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Where Were You When You Heard the News on 9/11?

NYC memorial
Lucas Jackson-Pool/Getty Images)

For most of us, September 11, 2001, started like any other. Sunny sky and a gentle breeze. We were in the KIKN radio studios playing music, getting ready for a few contests, and rehearsing a few features we were to air later that morning.

We had no way of knowing that even when our show started at 5:00am, an evil plan was already in motion that would forever change the lives of Americans forever.

At 7:46am, our time, Flight 11 crashed into the north face of the North Tower in New York City. Initially, the anchors on Good Morning America speculated that it was a small aircraft that veered off-course, and I remember saying so on the air. Yet the skies in New York were so clear, so blue.

Then the second plane hit the South Tower at 8:03am.

I remember saying, “This isn’t right. Something is wrong.”

We were trying to make sense of what we were seeing on TV.

Then it was the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Then, Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. Then the scene of the Chief of Staff whispering to President Bush,  “A second plane has hit the second tower. America is under attack.” while visiting that classroom in Florida.

I can’t tell you how slow everything seemed to move in those moments that followed. My co-workers footsteps, the looks on the faces of the staff who came into the on-air studio to see the television.

Not one single airplane in the sky, not one. Nothing seemed real. It was too quiet.

I remember taking a phone call from a mother who asked if she should bring her kids to school, or if she should bring them home and lock the doors.

The events of the day replayed on the TV like a bad dream. A never-before-felt anger roiled up in each of us, wanting revenge on those responsible. How could anyone hate us that much?

Anger turned to sorrow. We buried the dead and hailed them as heroes. Overall, it still remains the worst single act of terrorism ever committed on U.S. soil.

I like the caller we had on from Mitchell, SD. on the 10th anniversary of the attack, who stated, “We move forward. We are stronger because of what happened.”

You’ll see the American Flag flown at half staff today as a reminder that, yes, we have scars, but we’re more united because of them. We are still one nation under God.

Before going to bed tonight, say a prayer for our military, our firefighters, our police officers, and those that continue to defend our shores every day.



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