On September 11, 2001 I had been at my new job with a CBS affiliate in Minnesota for only a few weeks.
Minutes after arriving at work someone burst into my department (Creative Services—the people who make commercials) telling everyone a plane had hit the Twin Towers. We carried on with our normal activities (breaking news is nothing new to television station employees and it was thought to just be a horrible accident). Then, when news broke that a second plane flown directly into a tower I went into the newsroom.
When the plane hit the Pentagon I returned to my department and urged everyone to come into the newsroom since there was still a plane in the air (the one that would ultimately go down in Pennsylvania).
Television stations get live feeds from New York and I’ll never forget standing in front of the wall of screens watching everything unfold. Alarms from New York blared horrific updates, and because New York took control of the airwaves we had nothing to do but sit and watch.
I saw, and heard, all the live feeds from photogs on the ground (things that weren’t let out to the public) and it was horrible. As crazy as it sounds, what you all saw on your tv was the “sanitized” version of what photogs were capturing.
On this anniversary let us never forget the events of that day, the bravery of the first responders, and above all, please keep those who lost their lives forefront in our hearts.