tv 911 In Our Own Words MSNBC September 11, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
in the six, right. so that mentality precede giuliani, bloomberg, i have talked to police officers. they're saying they're more scared to do >> the instant the second plane hit the second tower the looks exchanged in the studio were chilling. >> they were eyewitnesss to history. >> there has been a declaration of war by terrorists on the united states. >> i think the role of a
journalist is to tell everyone that there is a reality here. >> america under attack, live on the air. >> what we have just seen is about the most shocking videotape i have ever seen. >> and behind the scenes. >> he leaned in and he said, if i were you i would stay off of it the rest of the day because we are next. and it sent a chill down my spine. >> looking back at the momentous day. >> to get through that morning took everything that i knew as a journalist as a husband, as a father as a human being. >> and in the days and weeks that followed. >> it was my first look at that, the charred lattice works, remain of the world trade center. >> stories sealed in their memories. >> he was one of the heroes that went to the world trade senter that day wasn't he?
>> yeah. >> this little boy's world had gone away. >> my son thomas swift. >> i remember thinking, that is the emblematic mother. that's the mother of all of us. >> that moment occurred on our watch, on our air, on live television. it's been ten years and i'm still affected by it. >> it's tuesday morning, 11th day of december, 2001. you are looking at the people gathered outside our studio on a sunny tuesday morning. >> september 11th, 2001 strikes me as being a normal, tipple cal, late summer day in new york except for one thing. >> al, it is such a pretty morning. >> perfect fall morning. >> i remember if you were going to take a picture of the skyline of new york to lure people, tourists to come to the city to experience it that would be the day you want to take the
picture. >> it was nothing that could have foreshadowed that this was going to be an extraordinary day much less a day that would change the world and change all of our lives. so weep just went about our business that day. >> nbc's david gregory is traveling with the president. he is in long boat key, florida, this morning. david, good morning to you. >> good morning, matt, the president in the middle of a two-day swing here in florida to promote his educational plan. >> morning starts fairly early. the president talking about education was going to sit down and read to the students in that elementary school. read them a story. so that was going to be the signature picture of the day we were going to get. >> howard hughes lived the american dream, he was wealthy, dated beautiful movie stars and made record breaking flights. >> just before 8:50 a.m., i am interviewing a guy who has
written a book about howard hughes. >> do you say this is a different perspective on how ward hughes? >> a typical book segment. i have done 1,000 of them. there was nothing that stood out until, at some point, i guess about halfway through the interview, you know we wear these earpieces. the misconception i think people have is that they're always talking to us in the earpieces. truth of the matter is in the middle of the interview they're rarely ever saying anything to you. so when a voice does pop up through your earpiece into your ear, it catches your attention. in my ear, somebody simply said, we think a plane has crashed into the world trade center, let's go there. >> i have got to interrupt you right now. richard heck, thank you very much. we appreciate the book. we want to go live right now and show you a picture of the world trade center. >> we are looking at these two monitors. the next thing you know it dips to black and up from black comes this image of the world trade center. we have been told this is a plane, we don't have confirmation on that. but there is an enormous hole.
>> i remember looking at the building when i finally did get a glimpse of the scar on the building thinking, that had to be a pretty substantial plane. >> on the phone, we have jennifer oberstein who apparently witnessed this event. >> jennifer oberstein had just exit aid subway station when he heard an explosion and looked up and she saw this -- this, you know fire coming out of the building and smoke coming out. the building and debris and paper and, everything, and she began to -- to recount for us what she had seen. >> i have never seen any fire like this in the air. and pieces of the bidding were flying down. it looks like it is the -- it's like the top, i can't even tell you. maybe 20 floors. >> the one thing that struck me about jennifer on the phone was how shaken she sounded. >> i'm stuttering because i am in such shock.
