1 & 2 of AMERICA Attacked, Thoughts....
As journalists we go out and get the stories -- the facts. The
attacks on New York and Washington, DC have had many of us thinking
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Frozen in time
An hour after the attack on the World Trade Center
Erin Kaplan and Michael Nicholson raced to ground
zero; as did their friend John Smith. With cameras
in hand they started taking pictures of what they
saw. All are students at Marymount Manhattan College
in New York City. Michael and John are sophomores.
Erin's a freshman. Here are their photos and feelings.
By Erin Kaplan
Freshman, Marymount Manhattan College NY
"I felt numb...very unsafe!"
One week prior to that horrible day, I had moved to New York
Tuesday started out like any other day: I went to class at 8:30
and after I proceeded to walk home to my apartment. I met my
roommates in the elevator and they then informed me that two
airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center. They then
informed me that it was the act of terrorists who hijacked two
I immediately ran up to my room where I could see the World
Trade Center from my window. Huge clouds of black and gray smoke
filled the air, and the World Trade Center was no longer visible.
My apartment did not have television yet, so I ran to my friend
Mike's room to see if he wanted to go down there. Walking to
the accident we had no idea of the severity of the crashes.
They had shut down the streets, the taxi's, buses, and subways
were also shut down. Everybody was walking extremely fast, trying
to escape the city. People were screaming and crying on the
streets, but mostly people were in complete shock.
As we walked, a plane flew overhead and everybody proceeded
to run for cover. That's precisely when I knew that this was
bigger than anyone could ever imagine.
When Mike and I arrived at the scene, there were hundreds of
police and they were not about to let us anywhere near the scene.
We just stood there in shock staring at the huge clouds of smoke.
No one said anything and we started on our way back home.
At my apartment, security tried to keep us indoors to ensure
our safety. The next night, because of the wind my roommate
and I started smelling the smoke from our room. Our room quickly
started filing up with the horrible smell so we evacuated to
downstairs. The days following were just as horrible. Several
floors of the building left to go home in fear of their safety
and the sounds of people crying lasted for days. Since the accident,
countless "missing person" posters decorate the city as well
as numerous American Flags. I doubt that New York City as well
as the rest of the world will ever be the same.
While Mike and I were roaming ground zero just hours after the
attack, I felt numb. Usually I watch visions of attacks on the
news and it seems so far away and that nothing like that could
ever happen to me. There I was, standing in front of the World
Trade Center watching it go up in smoke, and for once it felt
It hit close to home and suddenly I felt very unsafe. This wasn't
happening in some far off country, it was right in front of
me. The people around were silent, some were frantically trying
to make calls on their cell phones to worried family members.
The police stood guard, also silent and in shock. Any sound
from a plane up above would interrupt peoples thoughts and they
would literally run to try and get cover. We didn't know if
and when the next attack would happen, and if the plane that
flew overhead would come crashing down.
Now when I look back on these pictures it makes me feel sick.
I still feel the fear and the worry I did that day when Mike
and I went down there. I still think about the people on the
street trying to reach their loved one's and the families that
won't ever be the same.
Sophomore, Marymount Manhattan College, NY
"I have never been so scared in my life."
As we all know by now the World Trade Center was bombed at 8:50am.
I was sitting in the library of Marymount Manhattan College,
located on East 71St. between 2nd and 3rd Ave., working on some
of my homework. At 9am my cellphone made a noise as it lost
Someone ran in and told us that one of the trade towers had
been hit by a plane. I quickly found a TV -- the second building
was hit. I ran back to the dorm -- by the time I got there Building
One had collapsed. I ran to the roof, which is 46 stores high
-- I saw the second building and then, like the first, it collapsed.
I can't help but admit that I have never been so scared in my
life. I had no idea if it was over or not. The radio was going
wild as they were reporting that they were evacuating the Empire
State Building, and all Federal Buildings. Everything south
of Canal St. was shut down. Everything had become frantic. Cellphones
would not work, TV was down, long distance lines were a mess.
I couldn't help but break down for a moment.
Erin and I decided that we were going to take a look at how
bad the situation was down there. We ended up walking the whole
trip since none of the subways were working and most of the
bus services had stopped because of all the confusion in traffic.
Erin and I eventually made it down to Canal Street. You could
see the black smoke that the buildings were producing, the whole
two miles we walked. When we got there the smoke was making
it hard to see other buildings. It was so black and thick. We
decided that we would take some pictures. We couldn't get to
close without running the risk of being yelled at or something
else by the many police, FBI, and Marshall's office personnel
that were working down there. When I was looking through the
camera and taking the pictures, I guess I was looking past what
I was seeing and tried to imagine what was going on for everyone
in ground zero.
I thought of all the documentaries, and movies that showed horrible
scenes of people crying for help, because they couldn't stand
the pain. The many people running around trying to find their
friends and loved ones that had become buried in the two huge
piles where once stood the two greatest structures in America.
But at the same time something in the back of my mind told me
that this was going to be a moment in history, and I was here
and alive as it was happening. I wanted to make sure that I
would remember this day, and by taking the pictures I was guaranteeing
myself those memories for a life time to come.
Sophomore, Marymount Manhattan College, NY
"They collapsed right in front of me, thousands of people
My mother woke me up with a phone call, telling me to turn
on the TV: "any channel." That was my first look, that was
how I found out about it, and that was when it all changed.
I watched for hours, it seemed like, though it could only
have been a few minutes.
They collapsed right in front of me, thousands of people gone.
Here on Roosevelt Island we have a fine view of most of Manhattan,
including a fine view of the World Trade Center. Things were
not the same, not this morning.
All I could see of Lower Manhattan was a mass of white, blotting
out the towers and everything else around that area. The subways
had been shut down, but that was no problem for me. I hopped
on my bike and crossed the Queensborough Bridge into Manhattan.
Along the way down Broadway I stopped at a gift shop and purchased
a cheap disposable camera, whereupon I took about 25 pictures
in and around Lower Manhattan. Ash and concrete dust was everywhere,
in every nook and cranny of every building within about a
six to ten block radius around the Towers. You'll hear over
and over that it was like a warzone down there, and it truly
Nothing can truly come close to the eerie chaos that had permeated
this part of the city. People had dropped everything to rush
away from the oncoming cloud of debris, and now they were
gone, with nothing remaining but their papers, their many,
many papers. Perhaps the worst part, the scariest part, was
the quiet. It was all just so quiet, so empty, so white, so
Unbelievable. I never thought there would be a day when I'd
be looking over my shoulder looking for a mushroom cloud while
rushing into the station. It was a doomsday scenario that
had me reconsidering my priorities of the moment. Should I
be rushing to work? Or should I be rushing home to pull my
girls out of school? Driving over the bay bridge, I couldn't
help but stare at the San Francisco skyline wondering if the
bay area was next. If it were any other story, I would say
it was good radio. This was hardly fun. And it was impossible
not to see it on the faces of commuters driving next to me
on the bay bridge. Tuesday, September 11th was not a story.
It was a public service and I really feel it redefined all
of our commitments.
KNX NewsRadio Los Angeles
I covered a unity day at the Islamic Center in Claremont Sunday.
It was good to see some men there in yarmulkes. Jews united
with Moslems is always a hopeful sign. I did feel bad for those
folks who're targeted for harassment or violence just because
of their background. I interviewed one young woman who is about
to start Stanford. Since she wears a head scarf, which identifies
her as a Moslem, she is afraid to fly. She's worried about being
detained, and she's concerned that passengers will be afraid
of her. I had to feel sympathy for people who risk being judged
and harassed for the crazy actions of others.
KCOP-TV Los Angeles
Working in news during the tragedy on September 11th made me
search my mental environment and ask the question: Does the
way we (the media) report this story, affect how Americans feel
and remember this tragedy? Across the nation the TV is blaring
a sensationalistic attack on America, in a special 24 hour report/ratings
war. Has this horrible tragedy become a live mini-drama served
to hungry voyeuristic Americans? The TV keep showing that explosion
over and over and over on every channel until its not real anymore.
I hope that we don't get desensitized to all this because we
have to recognize the reality and horror of this loss so somehow,
someway we can keep it from ever happening again. Anywhere.
My dream is the media will use its power to educate more and
KCOP TV Los Angeles
I knew immediately the world would never be the same. This is
a history changer... the kind of story that only comes once.
After 14 years in television I am numb to just about anything
considered shocking to normal people. This incident shook me
to my core. The gravity and magnitude of what happened is literally
beyond our comprehension. Never again will Americans feel safe
in their homes, never again will we take safe travel for granted,
never again will we feel invincible. As a child I thought wars
were a thing of the past. Children today consider it inevitable.
The moment I learned about the attacks I knew we were going
to war. The world will never be the same.
KOLO-TV Reno, Nevada
One of my recurring thoughts has been the resemblance of these
incidents to the Kennedy assassination--a paralyzed nation,
the constant news coverage, the constant replaying of the attacks,
the uncertain future, the defining moment of a generation.
If the Kennedy assassination represents the "loss of innocence"
for our generation, than this terrorist attack marks the "loss
of innocence" for our children's generation. It will become
one of those "where were you when----" moments in history.
KNBC-TV Los Angeles
It really didn't sink in until the day after. I was just driving
and listening to the radio. It was all natural sound pops of
people talking about their dead relatives and people crying.
And, then I just sort of choked up and started crying myself.
CBS News Correspondent
I think I'll spend the rest of my life wondering at the
enormity of this and never quite grasping it. I've covered a
lot of natural disasters, Mount St. Helens and so forth, and
been awed by the force of nature. And, now we're left to ponder
the awesome force of evil.
KCOP-TV Los Angeles
It was obviously incredibly impactful seeing the second plane
hit the towers on television, but my anxiety was heightened
seeing one of the world's largest airports - LAX - empty of
passengers and full of police.
might not get out alive"
By Bruce Brodoff
Sept. 12, 2001 7:24PM
Bruce Brodoff, a former KCOP-TV field producer/researcher,
is currently the Vice President of Public Affairs and
Corporate Communications for the New York City Economic
Development Corporation. His office is located three blocks
from the World Trade Center at 110 William Street between
Fulton and John Streets. I've known Bruce for years and
tried reaching him for hours after the World Trade Center
attacks. It wasn't until Wednesday night that I got a
series of emails from him detailing his ordeal. With his
permission here's Bruce's story as shared with me in a
series of emails.
I am shaken but OK. Thank God I left my house early to vote
in New York's Mayoral primary and got to my office 30 minutes
before I usually do -- otherwise I would have been walking past
the World Trade Center around the time the first plane struck.
I even stopped to buy fruit at the Farmers Market that operates
at the foot of the south building every Tuesday and Thursday.
I can't describe what it was like to stand on the street and
watch the North tower burn.
Thank God I didn't see anyone jumping to their death like some
of my colleagues did. While the sight was horrific I never imagined
that it would escalate to such a catastrophic degree. It was
just like a bad fire that would take a few hours to get under
control. I even went back up to my office to gather my things
and use the bathroom. Once there I stopped to watch the news
coverage on TV and saw another large explosion. I heard an enormous
boom and my building shook. That's when I really started to
get scared. I ran past a large window on my way out of our sixth
floor office and saw that within a few seconds the once sunny
sky turned black, with white flakes swirling around. I ran down
the stairs and encountered a heavy smoke condition; that's when
it hit me that I may not get out of this alive.
the ground floor the smoked-out lobby was packed with about
a 100 panicked people, all gasping and freaking out. One of
the doors leading out of the building -- the one most considered
the safest exit, was reportedly locked, which just increased
the panic. Surgical filters were being passed out, and I wrapped
a handkerchief around my nose and mouth. The door was finally
opened, and people started streaming out into the nuclear winter.
Some, myself included, didn't know whether to stay in the building
or go into the street; nowhere felt safe. I decided to hit the
street and follow the crowd. Through the black smoke another
jet plane screamed overhead -- didn't know if it was a USAF
plane patrolling our skies, or another jet about to nosedive
into the financial district. Things were unbelievably tense.
The air quality got a lot better after about a 15 minute walk
north towards the Manhattan Bridge, but despite the rumors still
didn't believe that the tower collapsed.
A few minutes later came the rumor that the other one fell as
well. Walked over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn and spent
the next 2.5 hours trekking to my parents house. My apartment
complex in Battery Park City was singled out by the New York
Times as having been trashed with building, airplane and crushed
auto debris and jet fuel. It was evacuated. Don't know if I'm
ever going back. I did know or know of several people killed,
like the three top Fire Dept. officials and the head of the
Port Authority. I interviewed with the PA a few years ago at
their 68th Floor complex, and was back in touch with them recently
to see about possible employment opportunities. I was really
interested in getting involved with what they do and working
in an office across the street from my house that had a to-die-for
view. I'm glad the interview never went past the exploratory
Wednesday, September 13, 2001 6:01AM
On reflection, two other aspects of the disaster
One: Despite being the middle of a mass exodus with thousands
of people -- I felt utterly alone during the first hour of walking
to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where my parents live. Was Separated
from colleagues, nowhere near my family and friends, had no
cell phone, no access to pay phones, with black smoke filling
the sky and dreadful thoughts that that some other awful things
may yet occur filling my mind. Most people were quiet while
walking over the Manhattan Bridge, even people walking with
co-workers or friends, internalizing their fear and thoughts.
