Museum launches online timeline of 9/11 attacks

Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:45pm EST
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By Bernd Debusmann Jr.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An interactive timeline chronicling the September 11, 2001 attacks hour-by-hour went online on Wednesday, with a fast-forward button to skip any video or audio accounts too disturbing for the visitor.

The virtual exhibit was organized by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which is building a structure at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan to honor almost 3,000 victims killed in the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Until the building opens in September 2011, anyone interested in how that historic day unfolded can find out here.

"This timeline is a real attempt to organize what was an incredibly chaotic day into a format that's accessible for people to learn from," said Joe Daniels, the president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

The timeline begins at 5:45 a.m. with video showing hijackers Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari passing through security in Boston's Logan Airport just prior to boarding American Airlines Flight 11, the first to slam into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

The timeline ends with then-President George W. Bush's address to the nation at 8:30 p.m. that night.

In between, there are gripping still photographs and first person accounts from fire fighters and other survivors who were at the scene when planes hit the buildings or when the twin towers fell.

One office worker's first-person account, from about 9:15 a.m., when the towers were being evacuated, recounts his descent down the stairwell from his office on the 47th floor of the north tower.   Continued...