on this page you will find a memorial website exactly the way I wrote it in the weeks following the terrorist attack on the United States last September. Today (September 7, 2002), I add this quotation, found in tomorrow's NYT Magazine but available on-line today at http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/08/magazine/08WTC1.html: "The Height of Ambition: Part One" by James Glanz and Eric Lipton:

"Ada Louise Huxtable, then the architecture critic at The New York Times, publicly aired her doubts in 1966. 'Who's afraid of the big, bad buildings?' she wrote. 'Everyone, because there are so many things about gigantism that we just don't know. The gamble of triumph or tragedy at this scale -- and ultimately it is a gamble -- demands an extraordinary payoff. The trade-center towers could be the start of a new skyscraper age or the biggest tombstones in the world.' 
In the end, they were both."

before 9/11/2001 after 9/11/2001



see photo captionIf you are a child, please do not scroll down this page. The eyewitness accounts of the World Trade Center bombings provided here are disturbing and graphic. You may click here to access my regular website, Dr. J's Illustrated Guide to the Classical World and all it has to offer. Thanks. 
last update: 10/20/01 11:30 pm CST (send comments to Janice Siegel)

Go Philadelphia!!!

Yellow ribbon with the date of the terrorist bombing of America September 11, 2001

our fallen fellow citizens of the world

This website was written in the wake of the attacks on America on September 11 and is full of the emotions those days inspired, as my reactions ran through the cycle of horror, despair, grief, anger and fear. My current feelings of defiance in the face of the attempted destruction of our confidence and sense of security are not reflected on this page. I have not updated the information on the page since 9-22-01. Today is 10-20-01.

go here for an intelligent and fairly comprehensive running bibliography of the debate surrounding the topic of available avenues of response (10-20-01)

Benjamin Netanyahu's September 20, 2001 speech on terrorism


We are all angered, sickened, horrified by these attacks perpetrated by craven cowards against innocent civilian people from 62 nations. Our hearts go out to the victims of these massacres. We hold our breath as the lists of victims fill themselves out, as we scan them looking for names we know, as the numbers metamorphose into actual people whose lives were so mercilessly snuffed out. We cry for the immediate families of the victims. We reel with the news that neighbors' children, schoolmates' parents, colleagues' in-laws, friends of friends and even our former students are among the missing or known dead. For many of us, our grief is turning to rage. Blind with pain, we all instinctively want to strike back quickly and forcefully. But as reports of hate crimes begin to filter in, and as our country considers various military actions, I urge everyone to read (and listen to) the following eyewitness accounts and personal reflections... not only to see the horror of the terrorists' actions, but also to realize the huge responsibility we shoulder as we choose our methods and targets in our search for justice. 

At all costs, we must avoid becoming the monsters we abhor. More innocents cannot be made to suffer. We must achieve justice, not blind vengeance.
We must target the guilty parties only.


Read how Muslims respond to the abuse of their own religion here and here. Everyone should know that Islam does NOT IN ANY WAY advocate, condone, or tolerate terrorism (click here to learn more).

Statements by Prince Hassan of Jordan, Pope John Paul II, Henry Kissinger, Tony Blair (video), more coming...(added 9/18/01)

A powerful site from MIT exploring reactions by people everywhere and everywhen: historical perspectives, reflections, responses by foreign news agencies, Americans traveling abroad, citizens of the world...many different views are represented

An Ecumenical response to the tragedy (added 9/17/01)

We must stare the truth in the face and allow it to be etched in our souls, and we must never ever forget it. Most importantly, we must cause these cowards to fail in their quest to strike a fatal blow against our humanity. We must not react in kind.


this and other aerial views like it can be found at cnn

satellite photos at www.GreatBuildings.com
full page view satellite photo of the devastation
other satellite photos of the devastation can be viewed here

The Twin Towers from the Empire State Building as the sky darkened, c. 1994 
copyright Janice Siegel
(added 9/17/01)

the photo above is from my own collection, c. 1987
copyright Janice Siegel
this photo of the second attack is from the cnn gallery

graphic FEMA Search and Rescue photographs at WTC and the Pentagon (added 9/18/01)
all photographs by Andrea Booher, FEMA Photo Agency, used with permission

this is the "airplane alert antenna" which previously perched atop the WTC roof (see the photos above)

 see photo caption

A special dedication to the rescue workers, fireman, and policemen coming soon...

