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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  September 10, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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"don lemon tonight" strarts
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right now, the big star d. lemon. >> look how beautiful this is. can we show it? look, you were born here. i wasn't. i moved here. i still look at the skyline and, you know, driving on the fdr, what have you and expect to see the buildings around every turn and it is a reminder every day when you look that way it's not there but especially today and it's also a reminder how much we lost but a reminder, as well, on how we can come together no matter what as americans as we did after those horrible attacks. >> yeah, that's what i always thought 100%. beautifully said, my brother. i've always felt that's what never forget really is a reminder is about, not what happened, obviously we know what happened but how we were 9/12, 9/13, 9/14. we made mistakes. it didn't last forever. we put things aside and came together with a collective will. >> yeah. >> you contrast that with where
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we are today. i'm telling you, this vaccine hesitancy, there is a personal freedom thing, people don't want to be told what to do. somebody made people think that the vaccine is a personal choice issue. because it doesn't naturally occur that way, brother. >> yeah. >> because we get our kids vaccinated, mumps rubella, polio, small pocs. somebody put an idea of that in their head. we're not who we were after 9/11. this pandemic has proven that. we're weak people making hard times for ourselves. >> look, you can go -- look what happened in the spring and summer of 2020 when you saw the division, the coming together after george floyd and then the division afterwards, right? and so when events like that happen, it proves to us we can be what we strive to be and that's all americans together when there is a crisis and
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nobody is expecting 100% of people to agree all the time. but when we have tragedies like a 9/11 or we have something like a tragedy like what happened with george floyd and see how america can come together, americans can come together and then all of a sudden, people us usually, politicians, some members of the media use it to exploit the divisions in our society and then they divide us even further. we've got to stop that. that should be a lesson to us. let that be a lesson to us. >> i wonder, god forbid, god forbid, god forbid. >> yeah. >> if anything like that ever happens again, i wonder if the first reaction right now would be whose fault is it? >> there you go. that's -- that's go to end on and shouldn't be that. i'll see ya. i'll see ya this weekend. >> i love you d. lemon. >> i love you more. i know people think we say that as a catch phrase but i really
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do. >> i don't say anything i don't mean. >> whatever. >> i love you. i'll see you. >> i'll see you. this is "don lemon tonight." it's ironic, we were just talking about this. what is going on but this is ironic anti-vaxxers and a anti-maskers today are using freedom as a political rally cry claiming it's anti american and anti freedom to require someone to get a free, safe vaccine that will save their lives and those of their countrymen and women. well, maybe they just mean their own freedom, right? just their own freedom. that's called selfishness. freedom to spread a deadly disease, freedom to land in over taxed hospitals, freedom to take a hospital bed from a cancer patient or an accident victim? they don't seem to care about freedom for the rest of us, freedom from the pandemic that is overshadowed everything that
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we have done and been unable to do for more than a year and a half. whatever happened to that summer of freedom we thought, we opened we might have had once a miracle vaccine is rolled out. it disappeared in a pandemic of the unvaccinated. that's what happened. now joe biden's frustration of people playing politics with our lives, his frustration with republican governors willing to put the lives of their own people at risk. [ applause ] >> you are threatening to challenge it in court. >> have at it. look, i am so disappointed that
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particularly some republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of these kids, so cavalier with the health of their communities. this is -- this is -- we're playing for real here. this isn't a game. >> now this whole idea that a mandate for a vaccine and testing in the middle of a pandemic is somehow anti american and anti freedom just is a concoction. freedom to get sick? freedom to die? the fact is, the fact is vaccines are already required. kids in schools and child care are widely required to get vaccinated for things like tetanus, also, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chickenpox. >> vaccinated requirements in schools were nothing new. they work.
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they're overwhelmingly supported by educators and their unions. >> vaccination mandates are really nothing new. they go all the way back to the revolutionary war when george washington mandated smallpox inoculations for soldiers. george washington revolutionary war. mandated smallpox shots for soldiers. freedom. liberty. look up the definitions. let me tell you something you might not get from watching the news, listening to the amplification of the loudest, most ignorant voices. ready? the majority view in this country is that people should get vaccinated, that's the majority view. that's the same view. the people with sense. common sense. look at your screen. that's the latest gallop pole,
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to travel by plane or eat in restaurants. leave that up. the majority of people in this country said there should be vaccine requirements if you want to work in an office or travel by plane or eat in restaurants. freedom. liberty. most people agree that vaccines are necessary to end the pandemic but a vocal minority sis holding everybody else back and too many republicans are trying to use that to play to the base. they think vaccines are fine. it's mandates they don't like. alabama governor kay ivy encouraging the people of her state to get vaccinated but saying we're never going to mandate it and vowing not to let the president, her words, tell alabama what to do. think about that logic. that's like saying well, i encourage the use of seat belts and driving with insurance but
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how dare you mandate it? it's mandated already. [ laughter ] kay ivy. interestingly, though, that governor ivy was pretty clear over the summer when she blamed people who refuse to get vaccinated. >> it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks, the unvaccinated folks are letting us down. >> here is the thing. if you were saying on the one hand people need to get vaccinated but on the other hand, rarely against mandates for them to do so, does that mean you're final with the virus running its course and overwhelming your hospitals? you're fine with more americans dying of an entirely preventable disease? you're fine with kids too young to be vaccinated catching that entirely preventable disease from people who just refuse to roll up their sleeves? freedom. liberty.
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because that's exactly what is going to happen. that's what is happening right now. and some of the people who called vaccine mandates anti freedom are the same ones who spread the big lie that fueled january 6th, an attack on our freedom as americans. exhibit a, the former president that said this in 2019. >> they have to get the shot, the vaccinations are so important. this is really going around now. they have to get their shots. >> kelly, can you rerack that? this is the former president of the united states saying in 2019 to get vaccinated. let's roll it again, please. >> they have to get the shot. the vaccinations are so important. this is really going around now. they have to get their shots. >> i don't need to say anything.
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i can play that sound byte for the entire show. where was the gop outrage then? where was the gop outrage when trump said that you have to get the shot? where was the shouting about freedom? liberty? [ laughter ] where was the gop outrage when he toted the miracle vaccines he said he helped create, back in december, where was it? >> today we're on the verge of another american medical miracle, and that's what people are saying, people that aren't necessarily big fans of donald trump are saying whether you like him or not, this is one of the greatest miracles in the history of modern day medicine or any other medicine, any other age of medicine. >> you know who was in the room that day applauding, applauding
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the vaccines? well, it was governors like tennessee's billy now at the same time, he calls vaccines the best tool we have. he blasts the mandates we need to get shots in arms as a power grab. okay? also that day was florida governor ron desantis. he supports vaccines, too, but slams mandates as the president having a hissy fit. >> to take people's jobs and livelihoods away from them with no force of law just an executive eat it, that is fundamentally wrong and so we need to be prevooviding protects for folks here in the state of florida. you should not lose your job just because joe biden is having this hissy fit. >> you have to get the vaccine. that's it. they have to get the shot. the vaccines are so important. this is really going around now. they have to get the shots. but now.
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president biden is having a hissy fit. ron desantis, come on, we see you. and then there is the texas governor greg abbott that tweeted saying he'd protect texans rights to choose. the hypocrisy. texans right to choose. all of a sudden, the governor of texas is all pro-choice? just not for women. in texas, they don't have the right to choose to not carry the child of a rapist to term. the people who want to go around. think about that. think about that. he's going to protect people's right to choose. but if you happen to become i'm pregnanted, you're a woman, young woman, a child, you got to carry the baby.
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let that set in for awhile. interesting. for people that want to go around unvaccinated, unmasked in the middle of a pandemic, that seems like they can do whatever they want. we talked about freedom tonight. well, right now as you're looking live at the iconic tribute and light, we're just hours away from marking the solum anniversary of a day when terrorists attacked our freedom, a day when 2,977 people died at the world trade center in the pentagon in a field in shanksville, pennsylvania. the white house releasing a video ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. >> this is what makes us who we are, america at its best. to me, that's the central lesson of september 11th is that at our
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most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human and the battle for the soul of america, unity is our greatest strength. it doesn't mean we have to believe the same thing but we must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other and this nation. >> unity means that we don't have to all believe the same thing but we have to have a fund mental respect. think of all the sacrifices we made after 9/11. think of how americans came together, our unity as joe biden says. now, some of us won't even get a shot or wear a mask to save precious american lives. we're losing as many people every two days as we lost on that terrible day of 9/11. and it is completely avoidable. if we don't let politics divide us and steal away american lives.
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the president is trying to end the pandemic and some republican governors are fighting him. do they really want to play politics while americans are dying? >> politics doesn't have to be this way. politics don't have to be this way. growing up in an environment they see it's like a war, like a bitter feud. be proud of your walls. where's your furniture? oh we thought it distracted from the new behr dynasty paint color. let me take your coats. because behr dynasty only takes... one. coat. behr dynasty. go ahead, throw your wine on it. what? stain repellent. it's also scuff resistant. you're paying for that! introducing behr dynasty™, the best of behr. exclusively at the home depot. welcome to allstate. where you can pay a little less
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so the president is getting a lot of blow back from republican governors over his vaccine mandates. ron desantis saying it's unconstitutional and saying he'll fight them. missi mississippi's governor claims biden doesn't have the authority to impose mandates. he said that today while extending the state of emergency for another 30 days. just saying. i want to bring in cnn's senior political analyst kirsten powers and dr. jonathan reiner. good to see both of you. good evening. let's talk about this, y'all. i've been talking to my family in louisiana too much. sorry about that. several republican governors are rejecting biden's vaccine
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mandate calling it an over reach and saying they will challenge it in court and president biden is daring them saying, have at it. he's trying to end the pandemic. what are the republican governors trying to do here? >> they're trying to rev up their base. there is no other explanation for what they're doing. this is not in any way going to help save a single life. it not going to even help a business if you care about your businesses in your state by trying to fight a mandate. the business groups that typically trend republican, they tend to support republican views are all in support of this mandate because they know that this is something that is necessary for businesses and the economy and obviously something that's necessary to end the pandemic and save people's lives and help everybody get back to a somewhat normal life. so they seem to just be playing politics. >> yeah, well, having said that, dr. reiner, there is a recent
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gallop poll. i don't think this will win them over. a recent survey taken before biden announced the mandate found that 56% of americans favor vaccine requirements at their office or work site. 44% oppose. it's a good reminder most people want it and the experts say that vaccinations are the way to get back to normal. >> right. so let's remember that 75% of america's adults have been vaccinated. so the tale has been wagging the dog in this country for the last 18 months and it looks like administration finally wants that to stop. the vast minority of americans are resistant to vaccination but that's where the virus is circulating and that's why we have, you know, 14 hundred and 40,000 cases a day.
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most americans understand the value of vaccines as evidence by their willingness to get vaccinated. that's why vaccine mandates are widely approved in the united states. >> yeah. kirsten, should we be discussing it this way despite the people at school board meetings or people refusing -- ut oh, did we lose kirsten? can you at least hear me? she's gone. we'll try to get her back. let me ask you that question. should we be discussing it this way despite the people at the school board meetings, doctor, or people refusing to mask up on planes, they're a vocal minority but in the wrong. they're the ones who are holding the majority of the country back and dictating how everyone else has to live, the minority is dictating to the majority. >> that's right and look, we live in a country that has rules. you can't smoke in most buildings in the united states, and you can't drive drunk. >> you can't smoke on planes. >> you can't smoke on planes.
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and you can't blow virus into my face. that's how it has to be in this country. and if you're going to be a persistent threat to the public health by repusifusing to get vaccinated, your actions have consequences and the consequences may be you can't work at your job. if businesses have the choice between mandating vaccines and testing, they will choose mandating vaccines because that's the most cost effective way to do business. testing will probably cost them money, and vaccines, which prevent illness will keep their workers on the job. so i think what the biden mandate is going to do is going to -- it's basically going to handcuff the businesses around the united states and you'll see all kinds of restaurant chains and manufacturing facilities mandate vaccines for their employees. >> kirsten, let me ask you the question in a different way.
