8:45am - AA 11 crashes into north tower

9:03 - UAL 175 crashes into south tower

9:43 - AA 77 crashes into Pentagon

10:10 - UAL 93 crashes near Pittsburgh

10:05 - South tower collapses

10:28 - North tower collapses

5:20 - Building 7 collapses

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May it…
…always remind us of lives lost.
…challenge us to embrace our souls.
…always remind us of our neighbours.
…lead us to love.
…allow us to find the strength.
…lead us to restraint

…become a gift from those who died.
…help us to recognize oppression.
…become a gift to those born tomorrow.
…teach us to listen.
…serve as a catalyst for compassion.
…teach us to grow;
And may it never happen again.
-- Jean-Michel Picher - 09/12/01


this was our world trade center

this was our world trade center,
which made people surrender
to the beauty of this engineering wonder,
but,at times with a lurking danger
that someday, someone might shatter
this great twin tower center.

came Tuesday of 2001, 11th September,
a day full of horror & terror,
'cause, there was this perpetrator
who gave the fateful order
for the most dreaded disaster....
people ran helter -skelter,
stricken with anger, panic & fear,
holding onto their lives dear
praying & hoping for loved ones - near & dear

i am just an onlooker,
a helpless by-stander,
filled with a grim wonder..
is this a life in perfect order?
is this world in perfect order?

all said & done, i continue my prayer
for all souls - victim and survivor,
each, someone's father, mother or brother,
or looking to find their peer,
i also pray for the ever growing number
of firefighters, workers & volunteers
to join hands & work together
to emerge out more stronger , richer
and strive to make the world safer & better.

-- 'ami'


Summer's End, 2001

The crows flew toward the waterfall
knowing they would drown;
their silent shadows rippled on the ground.
And though a blue sky held them
and though the hills were green
their minds were on a prize that neither
they nor any other bird had ever seen.

They saw their faces closing
but never meant to sing
they only left a silhouette of wings
that lingered briefly there before
the broken water fell
and crashed down on the granite
so hard the dark clear water shook in every well.

The river boiled in protest
and stumbled on its bed,
every field beside it stained with red.
And every thirst it tried to cool
it slickened into flame
to show that from that moment
no ancient spell that river knew could work the same.

The water flowed on raging
until it found the tide
and fouled the currents dolphin used to ride.
And through the shoal of minnows there
a dark shape rushes now
too fast for any shark to swim
the eastward flying shadow cast by one more crow.

-- Brady Earnhart


An Unfair Gamble

I made a life or death decision yesterday. I booked a plane ticket. The simple question uttered by the travel agent, "Which airport would you like to fly out of - BWI or Dulles?", had overnight turned into a decision of momentous proportions. The question immediately played through my mind as, "Which airport, plane, day, and time do you feel the terrorists will not use to launch an attack on the US?" I cannot answer this question with certitude. Thus, I am left hedging my bets on what I feel, with my limited information garnered from news reports, is the safest time and place: BWI (since the terrorists used Dulles), Saturday (since the attack was carried through on a weekday), and the rest I leave to intuition and fate, and the hope that the increased security after the crisis will make air travel safer now than it ever was before.

Yet, by the simple fact that the aspect of another terrorist attack looms large in my decision-making process is an indication that the terrorists are, as of now, winning the "war." Terrorism can be defined as the fear of the unknown, as the constant lurking of ever present, yet unforseeable danger and violence and death. Like my fellow citizens, I am struggling to carry on with my life while at the same time carrying the knowledge that terrorists who would give their lives to destroy this country are still at large, perhaps planning their next grizzly attack as I write.

It is unfair that an answer to the question that was so routine and mundane before the September 11 attacks -- "What time would you like to fly?" -- has become a weight that I now find difficult to shoulder. But "unfair" is a relative term. Some Muslims may argue that it is unfair that US troops are stationed in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. They may argue it is unfair that the US supports Israel, providing them with a military and financial advantage in the conflict against their Arab brethern, the Palestinians. Some Muslims believe it is unfair that we back the Saudi royal family, who have not exactly been the poster children for Muslim piety.

While the merits of these three US policy positions must be re-examined in light of the recent terrorist attacks, the question which stretches before us now is: are we going to become like the Israelis, a fortress state, constantly expending a large majority of resources and energy in trying to protect itself? As the Israelis have discovered, this is an impossible task. And for a country as large and pourous as ours, it will prove even more daunting. At stake is the very foundation of our country, our civil liberties and freedoms of which we are so proud. The US cannot control its population if it hopes to maintain a democracy.

What then? How does the US balance its security needs with its committment to democratic freedoms and its Middle East interests? This is the tightrope that our leaders will have to walk in the coming weeks, months, and even years. While I do not have any easy answers for our leaders, what I do know is that until terrorism ceases to terrorize Americans and effect our decisions, we as a country will never return to the idylic "Garden of Eden" we were living in before September 11. I fear that this return to a simpler time, a time when I can make an airline reservation without feeling I am gambling with my life, is very far off in the future. And that is what scares me most of all.

Melissa Vinitsky