i have never seen anything like it. it is horrible. >> i could almost visualize her holding the phone and her hand shaking that's how she sounded to me. >> on tuesday morning i get a call shortly before 9:00. some plane has run into the world trade center. maybe you better come in. i have this odd memory of going in to get dressed in ape hurry and putting on, a more sober tie thinking, this could be a long day. not having any idea what i was in for. >> it started pretty much as a typical day for me at the pentagon. i arrived pretty early. i was sitting at my desk in the nbc pentagon office. suddenly i hear this announcement. >> we have a breaking news story to tell you about apparently a plane has just crashed into the world trade center here in new york city. >> my head just whipped around. at one point i got about this close to the tv. and as i looked and saw the smoke pouring out of that hole, i said that, that is not a
private plane. that is a much larger hole. i got up, shot into the -- into the pentagon hallway, 17 1/2 miles of corridors and started working every inch of it. >> one of our best producers was elliott walker. >> hi, elliott, tell me where you are and what you saw? >> elliott lived down at the area too. she was a real pro. elliott had been there, done that, seen everything. and when she started to describe what she was witnessing, from a real journalistic point of view, the story started to talk shape for me. >> from where i was on the street a moment ago you can in fact see smoke leaving the building on three sides. it seems to be coming out on at least four, five floors. >> but then all of a sudden elliott walker said something to the effect of -- my god there is another one. >> oh, another one just hit.
something else just hit. a very large plane just flew directly over my building and there has been another collision. can you see it. i can see it on the shot. something else. >> we just saw a plane circling the building. >> i don't remember ever having seen an explosion like that. i knew how big those buildings were, i mean, they were massive. the idea that something could hit the southern side of that tower and create that kind of fire ball coming out on the northern side, blew my mind. it just, it took, it took, a while to even register with me. >> jennifer, did you see this happen? >> matt, i have never seen anything, it looks like a movie. i saw a large plane, like a jet go immediately headed directly into the world trade center. it just flew into it, into the other tower coming from south to north. i watched the plane fly into the world trade center. >> the instant that second plane hit that second tower the looks that were exchanged in that studio were chilling.
i will never forget them. >> you will see what looks to be a large plane, could be a 727, right there, maybe even bigger flying right into the side of the world trade center. >> first thing i did was look at katie. i remember mouthing the words to her, terrorism. and she looked at me and that was it. this was not an accident. this was a deliberate act of terrorism. >> we are going to immediately check with air traffic control in the area to find out if they had contact with either of the planes before the accident. but what he have just seen is about the most shocking videotape i have ever seen. >> you have to understand what is happening in the studio at this point. there were people crying. there were pretty seasoned professionals crying. i remember one person in particular operating a camera with tears stream downing his face. i'm sure if you would have seen me and katie we were probably
white as ghosts. but i have never seen that kind of emotion spontaneous emotion in one place like that before. there was a -- an instant realization of the horror of what we were seeing and that i think even, instant realization that our lives would never be the same. we need a new recipe. hmmm. let us consult the scroll of infinite deliciousness. ♪ ♪ oh! perfect. [ wisest kid ] campbell's has the recipes kids love. like easy chicken and cheese enchiladas. so good! can i keep this? you already have it at campbellskitchen.com. nice. [ blows ] [ gong ] m'm! m'm! good! run, go, go! did he just fumble? "i" formation! "i" formation! we have got to get the three-technique block! i'm not angry. i'm not yellin'. nobody's tackling anybody! we got absolutely... i don't think this
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>> i have never seen anything like it. it literally flew itself into the world trade center. >> shortly after the second plane hit the south tower, something that happened in the studio that never was spoken about on the air but was an important part of -- i know my experience and i think everyone's experience who was in that studio that day. that was as we watched these events unfold and watched the second plane hit live on our air, not only are we broadcasters and journalists at
that time, but i'm a new yorker. and you know i was born in this city. my family also lives here. i had a 2-month-old baby. and the city we lived in was under attack. and we want to just mention when the impact hit the first tower, you would hope that people who were in the second tower were beginning to evacuate. and i remember scribbling on a piece of paper, please call my wife, at her cell phone number. handing it to a great guy in the studio who was kind of one of the studio managers. and just find out that everybody was okay. >> mick, are you hearing any more information from there? >> pentagon officials are already calling this a terrorist attack. the first time i heard the word terrorism out of any u.s. official, came shortly after the second plane hit.
and i bumped into a u.s. military intelligence official. and i said, look, what have you got? and he said, obviously this is clearly an act of terrorism. then he got very close to me and almost silent for a few seconds. he leaned in and he said this attack was so well coordinated, that if i were you i would stay off of the e-ring where our nbc office was. the outer ring of the pentagon, the rest of the day, because, we're next. and it sent a chill down my spine. >> david gregory is now on the phone from long boat key, actually. david? >> yes, katie, the president is about to begin an education event which is obviously being canceled.
