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I know this has a lot of personal impressions, but I think it gives a more human perspective.
Monday night sometime (okay, so it was during Match Game, that's all I remember), somewhere in Queens: we learn that Hermetic died. With my innate and very deep fear of death, I am very broken up, and very frightened. I almost cry myself to sleep, but crying gives me a headache, so I take Tylenol PM. That knocks me out.

8:45 am, Tuesday, Eastern Standard Time, somewhere in Queens: I have finally waken up, and I am watching TV innocuously. My beloved is lost in nodegel.

8:45 am, downtown Manhattan: A large plane, later determined to be a hijacked airplane, crashes into the north World Trade Center tower, tearing a gaping hole near the top of the building and setting it afire. This was later confirmed (at 11:59 am) to be United Airlines flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles, a flight which carried 56 passengers and 9 crew members.

9:02 am, somewhere in Queens: I am in the shower. Chris comes into the bathroom and tells me that he just saw GangstaFeelsGood say in the catbox that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I am in disbelief, and as such, continue my shower. He also informs me that his mother will be home soon, as she does not feel well.

9:03 am, downtown Manhattan: A second plane, later confirmed to be a hijacked Boeing 767, crashes into the middle of the south World Trade Center tower and explodes. Both buildings are burning. This was later confirmed (at 11:18 am) to be American Airlines flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, a flight carrying 81 passengers and 11 crew members. Millions of people saw this happen live on the major news networks, who were already covering the first crash.

9:05 am, somewhere in Queens: I emerge from the bathroom and see the TV, which is turned to NY1 (the all-news channel out of New York). Holy SHIT, he wasn't kidding! I watch the towers burn. Chris goes outside and watches from the bay (not half a block away), from whence you can see the towers clearly.

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

9:20 am, somewhere in Queens: we now realize that Chris's mom won't be home anytime soon, as she works for an airline. American, as it happens.

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

9:25 am, downtown Manhattan: The New York Stock Exchange, Mercantile Exchange and financial district are evacuated, and trading is suspended.

9:25 am, somewhere in Queens: I call in to my school to say I won't be in today. Several hours later, I would find out that school was actually closed today because of transportation issues stemming from the tragedy.

9:30 am: Bush, speaking in Florida, says the country has suffered an "apparent terrorist attack." Meanwhile, New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani is already en route to the scene at the World Trade Center.

9:30 am, somewhere in Queens: Chris goes outside again, this time with the digital camera.

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

9:43 am, Washington, D.C.: An aircraft crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately. The hijacked aircraft was later confirmed (at 11:18 am) to be American Airlines flight 77 from Dulles (Washington) to Los Angeles, a Boeing 757 carrying 58 passengers and 6 crew members.

9:45 am, Washington, D.C.: The White House evacuates.

9:57 am: Bush departs from Florida.

10:05 am, downtown Manhattan: The south tower of the World Trade Center (the second one hit) collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris forms and slowly drifts away from the building.

10:08 am, Washington, D.C.: Secret Service agents armed with automatic rifles are deployed into Lafayette Park across from the White House.

10:10 am, Washington, D.C.: A portion of the Pentagon collapses.

10:10 am: United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, NJ, to San Francisco, crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, approximately 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. This flight was also hijacked. The crash was not confirmed by police until 10:48; by United, it was confirmed at 11:26.

10:10 am, somewhere in Queens: Chris goes out again with the digital camera. One tower is gone; already it is mostly dust and debris, though you can clearly see from the black smoke at the top that one tower is still standing and on fire.

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

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

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

10:25 am, somewhere in Queens: I took the camera out this time and took some terrible pictures. The only thing evident in them is the sheer amount of smoke and how far it had already spread; with the World Trade Center on the far right of the frame, having pulled the zoom all the way back, I couldn't get the cloud in frame.

10:26 am: most international (not just transatlantic) inbound flights to the United States are rerouted to Canada.

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

10:28 am, somewhere in Queens: I watched the second tower fall. It literally looked as though you could count the floors going down, just from the flow of smoke and debris generated by the collapse. To me, it looked more like the building just dropped, floor by floor, onto itself. It took several minutes for the realization to sink in ... it's just ... gone.

10:35 am: Washington and New York airports are completely closed (5 airports in all).

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

10:46 am: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cuts short his trip to Latin America to return to the United States.

10:50 am: all museums and monuments in Washington, D.C., are closed.

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

10:54 am: Israel evacuates all diplomatic missions.

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

11:02 am: Giuliani urges New Yorkers to stay at home and orders an evacuation of the area south of Canal Street.

11:10 am, somewhere in Queens: Chris goes out with the digital camera again.

