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9/11 — What I Remember

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The evening of September 11, 2001, I was on a bus heading to work here at Joy FM, wondering how the h-e-double-hockey-sticks I was going to do anything like a normal program.

Like most of you, I had spent most of the day watching the horrific footage from New York City, Washington, D.C., and that open field in Pennsylvania. Like some of you, I had family working in New York City. One relative was scheduled to work at the World Trade Center but was shifted to another location shortly before the first plane struck. Some people said later it was an amazing coincidence. I’ve since heard “coincidence” defined as “God’s way of staying out of the newspaper.” Hopefully, you had the same or a similar experience.

The repeated images of the planes striking first one, then the other, tower had numbed me to the reality of the thousands of people trapped and slaughtered inside the WTC. As I watched the towers burst into flames, and some of those inside choose to jump from the building to their death, I idly wondered, given their choice, which option I’d select. I heard the first stories from Flight 93 and marveled at the Americans who decided that, whatever else the terrorists might do, this attack would not succeed, no matter the cost to themselves.

Midnight arrived. I opened my microphone before the recorded station identification. “There is no way we can consider this business as usual,” I began. “We are going to try and get through a radio program and hopefully give you a little respite from the horrors of the day.” I don’t remember much of anything else about that night or the next few days that followed. If you were listening that night, I hope I reached my goal.

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