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What We Saw

A solitary American flag hangs against the backdrop of debris that was once the World Trade Center in New York Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart Tuesday morning, collapsing both 110-story buildings. (AP Photo/Graham Morrison)
AP
As journalists approaching the anniversary of 9/11, our impulse is to attempt to make order of chaos, to lend meaning to the senseless. But the catastrophic events of Sept. 11, 2001 are simply too big for that.

What we can offer beyond the stark reporting of facts are snapshots – images, recollections, stories, sounds, impressions and moods.

In that spirit, CBSNews.com is proud to be able to share excerpts from "What We Saw," a book that commemorates Sept. 11 by the men and women of CBS News, published by Simon & Schuster. And we're happy to also be able to present a few essays by our colleagues that are not in the book.

The authors of these pieces are all reporters, trained observers, professionals. But their stories are just their own, very personal snapshots. Together they help compose our scrapbook, our family album of our worst day.

Please spend some time sharing these recollections.

Dick Meyer
Editorial Director
CBSNews.com

Historical Documents And Reminders
CBS News Anchor Dan Rather notes we live in a world remade by the attacks of September 11. He says we saw a line -- a shadow -- fall over the newsreel of our lives, one that would forever mark the days after as separate from the days before.

The Longest Day
CBS News Producer Kia Baskerville was traveling with President Bush when the Sept. 11 terror attacks occurred.

Under Attack
Photographer Jules Naudet was filming the rescue coordination inside Tower 1 of the World Trade Center when Tower 2 came crashing down.

The Tower Is Down
CBS News Correspondent Harold Dow was horrified by the sight of bodies falling from the sky.

A Fireman's Tears
CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts on his encounter with a New York firefighter near ground zero.

A Neighborhood Mourns
CBS News Correspondent Bill Geist on the effect the terror attacks had on a small New Jersey community.

One Miracle
CBS News Correspondent Scott Pelley will never forget the faces of those missing from the terror attacks that looked from photographs plastered onto parked cars, lampposts and mailboxes throughout the city.