Where Were You 11 Years Ago This Morning?
Hard to believe it was 11 years ago this morning that the biggest tragedy of our generation happened. September 11, 2001, a series of four suicide attacks that were committed in the United States on September 11, 2001, coordinated to strike the areas of New York City and Washington, D.C. On that Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally piloted two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. The hijackers also intentionally crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and intended to pilot the fourth hijacked jet, United Airlines Flight 93, into the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.; however, the plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers attempted to take control of the jet from the hijackers. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including the 246 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I hadn’t turned on the TV or radio that morning as I was running late for work. As I started my car, I sensed a very somber tone to the end of the Bob & Tom Show, but obviously missed the news. As I walked into the lobby of our then-studios on Spring Avenue in Sioux Falls, the receptionist had a stunned look on her face but I didn’t pay that as much attention as I did when I walked by the KSOO-AM studio to find a group of my co-workers huddled around a little TV watching the events unfold. I honestly remember thinking to myself “why is everyone watching a Bruce Willis movie?” As I walked into the studio to find out what was going on, I watched the second plane fly into the World Trade Center. Life changed at that moment for me. They quickly caught me up on the tragedy and we realized together that the first plane wasn’t an accident.
On B102.7 and on all our stations in fact, we went commercial-free news coverage for the next week, staying on high alert, covering and witnessing this horrific event that would change the way we view the world. We never thought anything like that would ever happen on American soil and we’ve spent the last eleven years wondering if it would happen again. I pray for my sake, my daughters’ sake, my granddaughters’ sake and generations that will follow, that it never happens again.
Do you remember where you were when you first heard the news?