>> after the second plane hit, it goes from being a mundane picture of the day, to becoming an event for our country. i am there with the president on that very occasion. >> today we have had a national tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into the world trade center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. >> after the president's remarks, he speaks to the country, the atmosphere among the press corps was frenzied, confused. >> as soon as the president leaves that location, we are in the worst place in the world. his top advisers have gone. and we're stuck. >> this clearly, according to the u.s. government, is a terror attack. as you heard the president say, of course the best known is osama bin laden, no alert coming from his organization.
>> because it might be, counterterrorism, intelligence, having covered al qaeda for years before that, the first thing i thought of that day was this had the hallmark of al qaeda and it had the hallmark of osama bin laden. >> as far as they know, as of this morning as of this minute, he is in afghanistan. >> so what i was doing was calling intelligence sources and particularly at the cia saying, who other than bin laden and i was being told only bin laden could have pulled this off. >> they're assuming and obviously informed the president that this is a terror attack. >> ever since i started as a reporter, in the late '60s, early '70s, i have known that you have to separate the personal from the professional. but, i am married to allen greenspan who at the time was chairman of the board of the federal reserve. so, my concern immediately was if they're attacking wall street, this is symbolic, will they also attack individuals?
then i realized that my husband was in an airplane. for hours i didn't know where he was, and i was calling his office and they were trying to reach him. and so, i was really terrified about how broad this conspiracy was and how many other planes might be out there. >> let's go to nbc's correspondent at the pentagon now. what can you tell us? >> i know we did an interview with jim at the pentagon, we obviously wanted to know what the military's response to these first two planes hitting would be. did they have advance notice, what were they doing? >> matt, to add to what andrea mitchell just said. senior military officials here at the pentagon are saying they are getting information that american airlines flight 11 after it left boston, apparently, was hijacked and diverted. >> when we finished jim's
report, a short type after that he started signaling to producers he had something to add. >> it was clear nobody was listening to me. i said, it's mick, something happened here at the pentagon. mick at the pentagon. and i'm going, come to me. come to me. and they stopped what they were talking about, and katie said, there is apparently some development, something like that. let's go to mick at the pentagon. >> larry, sorry to interrupt you. i hope you will stand by and continue to talk. >> mick? >> i don't want to alarm anybody right now. apparently it felt like just a few moments ago like there was an explosion of some kind here at the pentagon.
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threw it back, almost in an instant, boom. the plane hit the pentagon. >> we're looking at live pictures of the pentagon where there is billowing smoke, mick, can you talk to us? >> officially, nobody knows exactly what happened. i think the picture is pretty clear. >> we were several hundred yards away from where the plane struck the building. but i could feel the room shake. and the windows rattled. >> as i was in the hallway just a few moments ago, i could smell an acrid smoke. authorities are clearing the building. >> within minutes they had sent out the word to evacuate the building. but i felt i had to stay at the camera for even a short period of time to report what critical information we knew about what was happening. i don't know if you can hear the sirens outside right now.
but it appears that -- i think people here in the building are already describing as a highly sophisticated, coordinated attack not only against the world trade center but against the pentagon and u.s. military right here in washington. >> i tried to relay as much of that as possible before essentially we were forced to evacuate the building. >> i'm joined by tom brokaw. try to recap what has been going on. >> i was on the air with katie and matt, and it is odd. as it plays back in my memory bank. everything seemed to beep both surreal and in slow motion. because i was having a hard time coming to grips with what we were seeing. >> we have this as a major development, the federal aviation administration has shut down all air traffic nationwide. this country has been immobilized by these terrorist attacks in terms of air travel today. we don't know where it goes from here.
>> i later said that to get through that morning, and that day, and all of the days that followed took everything i knew as a journalist, as a husband, as a father, as a human being. >> some of the reports we were hearing were so devastating, that we really had to stop and be careful about what we did and didn't say on the air. i remember one person telling me who was down on the scene and who i actually had a chance to speak to on the phone not on the air. telling me, that from where he was standing, he could hear and feel the impact of people jumping out of the building. and you know that's when as a human being, you have to think how awful could it be in that building, at that moment, for these people to decide that
their best option, their best option was to jump out to certain death. >> we moved what we thought was a safe distance, at least what the pentagon police thought was a safe distance from the building. and it was about that time, too, that suddenly an f-16, i mean, it seemed like at tree top it seemed like at tree top level just roared overhead. >> katie, there was a very telling dramatic moment a second ago when a u.s. air force, f-16. flew very low levels in a wide sweeping turn around the pentagon and back over washington. >> there was an air force colonel standing next to me. and he looked up, and i'll never forget his word. he said, oh, my god, we're flying cap, combat air patrols,
over the nation's capital. so he was profoundly struck by the idea that, america was under attack. >> 9:59, i was watching the monitors with the now familiar shot of the twin towers with the smoke billowing out and all of a sudden it was clear something monumental was happening to south tower. >> we just saw a live picture of what seemed to be a portion of the building falling away from the world trade center. if we can rerack that to 20 seconds ago, you will see something dramatic happening. >> so i remember asking the control room to rerack the tape. i still didn't want to definitively say the whole building had collapsed because you know by this time, after an hour or so of covering this we were very aware of the fact that there were people watching at home who had loved ones in those buildings.
