9/11 Eleven Year Anniversary – Where We Were
This year is the 11th anniversary of the attacks on the United States and the World Trade center, and the staff of Cars 108 and Townsquare Media Flint got together to share where they were and what they were doing during this tragedy.
I had just come of of the production studio, and moving past the area where the TV was then located. There was a group of people around it and the first tower had already been struck. While watching, the second plane hit the other tower. I knew something was very wrong and that these were not accidents.
I headed for Chris Pavelich, our news director to get him on the story. When I heard that all the airports in the country had been closed, that signaled something unlike anything we had ever experienced. I remember the shiver at that moment, knowing that the world we knew has just changed dramatically. How true that was.
Our role as a station was altered at that moment. We dropped the music format on Cars 108 and went to a continuous ABC news feed to try and keep our listeners up to date with the events.
I was running a radio station in Evansville, Indiana at the time of the attacks. We gathered in the conference room, and I'll never forget the look of confusion and fear in my boss' eyes as he said “This changes everything.” Chills ran down my spine, and as the towers fell we decided to dump out of regular programming and go straight to a continuous news feed covering the attacks.
I remember that we weren't sure if more attacks were coming, and everyone was on edge all day. By the next morning, as the dust was clearing, I remember a tremendous sense of unity throughout the nation. Watching every documentary on the attacks as I can find, I feel like I am still learning about the dynamic and enormity of the events. I hope any pray that as a nation, we never have to experience such a horrific tragedy like that ever again. We lost too many good people for no reason.
I’ve always felt like I was the last to know. I was scheduled to work later in the day, so I was still at home with my then-three-year-old boys, while my wife went to a dentist appointment. Nick and David had PBS on, and the three of us were playing on the floor. PBS did not interrupt regular programming.
Denise got home around 10, and was shocked that we hadn’t yet seen anything on TV, and quickly brought me up to speed, telling what she knew. As cliché as it still sounds, it seems like the world had changed in a moment. We had no idea what the next minutes, hours and days would bring, and I remember thinking that the world in which my sons would be growing up, would be significantly different from the world as we had known it prior to the attacks.
I was at home and had slept late after a long day. I hadn't turned on the radio or tv yet, and called the Sub Coordinator at Davison schools to inquire about upcoming teaching jobs. When she answered the phone she told me that I had to turn on the tv and see what was happening. I couldn't believe what I was watching when I turned it on. I had to go on the air later that afternoon, and already several gas stations (including one down the street from the station) had jacked up their prices to double what it was earlier in that day. People were really scared and freaked out. Many wondered what they could do to help the people in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania. Our world changed that day, and I for one won't forget it.
When I was a kid, my uncle would sometimes take me to the Lower West Side when he called on clients. I recall seeing the WTC construction site and vaguely remember hearing news about progress on the project, but nothing really stands out. On 9/11 I was working in a TV newsroom at the time, and was getting ready to go on an assignment when the first plane hit. A co-worker who knew I'm from New York came running to tell me about the crash. I thought about the B-25 that hit the Empire State Building in 1945, and believed this might be a similar incident. Everyone in the newsroom was watching the live coverage when the second plane hit the south tower. I recall murmuring to myself, “This is no accident.” The next 48-72 hours are still a blur.
I was a junior in Highschool, and had just walked into Global Studies class. The mentioned it briefly on our syndicated news show, but there weren't many details about it…just that the first plane had flown into the first tower of the World Trade Center. My teacher didn't even know where the Trade Center was located. I bet he'll never forget, because I know I won't.
I have been on the air through some weird moments and news flashes…but this day I was NOT. I was on the last day of a short vacation and was taking care of my 1 year old and 7 month old while my wife was at work when I heard about it on the TV. I flipped over about a minute before the 2nd plane hit and when I saw it I felt my breath leave me. My 1st thoughts were to my sister who was a Flight Attendant in New York and to my fellow radio broadcasters who had to be going through quite a day of updates and information flowing through the radio station. It took a long time to find out if my sister was ok–she was–worked for Delta but she was stranded for 4 days when they shut down all flights. When I returned to the station the next day the world felt very different.
I was working that day. My boss always had the TV on in his office. When he told us about what had happened. We all stood in his office watching in disbelief. I remember standing next to him for security, feeling scared and in tears. He told us to go home for the day to be with our love ones, and pray for those who have lost theirs. None of us will ever forget what happened on that terrible day 9/11.
I was here at the station early that morning. Good Morning America was on in the break room. The first plane had just crashed into the tower as I walked in to get some coffee. They were thinking that it was an accident at first, but as I watched the second plane edge onto the screen while they were live, it became very apparent that this wasn't accidental at all. When the third and fourth planes crashed later in the day, I remember just wanting to be home with my husband and kids. Nowhere felt safe that day.
I was in a routine Tuesday morning meeting at the real estate office where I worked. An agent that stayed home from the meeting called in to inform us about the first plane hitting the tower. As I was talking to her, the second plane hit. The real estate office had no television and very slow internet at the time. I continued to listen to the radio for the updates, and it was hours later when I saw the first images of what is now the most devastating day of my entire life. My children were at school and all their buildings were locked down that day due to the massive threat that it brought. My heart goes out to any and all that suffered a loss from this tragic day.
Our alarm did not go off that morning. So, while waiting for my son to get ready for school, I turned on the TV. The 1st tower had already been hit and, within 10 min, the second tower was hit. I called the school to see how “they” were going to handle the day. They said it was going to be “buisness as usual. I dropped off my son and hugged him like I'd never hugged him before. I drove straight to Home Depot, bought an American Flag, and PROPTLY went home and installed it.
I was working in the service department at Victory George Oldsmobile. At 9am, when everyone knew what was going, all worked stopped, customers stopped coming in, and no one, even the owners, couldn't focus on anything. Salesman, mechanics, everyone was in the waiting area glued to the TV. None of our lives have really been the same since.
I woke that morning to the news of the first crash. After seeing the second plane hit, I realized that this was a deliberate attack on U.S. soil. My initial reaction was fear, which over the course of the following week became anger. I was extremely close to enlisting at a local armed services recruiting office, but decided not to make such a quick decision. The sense of fear and confusion was something i'd never experienced, and hope to never again witness.
I had been out partying the night before and crashed at a friend of mine's place. I remember waking up to his mother's screams. She kept 'Saying “We're under attack”. We all huddled around the Television like a bunch of zombies, we were all in disbelief of what we were seeing. I was still pretty out of it, but I remember being very confused because nobody on TV (or anywhere else) knew what the hell was going on. It's good that I was in such a disoriented state, my confusion kept me from being in the state of panic I probably would've been in otherwise. I truly hope that my children never have to witness anything that horrible in their lifetime.
We got a phone call on the air during the Value Connection, our live radio shopping show, from someone asking why we weren't talking about the plane crash. It was about 9:30am and we hadn't heard about the first plane strike before we went on the air at 9am. It had been unusually slow that morning, and I remember wondering about that prior to the call about the crash. When we returned to the network, it was with ABC News, and stayed with it for the rest of the day and for some days afterward. I remember what a brilliantly beautiful day it was, and the contrast with the fog I felt myself in.
When I first heard about the attack, I was in the UCen at UM-Flint on my way to an anthropology class in my first semester of college. The classes in the days to follow were filled with some of the best discussions I've ever been apart of. You really got to know other people real well during that time!
I was working as a traffic director at B-95 at the time. There was a lot of talking going on over in the sales department and I left my office to see what was going on. Everyone was gathered around the TV in the conference room. We pretty much watched the whole day unfold. It was baffeling. Several people tried phoning relatives and friends in the NY area. Our Sales Manager had just returned from a trip from there just the day before. Needles to say not much work got accomplished that day.