Tomorrow is the eight year anniversary of 9/11 and, unlike previous anniversaries of the event where countless thousands of new words were spilled trying to make sense of that day and where we've come since, this one seems a little quieter and less reflective.
Partly that's the result of the economic crisis and health care incivility, etc. having a firmer hold on our attention, and partly from some kind of fatigue. Plus, it's not the first anniversary, or the fifth, or the tenth... just number eight... nothing extraordinary in a news milestone sense.
Newsweek went strong on pictures in this "EXTRA EDITION" and the picture on the cover was titled, simply, "9:03 A.M. TUESDAY, SEPT. 11, 2001: Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 explodes into the World Trade Center." Take a moment and look at this cover photograph taken by Kristen Brochmann of the New York Times, CLICK IT if you want to see the full size, you saw it on the newstands, you may even have bought several copies.
Try for a few moments not to think about all that has come since and how divided our country has become, again. Remember instead how it actually seemed in the aftermath of 9/11 that we would pull together, as we have done many times before, into a united country.
Nothing like this has ever happened to America before. With chilling skill, terrorists struck at our heart last Tuesday, hijacking commercial jets, then crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon -- cold-blooded murder on a mass scale. The human toll is beyond imagining, the psychic costs difficult to calculate. We always thought we were safe. We were wrong.
The magazine devoted its special coverage into only four sections: IN PICTURES; AN ACT OF WAR; THE AFTERMATH and A DAY OF AGONY. After an extended spread of photographs, the opening article, "A New Day of Infamy," began with the story of Jeremy Glick on the doomed United Airlines Flight 93, a telling that has seen two versions come to film this year, one on TV, the other in theaters. But after the Flight 93 story, the article kicked in: