On the East Coast of the United States of America, Sept. 11, 2001 dawned with a crispness in the air, no clouds or humidity. A warning sun promised a perfect late summer day. There were fashion shows in New York and budget debates in Washington and Pete Sampras and Bobby Bonds and Ray Lewis to talk about. At the southern end of Manhattan, where a financial world struggled with sluggish markets, the twin towers of the World Trade Center gleamed brightly against a deep blue sky. The workday was just beginning. Suddenly, nothing would ever be the same again. A jagged scar, followed by a horrible explosion, marred the facade of first one, then the second of the World Trade Center's towers. This was no accident - passenger jets had been hijacked by suicide terrorists and deliberately flown into these New York landmarks. Word came of another airliner crashing into the Pentagon and fourth downed in a field in Pennsylvania. In a few moments of terror, the death toll was in the thousands, the damage incalculable. It was the beginning of new, horrifying era in the American experience.