and to be the person who would say on the air, that building has collapsed, would be final. that would have been the end. >> let's go back to a few second ago. this is now about an hour after the first impact. we saw some dramatic footage of a portion of one of the twin towers, actually, it appearing to fall away from the rest of the building. when you look at it, the building has collapsed. that tower just came down. >> that was the worst moment of the day for me, by far. it was worse than the explosion, the fire ball when the second plane hit. that image of that building collapsing, to think that it literally fell down, i couldn't,
i could not, i couldn't grasp that. i just couldn't. >> to think about the possible loss of life that just occurred by the collapse of the southeastern tower is just amazing. >> i was thinking how many people are trapped. we thought the numbers were huge. we didn't know how many had gotten out, and it was terrifying. >> when the building collapsed, it was a different emotion that swept through the studio. there was an incredible sadness for what we knew was, a monumental loss of life. but there was also i think an anger. it made me sick to my stomach and made me angry. i think as a looked around the studio, those looks of horror and -- and the tears changed in that instant. and there was this look of anger. that "new" phone thrill again and again.
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california. the fire has destroyed at least 30 homes. sweltering temperatures played the east coast. we will have more news later. >> it is difficult to comprehend. the strongest country in the world has been the target of a major coordinated terrorist attack and the end is not over yet. of all the events that i have
covered live on television there was nothing ever that was quite like that one. it was live. kennedy was not shot live on television for example. so you had a moment to think about what you were going to say once you digested the news. in this case, it was improvizational. >> there has never been an event to match the magnitude of this one in which everything has been shut down in terms of air traffic, the national capital has been immobilized. the pentagon has been attacked, the financial markets have been shut down. there is an untold loss of life here in manhattan, the nerve center of america. to say nothing of what is going on at the pentagon. >> through out the early course of that morning we were getting, people were handing us pieces of paper, wire copy, stories that were breaking, you know, eyewitness accounts from people that we couldn't actually find out if they knew what they were talking about. >> can you tell me about the injuries you are seeing and numbers of people you have been treating? >> we have seen a steady stream of patients for approximately an hour and a half. >> that day we were skiing in an avalanche, the only way to describe it. we were just trying to keep our heads above the cascade of information. keeping stable.
trying to keep the information in a coherent form. >> we had gotten a report that a car bomb has exploded outside the state department. can we go to anyone for more information on that? >> where is andrea mitchell, at the state department? >> at one point that morning, matt asked me about a report there had been a car bomb outside the state department and people evacuated. i was calling people over there, and they said it just wasn't true. >> i do not have confirmation of that. they did evacuate the state department, but we do not have confirmation at this moment about a car bomb. >> we had to sort through fact from fiction and rumor. it's extraordinary there wasn't more inaccurate information on the air, on every one's air, because when you think of what was happening at the pentagon for instance, it's pretty, astounding. >> andrea, thanks. sorry to interrupt. going to go back to jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. mik? >> there was a dramatic moment
when jim said the people were being told to not only get out of the building but to take cover. >> security forces in the area have just blared out over their loud speakers to any pedestrians who are anywhere near the pentagon to take cover immediately. >> you get out of a burning building. you do that at your house if it were burning. you take cover when you are under attack. >> so far, all we see are security helicopters circling the pentagon. again, the skies are crystal-clear blue. and i can't see the speck of an airplane. >> mik, want to move a couple miles away to the white house. bob kerr its standing by. bob, we understand the building has been evacuated. >> it is true. utterly surreal. as soon as word came of the pentagon incident, we were rather forcefully removed from the white house. the scene was one of administrators, cooks, whatever, running at fairly high speed all the way out of the building through the top gates. >> it was still very much believed that there was more
that was about to happen, that this attack was still very much in progress. there were other planes, we didn't know where they were. the only thing we could sit there and guess was, what could be next? >> oh, no! >> no! no! >> oh, no! >> oh, god! >> let's look at these live pictures at the world trade center. the other tower of the world trade center has just collapsed. you are looking at live pictures of the second twin tower at the world trade center collapsing as a result of the crash of an airplane into its side. >> profile of manhattan has been changed. there has been a declaration of war by terrorists on the united states. >> when the second tower went
down and tom brokaw said, you know, this is a declaration of war against our country, i don't know that i had viewed it in that way up till that instant. i thought, we had an act of terrorism. but, you know, when you hear tom brokaw, you know, the voice of a generation of news watchers, say the words, this is a declaration of war, it sinks in. >> i think the role of a journalist is to tell everyone that there is a new reality here. that i knew we were changed. that that moment we were a different country.