see msnbc's gallery of the attack, even more chilling...and the aftermath (look under Photo Galleries)
click here for videos of the events
(very disturbing, yet necessary)

see this page at msnbc.com for a look at how the NYC skyline changed over the years (although it unaccountably fails to mention the Empire State Building, once and again NYC's tallest building)

a curious collection of bombing-related news videos at cnn

warning: difficult to watch
graphic pictures of the attacks, the wounded, the fleeing crowds, the devastation, the rescue workers
live news reports on tape...
click on every play button to see pictures and hear reports not otherwise listed

cnn's gallery of videos
(Dr. Mark Heath captures the collapse of the buildings and aftermath, a cnn cameraman narrates his own video recording, and witnesses tell what they saw)

Excerpts from a letter by Ray Dougherty, Professor of Linguistics, New York University
(reprinted with his permission)
full text of his first letter

For me, there were many moving experiences... I will never forget the tens of thousands of bobbing heads stumbling across the East River bridges. Or, the dazzled tattered bleeding blackened crowd walking north from the scene up Broadway, Green, Mercer, 6th Avenue... - that was moving...But above and beyond everything, the one thing I will never forget to my dying day, is the view of the people on the roof and higher floors of the World Trade Center lined up in the windows and on railings. You cannot see their expressions, but it is amazing what a 40 power telescope reveals. They often huddled, probably talked about their chances, and sometimes went back into the building, or maybe, just laid on the floor. But then, some went to the edge, and jumped.

        Some jumped in pairs, holding hands. I doubt if they were married or lovers. I think it was just two people, alone, desperate, black, white, oriental, who cares - the telescope didn't allow me to distinguish age and race. They would just pair up and jump. I have thought all day about this. If I were on the roof, and I saw flames on all sides of the building, I would almost certainly jump rather than fry. And if I saw another trembling human alongside of me, I would be much happier holding their hand, and jumping as a pair. Somehow to jump as half of a pair, even if the other half is an ad hoc recent acquaintance, seems to me an infinitely more human way to pass on to the next step, than to take the next step alone.

A follow-up letter (full text here): I did not mention it in the first letter, but it seems to me relevant to something. When a person jumped alone, s/he went to the edge, stopped, looked over, and jumped like you would go into a pool. Those that went in pairs simply came out of a smoky nowhere inside of the building and walked over the edge with no pause, hesitation, or last second spring.

Ray Dougherty, Professor of Linguistics, New York University

from the plaza, looking up, c. 1987 copyright Janice Siegel

This next eyewitness report, written by Alisa Solomon, was published in the Village Voice, but a note on their website explains that they are temporarily off-line due to the proximity of their servers to the bomb site. Thankfully, The Octopus, an alternative student publication from the campus of the University of Illinois UC, reprinted it. Here is an excerpt:

"I fell in with a group of young women, administrative assistants at 2 World Trade Center. One was still crying. She was about to enter the World Trade Center when the first plane hit. "Arms, legs. Parts of people. They were falling on my head," she said. Her friend put an arm around her, saying only "shhh," and the whole block went silent for a moment."

For Alisa Solomon's full eyewitness account and reflections, please click here and go to "News in Brief".

New York Burn Victims Face Long Recovery
(9/17/01 cnn report) excerpt:

Ling Young said she believes she was the last person to escape the tower before it collapsed. She was trying to save her boss, who had suffered a broken leg in the attack. Young said she was waiting to take an elevator down. When the doors opened, a fireball incinerated several people waiting to get on. She finally made her way to the stairs and out of the building. "I hear myself saying, 'Let's go,'" she recounted tearfully. "After we turned the corner the whole building collapsed. I'm very, very lucky. But any of my friends still up on the 70th floor either got crushed or on their way down the stairs they never made it." One of those who did not make it, Young said, was her boss.

CNN interview with eyewitness Phil Oye, an information architect
live eyewitness reports on audio
(very difficult to listen to)

the grim facts of identifying the victims

We must stare the truth in the face and allow it to be etched in our souls, and we must never ever forget it. Most importantly, we must cause these cowards to fail in their quest to strike a fatal blow against our humanity.

image pentagon
I borrowed these photos from the cnn gallery accessible from http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/gallery.html
to honor the victims of the Pentagon bombing as well

  • libertyunites.org offers a list of relief organizations accepting donations for the disaster victims (you can donate right over the internet...this site was mentioned by President Bush in his Tuesday 9/18/01 morning speech from the Rose Garden)

  • The "Official NYC HomePage" (http://home.nyc.gov) also has information on how you can help the rescue effort, or how you can get information about lost loved ones in NYC

  • FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Disaster Relief information

  • FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation): Arabic-speaking Americans needed!

  • Google.com has a particularly good list of phone numbers for reference

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date this page was edited last: 06/29/2005
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