11:16 am: CNN reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing emergency-response teams in a precautionary move. At this point, no indication of bioterrorism or chemical weapons use has been given.

11:18 am: American Airlines reports it has lost the two aircraft mentioned previously.

11:26 am: United Airlines releases reports regarding Flight 93, and expresses "deep concern" about Flight 175.

11:59 am: United Airlines confirms that Flight 175 has crashed. Emergency personnel at the scene say there are no survivors.

12:04 pm: Los Angeles International Airport is evacuated. Three of the four flights involved (all except flight 93) were headed to this airport.

12:15 pm: San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut down. The airport was the destination of United Airlines Flight 93.

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

12:20 pm, somewhere in Queens: we decide now would be a good time to give blood, and head to the nearest hospital, which is about 4 miles away. They give us a number to call to find the nearest regional center. While we are there, we meet someone else who had wanted to give blood, and the three of us decide to go to the next nearest hospital, another 30-odd blocks away. We go, and they tell us that only two hospitals in all of Queens are capable of accepting donations at this time, and we can't get to either of them because they're on the "mainland" and we're not. Feh. We drop the other guy off and go home. I'll donate blood at school.

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

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

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

1:40 pm: Chris goes out with the digital camera again. By now, it's just ... this cloud of dust, smoke, and rubble. Nothing, but nothing, is left of the two tallest buildings in New York City.

1:44 pm: The Pentagon says five warships and two aircraft carriers will leave the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia, to protect the East Coast from further attack and to reduce the number of ships in port. The two carriers, the USS George Washington and the USS John F. Kennedy, are headed for the New York coast. The other ships headed to sea are frigates and guided missile destroyers capable of shooting down aircraft.

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

2 pm: Senior FBI sources tell CNN they are working on the assumption that the four airplanes that crashed were hijacked as part of a terrorist attack.
This, after at least two phone calls were reported as having come from passengers that stated that two different flights (the one that crashed into the Pentagon and the one that crashed in PA) had been hijacked.

2:30 pm: The FAA announces there will be no U.S. commercial air traffic until noon EDT Wednesday.
Airline commuters across the country are reported as being thrilled to pieces at being stuck in little tiny podunk towns for the night.

2:49 pm: At a news conference, Giuliani says that subway and bus service are restored in New York City. Asked about the number of people killed, Giuliani says, "I don't think we want to speculate about that -- more than any of us can bear."
At this point, public transportation was NOT fully operational. The Lexington line still had a power outage, and the A train was running across the East River on the F line. However, there were SOME trains and buses running. Just, nowhere NEAR the World Trade Center.

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

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

4 pm: CNN National Security Correspondent David Ensor reports that U.S. officials say there are "good indications" that bin Laden is involved in the attacks, based on "new and specific" information developed since the attacks.
The Taliban in Afghanistan previously rejected the idea that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks, saying he didn't have the organizational capabilities to commit something of this caliber.

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

4:10 pm, downtown Manhattan: Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex is reported on fire.

4:11 pm, somewhere in Queens: "What, you mean there's more than just those two?" Ah, the naivete of people imported from Jersey. (Yes, that means me.)

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

4:25 pm: The American Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange say they will remain closed Wednesday.
Given that most transportation to those places will be nonexistent on Wednesday, I can't imagine how they could open.

4:30 pm: The president leaves Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska aboard Air Force One to return to Washington.

close to 5 pm, somewhere in Queens: we hear a caller on one of the news networks who says that if she hadn't left the World Trade Center when she did (even though she was told she didn't have to), she'd be dead. Her name was Jeanne Feldman, and it sounded remarkably like the story feldar's sister told him. We *think* it was the same person. Confirmation on that would be greatly appreciated.
update, 1/28/02 (server time): I got a message from Feldar telling me that the aforementioned woman was not, in fact, his sister, but someone else with a frighteningly similar story. I don't know if that makes it better or worse.

5:15 pm, Washington, D.C.: CNN Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre reports fires are still burning in part of the Pentagon. No death figures have been released yet.
It seems to me, though, that the Pentagon was much more efficient at evacuation than the World Trade Center, given the abovementioned events. Of course, the Pentagon has about 1/25th the floor levels...

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

5:30 pm: CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King reports that U.S. officials say the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania could have been headed for one of three possible targets: Camp David, the White House or the U.S. Capitol building.
Hearsay evidence claims the plane was actually shot down by the Air Force. I haven't seen corroboration for this.

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

6:05 pm, somewhere in Queens: Chris goes back out with the digital camera. The cloud is now mostly white, evidently dust clouds more so than smoke, indicating that fires had died down some. However, down low, the clouds start to get dark again, probably due to the collapse of building 7.