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remember during obama's first term he kept trying to work with republicans and i want bipartisanship and republicans and during this pandemic, joe biden is a doing a similar thing but he's been coaxing people, urging people, what have you when the polls clearly show the majority of people want him to be stronger on this issue, they want mandates. they want to get back to normal. do you see the similarity there? do you get the point i'm making that maybe the democrats, joe biden and the democrats need to lean in a little bit harder with their agenda instead of coaxing and trying to go for bipartisanship and, you know, okay, come on and try to string people along? >> well, i think it's sort of both. i think that on the one hand he needs to still try to reach some of these people because i do think while a lot of us feel frustrated and angry about what is happening, the people to be really frustrated and angry with
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are the leaders and the people giving them this information. the tucker carlsons of the world, right? the people who, you know, the governors who are fighting this and are giving out bad information. so i think that this is -- i think it's right for him to still try to reach the people. the problem is those people will never see them because they're consuming news from news outlets that don't ever really show this to them, but i do feel like he could have been a little stronger sooner in terms of, you know, asking businesses to do these kinds of things even before i guess he wanted to wait for fda approval to do this but then why not the minute there is a fda approval, you're not ready to go, right? people are dying, and so it just is incredibly frustrating, you know, i was in italy this summer when they started doing their vaccine mandates and they have they call a green passover there
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and, you know, it's just everybody just did it, right? it was something that everybody just understood, oh, you have to be thoughtful towards other people. you have to think about other people when you go into a restaurant and take your mask off. here is my green pass. i'll show you you've been vaccinated. that was frustrating seeing that happen and coming back to the u.s. and seeing we're still having people, you know, walking around without masks and infecting each other. so yeah, i think that he can try to reach those people but i also think the time has passed in terms of policies. you can't cater to them. >> thank you both. i'll see you soon. have a good weekend. >> thank you. fights at school board meetings, fights on airplanes. why is everybody is angry? hi! (sister) you're late! (brother) fashionably late. (sister) we can not be late. (brother) there's a road right there. (brother) that's a cat. wait, just hold madi's headpiece.
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i really want you on this evening to listen to this next segment. we have new polling from cnn that finds 74% of americans are angry about how things are going in this country today, and you can see it. okay? you can see it on planes. >> hey! no! hey! chill! chill! chill out! >> you can see it in schools. >> okay.
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right here, look, right here. so as you can see fists are now flying. all of this on live television. fists are flying. >> you can see it at protests. >> hey! >> so the question is where is all this anger coming from? why is everybody so angry? let's turn to cnn senior political analyst ron brownstein. i've been asking this forever since early in the pandemic and especially now i don't though why everywhere you go, everywhere you look the anger is pa pa papble and getting physical. >> i think there are long term factors and then there is a very immediate kind of trigger and the long term factors, don, we're living through the modern
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equivalent of the 1850s in a cold war between the states between now red and blue america and the issue of whether the disconnect and diverging in values and priorities between red and blue america is being crystallized in a way it never has before. the pandemic put everybody under a lot of pressure in their daily lives and those are real factors. i think the immediate trigger and match that set all this ablaze is that donald trump legitimatized violence and intimidation as a political tactic, other republicans have not pushed back against that. they are trying to normalize the january 6 th insurrection and he told supporters and this is an exact quote, this is our america and they are trying to take it away from us, and if that is your perspective, if you believe that the america that you know is being stolen and transformed into something unrecognizable, you can see where it leads. there were republican senate candidates in ohio calling for
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defiance of the vaccine mandate that you were just discussing even if the supreme court upholds it and that is the logical end point of kind of his messaging that violence and intimidation are acceptable and that this is our america and it is being stoppen. >> every time i read something or see, you know, either on social media or in traditional media and i just read it, i don't see the person and then it's always the same type of person that is angry and nonsensical about why they won't wear a mask or coughing in someone's face. it's just -- it's -- i don't really get it. >> well, no, i think i do in the sense that the -- look. the republican coalition particularly under trump is increasingly depending on the voters and the way america is changing and everything that
