American Morning

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September 9th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

9/11 legacy: Unprecedented growth in the private security industry

Did you know that post-9/11, seven of the 10 wealthiest communities in America house people who are employed, not in the federal government, but in the "private security" industry?

Ten years after the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, one of the biggest changes the nation experienced is to the nation's security measures, both at home and abroad.

The Washington Post's Dana Priest believes that more has been spent in national security measures than physical wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Listen to her CNN podcast interview here.

Filed under: 9/11 • National security
September 9th, 2011
11:45 AM ET

After nearly a decade, two 9/11 survivors explain how the event changed their lives

Security will be tight and emotions will be high this weekend as Americans commemorate the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Although nearly a decade has passed, many who survived the attacks still struggle with the memories of that tragic day.

Michael Benfante was in a meeting on the 81st floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when American Airlines 77 struck the building four floors above him. As he descended the stairwell, he encountered 41-year-old Tina Hansen, stranded in her wheelchair. With help from a colleague, it took nearly an hour to carry her to safety.

John Yates was in a conference room in with four other colleagues, watching video of the Twin Towers when the plane hit the Pentagon. His colleagues died, but he was able to crawl to safety with second and third degree burns.

Benfante and Yates join Christine Romans on American Morning today to share their stories and to explain how 9/11 has changed their lives.

Filed under: 9/11
September 9th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

How do you put a price on a life? 9/11 fund administrator explains

Eleven days after the September 11th attacks, Congress created a $7 billion fund to compensate 5,562 family members of those who were killed. The payment for death claims averaged $2,083,000 for families, while compensation for injury claims averaged $400,000.

Families who took money from the fund had to sign a waiver that limited their legal recourse against the airline industry by preventing them from suing the airlines for negligence.

The fund closed in 2003, but President Obama reactivated it earlier this year in response to new concerns that exposure to toxins at Ground Zero have caused the deaths or illnesses of 9/11 victims, and in particular, first responders.

Lawyer Kenneth Feinberg was appointed as special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. He joins Carol Costello on American Morning today to explain what it was like to work for the fund.

Filed under: 9/11