Only after reaching relative safety in Brooklyn did people start
to come back to themselves (a lot of people, myself included,
were not sure they wanted to walk across the bridge, fearing
a collapse from the weight or a possible explosion or attack....)
On the Brooklyn side merchants were handing out bottled water,
a church set up a water station, and some drivers and commuter
vans were offering free rides to people on the street...
The other thing was how confused people were about how to get
to their ultimate destination, or even where to go. For people
who wanted to get home to Long Island, did they try to walk
to Penn Station in Manhattan, or walk to Brooklyn's Atlantic
Avenue Long Island Railroad station to see if service is available
from there. For people who lived in the Bronx or Queens -keep
walking north in Manhattan, or go to Brooklyn? Are the subways
running? What about busses? Is it true the bridges and tunnels
have all been closed? I personally must have changed my mind
and direction 3-4 times in 10 minutes during the first 20 minutes
of the northward exodus. First thought about going over the
Brooklyn Bridge and walking to my parents, but pressed on, thinking
I'll go to my brother's apartment on 14th Street and 5th Avenue.
A few minutes later, as the streets around Chinatown became
more crowded and frantic with civilians, emergency personnel,
and vehicles, I turned around and started walking back to the
Brooklyn Bridge. After a minute or two of backtracking I stopped
again and turned around and headed back north to my brother.
Walked a block or two north of the Manhattan Bridge, then just
stopped in utter confusion.
Will the crowds of panicked people and emergency vehicles start
to thin out the further north you went, or just increase? Should
I walk over the Manhattan Bridge, or is it vulnerable to collapse
or attack? For several minutes I just STOOD there, not knowing
what to do. I finally decided to get the hell off the island
and go to the relative safety of my parents house on the south
Brooklyn shore, near the ocean, where the sky is usually a clear,
wide expanse with air that tastes a little moist and salty,
not gritty and acrid....
in New York
By Michael Wilk
There is a card in the Tarot deck called "The Tower", in which
a bolt of lightning strikes a tower, and people fall from it
. The symbolic meaning of this card is self-explanatory: disaster,
pandemonium, destruction. Well, the real thing happened yesterday
here in New York City. Two hijacked airplanes crashed into the
World Trade Center, killing everyone on board the planes, and
killing several hundred, possibly thousands, and injuring several
hundred more in the buildings and on the ground.
When a co-worker told me about the first crash, that "a plane
crashed into the World Trade Center", I didn’t know that it
was a huge 767 airplane. And then, minutes later, upon hearing
that a second 767 plane crashed into the South Tower of the
World Trade Center, the word "terrorism" immediately flashed
into my head. Could this really be happening? I used to wonder
what it must have been like for people in London during the
blitz, and now I know. While I don’t work in the financial district,
where this terrible tragedy took place, I work about 60 blocks
away in Midtown, where I could see the billowing brownish black
smoke emanating from where the decimated World Trade Center
once stood. My place of business , the James A. Farley Building,
which is the main post office in Manhattan, was evacuated, and
I started my long trek home to Queens on foot. There was no
subway service, very limited bus service, and I joined the mass
exodus across the 59th Street Bridge to Queens. Apart from the
sounds of radios and portable TVs, everyone was gravely quiet
in their silent march away from Manhattan. Every once in a while,
I would glance towards the disaster site, and kept thinking,
"This is a nightmare. I can’t believe this is happening." Open-backed
trucks were transporting people, like war refugees, across the
bridge. I was fortunate enough to get a ride with some neighbors
of mine who, in a rare coincidence, I bumped into on Queens
Boulevard, miles away from home. They had managed to call a
car service, and there was room for one more.
When I arrived home, I received several telephone calls from
my sister, my niece, and friends, calling to ask me if I was
all right. My television set was on, I watched the videotapes
of the World Trade Center collapsing, and people running for
their lives. I felt violated, horrified, and, probably most
of all, angry. I watched videotapes of jubilant Palestinians
dancing in the streets, flashing the "victory" symbol, and became
furious. Is this what they want? Will they finally be happy?
Will their quality of life be any better, now that several hundred,
probably thousands, of people have been killed? Will their economy
improve? Will this make Allah happy?
Shock, sadness and anger-those are the three things that I feel
as I am writing this. Shock for this sudden, ferocious act of
terror, sadness for all of those killed and injured, their families,
and intense anger at the viciousness and lack of remorse behind
this horrible act. I, for one, feel that there is no where you
can hide from evil. It has spread like cancer throughout the
world, and I, as I’m sure many others do, do not feel safe.
