Renaldo McFarlane, Jr. was born September 13 at 1:25 a.m. to Jacqueline Landrau. More than eight months pregnant at the time, Jackie somehow made it down 45 flights of smoke-filled stairs in 2 World Trade Center. The baby is a healthy 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and both of his parents are humbly grateful.
Crime was reported down in many cities across America. Police officers in New York made 64% fewer arrests than they had the same week a year earlier.
According to USA Today, mourning staff members from the former Windows on the World restaurant on top of the World Trade Center, are helping serve thousands of free meals at Nino’s, an Italian restaurant near ground zero. “The owner of Windows on the World is sweeping the floor,” said Nino’s owner.
All across the country, people are reporting that they are smiling at and talking to strangers. Store clerks say customers are being polite to them. Friends are holding hands. Families are hugging and talking to each other. Judith Martin, Miss Manners, reports a shocking return to civility. “Please, please, let’s make it last,” she exhorts.
On the donation front: WorldCom has donated phones, pagers and long distance service. Staples has given computers to ruined companies and lets family members searching for victims copy flyers for free. U-Haul is giving a month’s free storage to victims in Washington and New York.
New York’s City Center has offered free tickets for the fall season to fire, police and EMS personnel. This includes opera, American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey, New York Festival Flamenco, Ballet National de Cuba and the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players.
Road rage is down, according to Mantill Williams of AAA. “People are showing a strong concern not only for their own safety, but for their neighbors’.” Indeed, the Florida Highway patrol reported many fewer reports of aggressive driving and logged 15% fewer crashes than they had the same week the year before.
The New York Daily News reported that St. Paul’s Chapel, survived the Revolutionary War, the great New York fire of 1776 and the war of 1812. It stood through the two world wars of the 20th Century. And, somehow, though only one block from the World Trade Center, the little church emerged from the devastation all around it without a scratch. Thursday after the attacks, the chapel opened as a food distribution center. And Saturday at noon, Rev. Lyndon Harris climbed up into the little steeple and rang the bell, joining a chorus of church bells from around the city.
Congresswoman Lindsey Graham, a Republican, admits of her fellow representatives, "Sometimes we can't agree on what time it is. But that has given way to sheer, raw patriotism." Former antagonists Dick Arney, R-Texas, and Richard Gephardt, D-Mo, were on CNN together. "We have become friends," said Arney. We are now showing this nation's unity in the halls of Congress."
Kathy and Don Starbuck, regular folks from upstate Huguenot, New York, returned home on Sunday to find an unexpected message on their answering machine. "We're a French family from outside Paris, and we're calling Americans in a show of solidarity," said an unknown woman with a French accent. "We hope that better days come to you."
On Wednesday, a group of doctors and nurses drove up from Kentucky to leave plastic bins filled with medical supplies.
The New York Times notes that many companies have pledged multi-million dollar donations in cash and services, including General Electric ($10 million for families of lost emergency workers), Microsoft ($5 million in cash, $5 million in services), a four-year-old girl who emptied her Pokemon wallet of $4.37, and elementary school students sold lemonade and gave the proceeds to the Red Cross.
Dozens of Palestinian men, women and children gathered spontaneously upon hearing the news in front of the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem, lighting candles and placing flowers along its walls. Some of the placards they carried read: "Terror is our common enemy" and "We are victims too."
Palestinians in East Jerusalem held a candle vigil on 12 September to express their grief and solidarity with the American families struck by this tragedy. Mr. Abdel Qader Al-Husseini, son of the late Palestinian leader Faisal Al-Husseini led the candle vigil.
Disneyland came to a complete halt on Friday, as parents, children and Mickey Mouse stood completely still facing flags as "God Bless America" was played, and bunches of red, white, and blue balloons were released skyward.
New York Museums opened their doors, but stopped charging any admission. "We offer sanctuaries of respite and contemplation that we hope can provide some comfort to the people of New York City during this very sad and difficult time," said an open letter signed by the directors of 11 museums, released Friday, September 14.