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happened in covid, you know, has kind of provided an opportunity, you know, you would not think extensively that a public -- the biggest public health crisis in 100 years would become the arena for a culture war but that's what it has become. so things like mask wearing or vaccine mandates really energize and antagonize a minority of the population. as we talked about, what we're learning here in california in this recall for example where gavin newsom seems to be strongly in command by emphasizing his support for mandates is in fact, there is a majority of vaccinate aid manier cans up to three quarters of amer americans are vaccinated are exhausted with this rhetoric about liberty, liberty at the cost of endangering someone else. i actually think there is an american majority kind of had it with this argument but within the republican coalition, it is the dominant piece and there are
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i don't think any -- i'm not aware of any republican leading officials who are saying they can or will accept mandates. >> well, i mean, you see it when people are -- if someone is not wearing a mask and coughing on people or on an airplane. everyone else is getting get off the plane, shut up or in the store put on a mask or here we go again and there is one in every single bunch but no matter what biden does, are republicans going to be angry anyway when they are fueled by people like desantis and abbott and enraging them? >> look, as you were discussing in the last segment, biden came in -- biden i think wanted to be eisenhower. he wanted to be an elder statesman largely above politics bringing the parties together and kind of tamping down the cultural and social conflict and focussing on kitchen table issues, shots in the arms, checks in the pocket, shovels in the ground. what he found is this moment of intense polarization when so many red states are kareeming so
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far to the right on so many issues on masks, on abortion, on voting rights, that that posture is simply untenable if you try to be above the fray, you end up not being eisenhower but james buchanan who is the president before lincoln who kind of blundered into the civil war. ultimately, he, i think, recognized that if he's going to achieve what he is setting out to do and which majority of the country supports, he is going to have to confront more directly those forces in red america that are opposing it, whether the unvaccinated through mandates or whether it's the governors that he is going after on a variety of fronts from education department investigations on mask to the lawsuit on abortion in texas and i think the critical next front in all of this is he willing to do the same thing on voting rights because the divide -- the force is too much to try to pretend that we're all in this together at this moment. >> yeah. >> we're not and there are
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different perspectives and different views and he's decided he has to stand up for firmly for the one he believes in. >> before you go, i want to say it's not just republicans. nine in ten republicans say they are angry and 67% of democrats are angry but it's for different reasons and we'll get into that at another time. thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thanks, don. it's been 20 years since september 11th. how have we as a nation changed? before treating your chronic migraine, 15 or more headache days a month each lasting 4 hours or more,
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september 11th, 2001. tomorrow marks 20 years since that horrific day when 2,977 people were killed and this country changed forever. joining me now, cnn presidential historian douglas brinkley. good evening. it's been 20 years since the 9/11 attacks and for some of us that lived through it, it's
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years ago but also just yesterday all at the same time. where are we historically with that day? >> well, one reason we relive it is the film footage is sered in our imaginations. it's the same as the kennedy assassination and that way we watched the world trade center collapse over and over again in our minds. you know, 20 years ago, our country pulled together. that was the deadliest terrorist attack in world history. we lost nearly 3,000 americans. we had 25,000 injured. many people were later sick from environmental problems developed from the attack. the immediate wake at the time when george w. bush spoke to the country ask days later came to new york with the bull horn, american flags went up over the country as you remember, don, we were united living the united states of america and we'll stand together and that quickly
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dissipated probably by mission over reach in the united states. we went into afghanistan to fair out al qaeda and the taliban but 20 years later the taliban in afghanistan we had the longest war in afghanistan without a clear victory. we're having to scratch our heads tomorrow somberly prayerfully remembering the dead of 9/11 and remembering that moment but also using it to say what are we doing in the united states? is our foreign policy? what are we about and why are we ripping at each other throats instead of terrorism, we're fighting the enemy within, ourselves. >> i want to play part of the video that president biden released tonight focussing on the sense of unity in this country following 9/11. here it is. >> yeah. >> unity is what makes u are. americ
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makes us human and the battle for the soul of america, unity is greatest strength. unity doesn't mean we have to believe the same thing. we must have a fund mental respect and faith in each other and in this nation. >> clearly, we lost a lot of unity. when you look back on these 20 years, how did that happen? >> well, the good news is we reacted to 9/11. we built a homeland security department, and we did tsa and increased at airports and i feel we have better port security. we're able to monitor terrorist groups much better than we did 20 years ago. it's gotten ugly and heinous within. part of it is american xenophobia and nativism.