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another plane had crashed, there clearly was no way to definitively connect what happened to that plane to what had already happened in new york city and washington. at that moment. >> we do not know whether that crash of that plane is related to what has become an obvious terrorist attack. >> but i think it would be fair to say that none of us believed in ridiculous coincidences. so we all assumed at that point that it would be too great a coincidence for a fourth commercial airliner to be involved in a catastrophic event, and not be connected. we didn't know the story. we didn't know that what turned out to be within of the most dramatic stories of that entire day. >> at the time we didn't know about the heroism of the passengers and how they had prevented that attack from taking place.
we later learned that the plane, the hijackers were heading to the nation's capital. >> think how catastrophic that would have been if they had been able to pull off the white house or the capitol. thank god for all the brave people on united 93 that they were able to rush the cockpit. and the way that they got together and a lot of them were kind of jockey guys, weekend athletes. the back of the plane and decided, this is what had to do. got the beverage cart to rush the cockpit, give their lives willingly, heroically. and my guess is in utter rage. my guess is that when they hit that cockpit, they thought i am going to die and so are you, you are going to die on my terms not on your terms. >> it was a short time after the buildings collapsed that we first started seeing some of our colleagues joining us in studio
1-a in rockefeller center. the first thing i remember is ron walking in our studio covered in dust. all you had to do was see that image of ron and you knew what he had been through and what he had just witnessed. >> as we were cutting across in a quarantine zone, actually, the building begin to disintegrate it. we heard it, looked up and started to see elements of the building come down. we ran. it was look a scene out of independence day. >> when ron walked into the building. he was so shaken. >> everything began to rain down. it was pitch black around us, as the wind were ripping through the corridors in lower manhattan. >> it was the smell, just combination of odors i had not smelled on any human being. >> we are happy to see you. >> you have no idea how happy i am to be here. >> then you think of the
experiences of thousands down there in the epicenter and were there when it occurred. our hearts go out to them. we don't know what the numbers are yet. >> he was down there doing his job. that had not occurred to me about how much collateral damage there may be on the ground with people who could have gotten caught in all of that. >> we have a report here that osama bin laden, who is often identified as the world's leading terrorist, warned three weeks ago he and his followers would carry out an unprecedented attack on u.s. interests for his support of israel, and sent to him tuesday in london. >> given the way the attack was carried out, there was no other terrorist organization in the world so hell bent on attacking the united states with the kind of organization, skill, experience, and wherewithal to carry out that attack. so from the very get-go, al qaeda was the prime suspect. >> he is obviously a zealot of
great, dark passion and most of it directed at the united states. >> the anxiety of not knowing where my husband was a recurring theme, tension, stress. shortly before 3:00, our producer said go to the bulletin camera and recap the day's events at the top of the hour with tom brokaw. so as i was hooking myself up, my cell phone went off. and my husband just landed back in switzerland, and he was saying to me, what is going on? what has happened to the united states? and so, i, in my ear i heard the producer saying, andrea, are you ready? are you ready? we are coming to you. so i put, i took the phone, i said, just listen, just listen, i am going to recap it all. i put my cell phone in my lap. and started, just recounting all of the day's events. >> that's correct, tom, the vice president is at a secure location.
mrs. bush at a secure location. condoleezza rice, the national security adviser, was conducting national security council meetings in the situation room at the white house, even though the white house was evacuated. >> that's how my husband who was then the chairman of the federal reserve found out what hap happened to the u.s. >> this country has suffered a devastating attack that will cost us in the sense of, loss of life, it will also cost us in terms of our psychological security that we have in this country. >> as the a student of history i have always been interested in what i call the bold print, you know, the chapter headings. 9/11 is a chapter heading. this is when america was changed. this is when the world began a new kind of warfare. was i thinking great thoughts at that moment? no.
what i was thinking was, we're on to something new here. how it is going to play out i don't know yet. >> what i think of now in retrospect it really was the loss of innocence. it was the last free time where we didn't hatch to think that terrorists were really going to attack us on the home front. >> our politics became almost exclusively about fighting terrorists and securing the country. and of course we went to war. >> this has been, perhaps, the most devastating day in american history in terms of terrorism. it certainly has four separate attacks. obviously coordinated, coordinated fairly thoroughly, unclear now as to how many lives have been lost, but the numbers are bound to be staggering. >> it was the most dramatic day of my career. it was the most dramatic day of my life. that i have witnessed firsthand.
