On September 11, 2001, America awoke to the threat of a terrorist attack. For generations, this nation saw itself as an isolated, impenetrable castle protected by oceanic moats. Now, however, the fortress of democracy had been assaulted from within and the weapon of choice was a domestic airliner. Few who witnessed the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center will ever forget that sight. Some observers wondered how such a tragedy could occur. A frightful clue came moments later when a second plane exploded into the adjacent tower. Reports soon followed of an attack on the Pentagon and a plane crash in Pennsylvania. It seemed that a systematic assault had been waged on America. Confusion swept over the nation like the dust billowing through the streets of New York City. Was this an act of terrorism? Had America witnessed another Pearl Harbor? A dazed nation cried, prayed, and grieved as one.