As The Smoke Cleared – As The Senses Numbed – Sept. 11, 2001

Stunned shock, gasping for breath, grabbing at straws to figure out why.

Stunned shock, gasping for breath, grabbing at straws to figure out why. (Photo: Reuters)

NPR – Continuous Coverage – September 11, 2001 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection – Part 1 –

NPR – Continuous Coverage – September 11, 2001 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection – Part 2

14 years ago today, the staggering events in New York were producing shockwaves over the rest of the country and the world. As everyone stood in horror, watching the World Trade Center collapse, and the intense cloud of smoke and debris billow up and consume the city, a sense of numb un-reality took over. The further away from Ground Zero the more surreal the event seemed.

But as the smoke started to clear, the surreal images gave way to outpourings of grief and anger. The stories and the reflections, maybe too raw to express so close to the event, were filling the airwaves. And gradually we began to process what had happened. And over the hours and days after, the stories – the acts of bravery, kindness and concern, brought the reality of the moment into perspective. And even though we were helpless – we understood what had happened.

So, to remind you of those harrowing hours immediately after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon, here are excerpts of several hours, into the early evening on September 11, 2001 – as reported by National Public Radio.

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