Thursday night, as Broadway theaters re-opened for the first time, the casts of every musical--from The Producers to The Rocky Horror Picture Show ended their curtain calls by singing Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." Audiences stood and heartily sang along.
Brian Clark, a brokerage firm executive, halted his own flight to safety down the stairs of 2 World Trade Center when he heard a man calling for help. He sent his colleagues ahead and went in to rescue the injured man.
Tens of thousands of Americans lined up at hospitals and bloodbanks to donate blood. The same thing happened, as it turns out, in countries around the world.
Passengers on United Flight 93, hearing by cell phone that their plane would probably be used to destroy a highly-populated target, decided to put themselves in immediate jeapordy to thwart the hijacker's plans. Shortly after Jeremy Glick and Tom Burnett talked told family members of their plans to overpower the armed terrorists, their plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field. All aboard died. But thousands of others at their intended target did not.
New York Newsday reports that proprietor Yong Lee turned Fulton Supply Store near the WTC into a relief center. He posted a sign offering free phones and handed out respirators and breathing masks to those walking through the soot.
Above the Foley Square subway station, retiree Arthur Noscarelli took it upon himself to help direct passengers coming up from below who had been stuck on subways for hours. He gave them directions and offered to carry any who needed help.
Every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives stood side by side and sang "God Bless America." They didn't pass a resolution, they just did it.
A busload of 30 trauma physicians and technicians drove through the night from Colorado to help out. Hundreds of retired New York firefighters and police officers returned, unpaid, to the front lines.
Leaders of all faiths called for tolerance and understanding.
The Associated Press reports that a minute of silence brought transportation to a halt across the Scandinavian countries; Norway's king and prime minister attended a memorial service. Flags flew at half-mast in Turkey. Russian television and radio halted broadcasts. German leaders gathered on the steps of the chancellery in Berlin, and residents of Dulsburg formed a chain of candles. Even Chinese president Jiang Zemin offered help with rescue efforts.
In London, thousands of people--including many Americans--lined the streets waving American flags for a special changing of the guard ceremony at which a military band played the U.S. National anthem. In Austria, church bells tolled together, and in Tehran, Iran, several dozen Iranians held candlelight vigil in the main square, ignoring police orders to disperse.
Across the world, prayer vigils were held in hundreds of thousands of houses of worship of all religions. It is likely that billions of people prayed.
The New York Daily News reported that Tavern on the Green Restaurant in New York donated food intended for a large party to the police, and a Manhattan hardware store opened its doors and allowed rescue workers to grab shovels, tools, whatever they needed.
Michael Benfante and John Cerqueira, employees of a communications firm found a distraught woman in a wheelchair on the 68th floor of 2 World Trade. They helped her to a special mechanical chair in the stairwell, but it went slowly. From time to time they took turns carrying her although they both knew it was slowing them down and imperiling their lives. All three made it out within moments of the building's collapse.
At Chelsea Piers, which was turned into a relief station, 40 young men from 17 to 24 years old from Harlem's Youth Action Programs reported for duty. They had been trained in construction work, and were eager to face danger if they could help.
Hundreds of families donated sweatpants, shirts, and socks to the rescue workers, who need frequent changes.
By Thursday, New York's top restaurants were preparing food to send to the James Beard House, a brownstone that has been turned into a haven for rescue workers and victims' families. Students and chefs from the Peter Kump cooking school took over the kitchen there to properly heat and serve the food that was arriving. Downtown, the famous Tribeca Grill turned itself into a cooking center for Rescue Workers, and Artie's deli on the Upper West Side delivered hundreds of sandwiches to fire and police stations.
Countless survivors who fled the World Trade Towers by stairs reported that they passed firefighters going up into the inferno as they raced down. "Everyone I saw going up is probably dead," laments attorney Richard Zimmerman. Hundreds of firefighters, police, and port authority rescue workers gave their lives in an attempt to save others.