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>> that night, we were starting to get the families coming into lower manhattan looking for loved ones whom they had not heard from. and i was particularly taken with a gray-haired mother from new jersey saying has anybody seen tommy swift. >> who are you looking for? >> my son, thomas swift. >> she looked like the mother of all my friends. and i remember thinking, that's the emblematic mother. that's the mother of all of us. it's been ten years, and i'm still affected by it. tommy swift was the only member of the family to go to college. he had a job at morgan stanley.
he had called home to say, i am getting out of here and didn't get out. i really thought that that family, that loss, synthesized in so many ways the experiences of so many people. why would tommy swift be the target of islamic rage? how outrageous is this? >> it took a day or two, i think, for the vastness of this event to really sink in with me. i think it became more dramatic the farther removed we all became. as we started to hear the stories of heroism and loss, we learned what people had gone through that morning, what they had sacrificed.
we started to understand how many children had lost parents. we interviewed a young boy named kevin hickey. his father was a new york city fireman who had gone into the building after the planes had struck. your dad was a fire fighter? >> yep. >> what company was me with? >> rescue 4. >> in queens? >> yep. >> as i started to ask him about his father. this 10-year-old boy broke down. >> he was one of the heroes that went to the world trade center that day, wasn't he? >> yeah. >> it's a lot for a 10-year-old to have to handle. i didn't know what to do, to be honest with you. i put my hand on his back. but there were no words i could offer. there was nothing i could do to ease his pain. meeting him just drove it home to me.
because this guy, this little boy's world had gone away. it had disappeared. >> we wanted to figure out what we could do to maybe make you smile a little bit and give you a fun afternoon. we know you like the yankees, right? how do you feel about their manager, joe torre? >> i think he's grumpy. >> he's grumpy. >> this is joe torre. >> hi, kevin, how are you? >> good. >> nice meeting you. i understand you are a yankee fan. >> he stayed in touch with kevin, quite a while. and he made it, but he didn't make it easily. there were a lot of tough times. his family was really torn apart by this. that's the human side of this. that's the part that gets me so much. it was so senseless. it was so unnecessary.
it was so evil, and it devastated so many people. >> it was the morning that the president was going to go to new york and visit ground zero. this was friday, september 14th. >> i remember how emotional the morning was. >> the president meeting with family members throughout the day, ultimately going back to ground zero, what we now call this bull horn moment. when he was with the fire fighter, bob beckwith. and he put his arm around him. people started shouting. we can't hear you. >> i can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people -- >> yea! >> -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon! >> yeah! >> what keeps coming back to me is that, what he was able to do so successfully that day was
reflect the emotions that the american people felt. it was such intense sorrow. there was shock. there was confusion, but there was anger and there was resolve. people wanted to get going. people wanted to retaliate. and i think he captured all of those things at once. >> for ten years, 9/11, in one way or another has been my life. just about everything we do out of the pentagon is some how related to 9/11. when the smoke cleared and the fires were out and all of the ceremonies were over, 9/11 still lives. and i'm any not exaggerating when i say that there are still nights when i close my eyes and i see that plane flying into the
building. >> the upside of all of this is, the ingenious of the human mind to respond to something big like this, there was no historian on the streets of new york. there were not people wailing running up and down the streets saying, the world has come to the end. i think there is something very instructive to that. that we respond with intelligence, compassion and with resolve to get on with our lives and to do what we we need to do. >> 9/11 is and will always be the most important story i have ever covered. and i have covered wars as a result of 9/11, iraq and afghanistan. but the idea that that moment
occurred on our watch, on our air, on live television, and took so many twists and turns, as we were trying to describe it to the american people -- i don't think i will ever face a challenge that great again. i hope i dent to be perfectly honest with you. i hope that there is nothing that ever even approaches that in terms of my professional career. that was the moment for me.