September 12, 2001
Remembering the day after 9/11
Sixteen years have passed since the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001. And while most of us remember with unsettling clarity where we were when we heard that hijacked planes had crashed into the World Trade Center (and later, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field), killing nearly 3,000 people, it might be the next day — September 12, 2001 — that actually marked the beginning of a new era, one in which full-body scans at the airport, color-coded threat levels, slow-burn wars that never really end, and an undercurrent of fear running beneath the mundanity of life became the norm.
But, of course, we didn't know that then. On September 12, many Americans felt trapped in a confused and shocking state of limbo. School was canceled. Few people went to work. We were stuck. Some literally, as planes were grounded, subways and trains running minimally if not canceled altogether, and many streets clogged with vehicles. Others emotionally, trapped between grief, shock, fear, and anger.
Below, a look back at September 12, 2001 — the day after the tragedy.
Editor's note: This article was first published on Sept. 12, 2016, and last updated on Sept. 12, 2017.