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BBC NEWS September 11, one year on
Judy Keen
USA Today reporter
Rob Bach
US pilot
Lord Robertson
Nato Secretary General
Michael Farri
Fire captain, Pentagon
Tony Blair
UK Prime Minister
Zohra Tahiri
Teacher, Kabul
Dr Zaki Badawi
British Muslim cleric
Condoleezza Rice
US national security adviser
Lisa Lefler
Worked in World Trade Center
Howard Lutnick
Chief executive, Cantor Fitzgerald
Rick Thornton
Ferry captain, New York
Sarar Hareth Ibrahimi
Baghdad resident
Katie Hochbaum
15-year-old schoolgirl, New York
Faten Elwan
Palestinian, Ramallah
Mikhal El-Yeshiv
Teacher, Jerusalem
Orshum Parks
New mother, New York

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Judy Keen
USA Today reporter

With President George Bush on Air Force One

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There was a sense of emergency right from the beginning. The presidentís motorcade raced to the airport faster than I had ever experienced.

Once we got on the tarmac and were prepared to board Air Force One, even though we had already undergone a security check that day, the secret service required us to put down our bags for another check by a bomb-sniffing dog. And interestingly, for the first time I had ever seen they also required the staff to put their bags down.

It was a horrifying experience. I started out thinking when Air Force One took off from Florida that I was in the safest place in the whole world. It wasnít very long after that, that it came to me that I was perhaps in the most dangerous place that I could be.

Destination unknown

Soon after take-off we started to look out of the windows of the media compartment to see if fighter jets were escorting us and were very relieved when we did spot them off both of our wings.

The secret service agents who usually stay in their own compartment were just as rattled as we were and in a very unusual circumstance came back and talked to us and reacted to what they were seeing on TV as well.

One of the eerie things about being on the flight initially was that we didnít know where we were going and nor did the staff.

Later, a senior administration staffer told me the initial plan was for the president to fly to Dulles airport - a large airport outside of Washington DC - and then to go from there to Camp David which is in a remote area of Maryland and is fairly easy to secure.

But then we presume that because of the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania Ė not that far from Camp David - that after that they werenít quite sure where to take the president.

Cell phone warning

After a couple of hours a staffer came back and said: "We are going to land. The president will make a statement thatíll be broadcast nationally. You are not allowed to report where we are. You can only say that we are somewhere in the United States."

They didnít initially want us to say that we were even in a military facility. And it really hit me then what was at stake and how our personal safety was at risk when the staffer said: "When we land please donít turn on your cell phones because the cell phone signals from a call could allow people to discern the presidentís location."

And although the press corps are usually a pretty cranky bunch who do what they want to, no-one turned on their cell phones when we landed.

When we landed at the airforce base in Louisiana the aeroplane was surrounded by airforce personnel in full combat gear, helmets, flak jackets and bearing what were obviously loaded weapons.

It felt like at that moment that we were really at war.


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