6:10 pm: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urges New Yorkers to stay home Wednesday if they can.

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

6:54 pm, Washington, D.C.: Bush arrives back at the White House aboard Marine One and is scheduled to address the nation at 8:30 p.m. The president earlier landed at Andrews Air Force Base with a three-fighter jet escort. CNN's John King reports Laura Bush arrived earlier by motorcade from a "secure location."

7:02 pm: CNN's Paula Zahn reports the Marriott Hotel near the World Trade Center is on the verge of collapse and says some New York bridges are now open to outbound traffic.
Several area buildings have sustained damage; this is probably one of the worst.

7:17 pm, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says the FBI is setting up a Web site for tips on the attacks: www.ifccfbi.gov. He also says family and friends of possible victims can leave contact information at 800-331-0075.

7:25 pm, somewhere in Queens: Chris goes out one last time with the camera. The sun is setting now, and the black smoke obscures much of the otherwise-beautiful horizon. The impact of the sight is incredible.

7:45 pm: The New York Police Department says that at least 78 officers are missing. The city also says that as many as half of the first 400 firefighters on the scene were killed.

8:25 pm, somewhere in Queens: I finally get through to my parents on my cell phone, and I get the machine. (I know they're okay; they're in South Jersey.) Just as I'm about to talk, you can hear, very loudly, the passing of several military aircraft headed for Kennedy Airport.

8:30 pm, Washington, D.C.: President Bush addresses the nation, saying "thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil" and asks for prayers for the families and friends of Tuesday's victims. "These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve," he says. The president says the U.S. government will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed the acts and those who harbor them. He adds that government offices in Washington are reopening for essential personnel Tuesday night and for all workers Wednesday.

9 pm, somewhere in Queens: We're watching the news, and they're showing shots from earlier in the day when there were still news correspondents a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center. It looks like Hiroshima. Cars sit with the glass shattered, covered in inches upon inches of dust and soot. Also, apparently someone wrote in the dust on a car, "This won't stop New York".

10:40 pm, somewhere in Queens: a friend's loved one, also a friend of ours, is still unaccounted for at this point. Please keep him and all the victims of this terrible tragedy in your hearts.
update, 1/28/02 (server time): About a month ago, our friend's remains were found. Stories from friends of his explain that he had gotten out okay, but went back in to see what he could do to help. They had to identify him by dental records.

I sit here tonight a changed woman. No longer naive about the virtue and gift of being alive, I value the time I spend on this planet even more than ever. I think of everything I've done, everything I've achieved, everyone I've loved and still love. I will cherish that always, and I vow to do more, achieve more, love more.

I think about the world my son will have to grow up in. I think about it, and I hope. I hope for a world in which the human race actually gets along. At least, on the whole. I hope for a world in which he can go out and be himself, whoever that happens to be, and he is accepted for who he is, and not judged by who he is not. I hope for a world in which he can go where he wants to go, and do what he wants to do, with no one to object, or disrespect him for the choices he has made. I hope for a world in which freedom means complete freedom for everyone, rather than the freedom to live how someone else tells you to live.

I hope for that, and I go on with my life, with a fear in my heart that I will never see that in my lifetime.

And yet, in spite of all the tragedy we all experienced today, I see the strength of the human spirit. I see people from all walks of life coming together to face an event like this with the resolve to make it right. I see thousands of people from everywhere imaginable coming to downtown Manhattan to do as much as they can, at the risk of life and limb, to help other people. I see leaders and good hearts in people who we previously looked down upon, like Rudy Giuliani. (I don't care what you say. That guy was calm, and collected, and he knew how to handle this situation in a manner that probably saved thousands of lives. And he really cares about this great City.)

I see the potential for the life I want for my child.

And yet, the city -- no, the world -- will never be the same.

What a price to pay.


news sources: CNN.com, ABCNEWS.com (all news edited for continuity and organization and entertainment value)
the aforementioned pictures: www.angelfire.com/ny5/jrminga
More E2 resources for information on the events of September 11, 2001:
September 11, 2001 - Analysis of U.S. Military Responses
United Airlines Flight 93
United Airlines Flight 175
American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 11
The 9/11 Commission Report
September 11, 2001
September 11, 2001 - I
September 11, 2001 - II
September 11, 2001 - III
The Three Men I Admired Most: Manhattan, 9/11/01
Summary of evidence against Osama bin Laden in 9/11 terror attacks
World Trade Center terrorism

This has a much more exhaustive resource list, too, and is a good node to boot!:
September 11 attacks and the War Against Terrorism

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