Tuesday, 11 September 2001 was a cloudless, bright late summer day in the eastern United States. It was a week after Labor Day, the traditional end of the summer travel and vacation season, and the beginning of American football season, school and thoughts of autumn.

The day was as routine as any in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Before ordinary passenger jets became fiery missiles, people in the World Trade Center and Pentagon were working at personal computers, typing letters or reading e-mail, speaking on the phone or processing paperwork. None of the civilians could have known what was about to happen.

The events of the day shocked the world as they watched in disbelief, America under attack.