What We Saw
: The Events of September 11, 2001, in Words, Pictur
We each remember where we were, what we thought, what we felt, what we heard, and especially what we saw on September 11, 2001.
In words, images, and nearly two hours of video, What We Saw captures those moments. Now, in this tenth anniversary edition, Joe Klein delivers an introspective and intimate look at those catastrophic events—along with what we have learned, and how we have changed, since that fateful date.
As the world came to a halt that September morning, CBS News journalists worked tirelessly to provide detailed, accurate coverage, from the first interviews with eyewitnesses to a plane crashing into Tower 1 of the World Trade Center to the Towers of Light tribute six months later. In addition to the events that shook America’s biggest city and its capital, What We Saw documents the tragedies that occurred elsewhere: from the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to the waves of pain that moved across a New Jersey commuter town.
Among the contributors are Jules Naudet, a French filmmaker who was working on a documentary about New York City firefighters when his subjects were called into service; Anna Quindlen, whose thoughts turn to a young family aboard United Airlines Flight 175; David Grann, who captures the hopelessness felt by families searching for missing loved ones; and CBS’s Steve Kroft, who watched a small investment firm that lost dozens of employees slowly pull itself up from despair.
In What We Saw, each moment of September 11 and its aftermath is portrayed with candor and honesty by the CBS News correspondents, photographers, camera operators, and journalists who were there. This is an invaluable documentary of a day that forever altered our world.<
it has become almost a matter of convention to talk about September 11, 2001, in terms of where one was when one first heard the news. I think it is part of an understandable quest to discover that precise point in time, that bridging nanosecond, between life before and life after. We are trying to recall the feel of things as we knew them and to discover just what changed -- and how -- in that instant when we became aware that this day would be different from all the days that had preceded it. For the record, then, I had just stepped out of the shower when I heard a bulletin come over the radio: Smoke was coming from the World Trade Center, and there were reports that a plane had hit one of the towers.
For me, though -- and I suspect this is also true for others -- the true force of September 11 was revealed not in a single moment but in a series of moments. In the wake of the first tower's collapse, a correspondent phoned in after having been nearly overcome by the choking cloud of smoke and dust. After the second tower fell, another reporter, a woman new to the city, told of having her life saved by a member of the New York City Fire Department. With debris raining down and roiling in all directions, this firefighter pressed her against a wall. She could feel his heart beating against her back. She had been sure, she said, that this was how she would die. And later in the day, there were the pictures of doctors assembled outside St. Vincent's Medical Center, waiting to perform triage on thousands of wounded who never arrived.
These moments marched alongside the indelible images of that day, each further advancing an understanding of the attacks' toll. Each giving added confirmation to New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's statement that we were looking at a "tremendous" loss of life -- "More," as he put it, "than we can bear."
Long ago, when America was still young, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote: "Time flies over us, but leaves its shadows behind." For now and for the foreseeable future, we stand in the shadows of that terrible, clear morning. We live in a world remade by the attacks of September 11. Years will pass, and the photos and videos will age and fade. Our memories of the feelings attached to them in real time will also dim, as they have already. But echoes will continue to reverberate from that date.
For more than forty years, reporting for CBS News has given me a front-row seat on history. When big events occur, they always loom large in the present. And there are times when the television screen enlarges what the perspective of years will show to be stories of only passing importance. The inherent drama of the special report -- the break-in during regular programming -- and the modern broadcasting phenomenon of "blanket coverage" have a way of givi
This book is put together extremely well and organized so carefully that it takes you back so vividly to the tragic morning and all the days and months after. It's very heartbreaking to hear the stories again of those who lost their lives on that day but thank you for sharing not only of the tragedies but of the stories of all the Americans who helped out in every way they can. I think this is a very important book to read.
I loved the book so much that I could not put the book down at anytime or bedtime. It is a terrific book for young adults and up. Easy to read. DVD is also, great to watch. Can't wait to read it again.
As a survivor of the WTC disaster, What We Saw just ripped my heart apart after reading other people's stories. Though I have a story to tell myself, the stories in this book are real and far more horrible than anyone can imagine. I will never stop praying for all those lost lives. I live with this everyday, it is part of me now and there is not such thing as closure. It's a must have book for everyone. I cannot bring myself to watch the DVD as of yet.
I bought this book mainly for the DVD, as I had often wished I'd have thrown a tape in on September 11th. Of course at the time I didnt realize what a life altering event this would become. The book is full of informative and emotional stories from people who were there and experienced the tragic events first hand. I couldn't put the book down and recommend it as an addition to anyones collelction of books.
The book/DVD set is a superb documentation on the CBS News live coverage of What We Saw as the events unfold and the aftermath on this horrible day of Sept 11, 2001. A wonderful DVD (2 hours of original news reports/interviews). Kudos to CBS News.