poignant reminders of the tragedy at every turn. I mean, this - - this is


DANIELS: This is actually the front of this fire truck. This is the cab.

BALDWIN: You wouldn`t know.

DANIELS: You wouldn`t know. And it`s - - it`s completely burned out and destroyed.

BALDWIN: Then there`s the retaining wall that remarkably held strong even when the towers fell.

DANIELS: When the towers came down, all that debris that was here right in this space provide bracing for that wall. And when that debris was cleared

there was a big concern that the wall would breach, would flood lower Manhattan.

BALDWIN: It could have been so much worse but this wall held under all of that pressure. Visitors will also walk along side the survivor stairs.

DANIELS: Used by hundreds of people as the buildings are crumbling, running from the dust cloud to escape to safety. And it`s for all our

visitors to understand the story of survival.

BALDWIN: And likely one of most emotional stops in the museum, this art installation mimics the blue sky on that fateful morning. Behind it, the

still unidentified remains of 9/11 victims. The move met with mixed emotion from their families.

DANIELS: A still shocking statistic is that 1,100 family members never got any human remains back to bury. Never got to go through the ritual of

laying their loved ones to rest. It`s not a public space at all. Only family members are allowed back behind the wall.

BALDWIN: Right next door, a room dedicated to the lives of those lost.

DANIELS: Exactly. That room is in an area called "In Memoriam" and it`s a photographic portrait of each and everyone of the 2,983 victims. You see

pictures. A - - a father coaching his son`s Little League team. A wedding. You see the lives that were - - that were lost that day and not

just about how they died. It`s who these people were.

BALDWIN: Throughout the museum, chilling reminders of the day. Handmade fliers for the missing, a cross emerging from the wreckage, every day items

simply left behind.

DANIELS: We help through these artifacts and images tell that story of just, it was panic.

BALDWIN: And while the museum is vast, one small exhibit has been the biggest source of controversy. It`s focus, the terrorists themselves

including a film criticized for not making a clear enough distinction between Islam and Al-Qaida. There`s been a lot of criticism. Why give any

time to the terrorists?

DANIELS: You know, it`s - - it`s - - one way to look at it is, you don`t build a Holocaust museum and not be very clear that the Nazis were the ones

who committed those atrocities. Al-Qaida was an extremist, terrorist group but no one will come through this exhibit and in any way think that we are

indicting an entire religion which we in no way are.

BALDWIN: It seems very appropriate that you end here at the last call.

DANIELS: And it`s - - again goes right back to resiliency. Seeing those messages of hope and remembrance on this very tall column that`s still

standing strong.

BALDWIN: Kate Baldwin, CNN, New York.


CARL AZUZ: One other story we`re following today, the approach of Hurricane Florence to the U.S. East Coast. This storm was located about

500 miles southeast of the Island of Bermuda last night. Forecasters don`t know exactly where it`s going but they think Florence will move between

Bermuda and the Bahamas through the middle of the week and possibly make landfall in the Carolinas on Thursday night. Those two states and Virginia

have declared states of emergency. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered on some parts of the U.S. East Coast. On Monday, Hurricane Florence

quickly strengthened to Category 4 status.

It`s sustained wind speeds were at least 130 miles per hour. That makes it capable of causing catastrophic damage if it stays that strong. It may

not. We`ll be covering this dangerous system as disaster preparations are made and as the Atlantic hurricane season reaches it`s peak. That will

wrap up today`s show on CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz and we thank you watching this September 11th, 2018.