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a lot is stoked by donald trump. i find it shameful, don, donald trump will be a commentator on a fight on 9/11 commemoration instead of being there laying a wreath in shanksville or new york city or washington d.c. showing the unity that president biden is talking about. instead, we will hn there. we will have obama and bush 43 but trump is out on some looney toon fighting game and the continuing to be the disuniter of america instead of a uniter. we had an authoritarian president for the first time and reaping the problems that trump sowed with us. >> no disrespect to you. when i heard that or read it, i just said of course he is. you know. that's who he is. >> that's who he is. i agree. when you do presidential history, don, we like to think
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there is a moment that anybody would do the right thing and instead, trump on the anniversary isn't so we pay respect to the fallen heroes of 9/11, the firefighters and the policemen who died and just put aside that person who is trying to divide our nation and just won't be part of the ceremony tomorrow. >> thank you, douglas brinkley. always a pleasure to see you. >> thanks, don. the trinity light shining over new york city tonight honoring those who died in the terrible attacks of 9/11. we'll be back with a look at the events of that morning. (man) so when in doubt, just say, "let me talk to my manager." next, carvana's 100% online shopping experience. oh, man. carvana lets people buy a car-- get this-- from their couch. oh, how disruptive. no salesman there to help me pick out the car i need. how does anyone find a car on this site without someone like us checking in? she's a beauty, huh? oh, golly! (laughter) i can help you find the color you want. that sounds nice. let me talk to my manager.
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anniversary of 9/11. almost everyone remembers where they were when they learned about the attacks. but harder to remember after two decades is just how little we knew that day as we watched the attacks unfold, wondering if there was more devastation in store, and whether our country was now at war. so tonight i want to take us back in time to the events as they unfolded that day. at 8:49 a.m., cnn cut in with breaking coverage of the smoking tower, an unconfirmed report of a plane crashing into it. i want to warn you that even 20 years later these images are graphic and disturbing. >> this just in. you are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. that is the world trade center. and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the world trade center. cnn center right now is just beginning to work on this story. obviously calling our sources and trying to figure out exactly what happened.
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clearly, something relatively devastating happening there. >> just minutes later as we were still trying to make sense of what was happening, another plane flew into the south tower of the world trade center. >> i say the hold takes about, so for, six, seven floors were taken out. >> oh, there is -- >> hold on, people are running. >> just a moment. we have an explosion inside. >> the building exploded? >> if you look at the second building, there are two -- both twin towers on four. this was not the correct just a couple moments ago. the second twin tower now on fire. we are going to check on the second flight, if perhaps that happened. >> the second plane made it clear the unfolding tragedy was a planned attack. moments later then president george w. bush was told the country was under attack while
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reading to elementary students in florida. then a third plane struck the pentagon in washington. smoke was visible from across the city. it was clear american lives had already been lost. but no one knew what was about to happen in new york. just before 10:00 the south trade center collapsed. it was hard to tell what even happened at first. >> jamie, i need you to stop for a second. there has just been a huge explosion. we can see billowing smoke ri rising. i tell you, i can't see that second tower. but there was a cascade of sparks and fire, and now this -- it looks almost like a mushroom cloud explosion. >> as america was glued to the horrific images playing out in new york in a lonely field near shanksville, pennsylvania, united airlines flight 93
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crashed, killing all on board. the passengers and crew had fought back against their hijackers, having learned what was happening outside, and moments later, collapse again. >> in washington, there is a large fire at the pentagon. the pentagon has been evacuated. and there, as you can see, perhaps the second tower, the front tower, the top portion of which is collapsing. good lord. there are no words. >> there weren't. and still there aren't. it was unbelievable. just because we now know what we're seeing doesn't diminish the heartache or the shock. 2,977 americans died that day. and many of those who rushed to ground zero suffer still, through lingering illness tied to the fumes and the rubble. today, 57% of americans say the
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attacks changed how they live their everyday liveless. a whole generation of americans born in the shadow of 9/11, with no memory of the day itself. and tonight, where there was one destruction and smoke works towers of light shining into the new york city sky calling again for unity and for us to never forget.
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