Death could be just around the corner. It can strike from land,
by sea, and by air, anytime, anywhere. Michael Wilk is a 44
year old graphic artist, and is employed by the United States
Postal Service in Manhattan, where he has worked for the past
22 years. He lives in Howard Beach, Queens, approximately 5
minutes away from JFK Airport.
A Rude awakening
By Veronica Villafane
I woke to the sound of my persistent pager. I never got the
wake up call I requested at the hotel, after a late check in
a the hotel, In Nashville. It was my sister, in Los Angeles.
As I called her, I turned on the TV. I could not believe what
I was watching!
The images of a plane crashing into the WTC. At first, I was
in disbelief, then shock, then panic. I have a sister in NY
who works for a foreign bank in the financial district. Since
it's a relatively new job, I didn't know if she worked in the
WTC or nearby. We tried to call her, but only busy signals...
When we finally learned everyone was ok (I have another sister
in the DC area), we sighed with relief and called mom, who was
worried sick about all of us, since she knew I was traveling.
Then, it was back to watching those horrible images of the trade
center collapsing. I was in Nashville to attend the RTNDA convention.
I had arrived early, to be in the RTNDA board meeting. It was
decided right away to cancel the convention, under these tragic
circumstances. We were all in shock... and we felt so impotent,
watching the terrible images of destruction. "It is overwhelming,"
said Janice Gin, Associate News Director at KTVU, the Fox station
in San Francisco. "It's a great sense of helplessness when you're
not at your home station watching a national tragedy unfold
and it is distressing when you want to be there and you cannot."
We all wanted to go home right away. Many people on the board
scrambled to get rental cars due to the airport closures. CNN
radio president, Robert Garcia, drove to Nashville, so he was
able to return to Atlanta almost right away. A few were able
to rent cars. The rest of us were hopeful the airports would
reopen. When they didn't, we all made arrangements to drive.
I was able to hitch a ride with Howard Kirsch, one of the RTNDA
exhibitors, who had rented a car and Janice Gin. We drove 17
hours, non-stop. It was surreal.
The terrorist attack was the main topic of conversation. We
made it to Albuquerque, where we were all able to purchase tickets
to fly to Phoenix, but there was no guarantee we could arrive
our final destinations: L.A. and San Francisco. In Albuquerque,
the airport was eerie... almost deserted. All the major airlines
had their flights still cancelled. We had our luggage opened
and inspected. Nobody had a problem with that. I think many
of us were thinking stricter measures should have been implemented
sooner and maybe this tragedy would not have happened. We were
lucky and finally were able to get home.
My flight was the first one to land in Burbank at 10:30 pm.
I saw a lady on the plane as we were waiting for the door to
the plane to open who had a sweater that said "Home, sweet home,"
and I kept thinking that's exactly how I feel...relief to be
Adam P. Bradshaw
KTVX-TV Salt Lake City, Utah
Like many News Directors, I spent Monday night packing for a
trip to Nashville for the RTNDA Convention. Up at 6am (MT) on
Tuesday ... I was headed to the Salt Lake City airport to catch
my 830am flight to Music City. About five minutes into my journey
there was a bulletin on the radio saying a plane had crashed
into the World Trade Center. "Oh great...I'm flying today and
I have to hear about a plane crash."
Having been a passenger on the Southwest Flight last summer,
where a fellow passenger went crazy and had to be wrestled to
his death by other passengers, I am a bit skittish about flying
anyhow. My journey continued towards my office at KTVX (like
most news folks..too cheap to park at the airport, so I was
leaving my car at the station) just as I exited the freeway
another bulletin...another plane hits the World Trade Center.
Say What?????? A huge commercial airliner into the World Trade
Center just 20 minutes after another plane hit the building.
At this point chills went up my back... "Holy S--t... this is
In the next 30 minutes I managed to alert my GM, cancel my travel
plans to Nashville, and help my desk guys track down every employee
who works for KTVX. We were reacting...quickly...logically...and
completely...yet at the same time we could not tear ourselves
away from what seemed like a Schwartzenegger film on steroids.
No matter how many times we saw it... that plane hitting the
World Trade Center was something our minds could not comprehend.
We quickly pulled the troops together and plotted our mission.
Let ABC cover the national story... we must hear from our viewers...the
citizens of Utah ... we must feel their pain... show their disbelief...and
reassure them that the next plane is not going down in the host
city of the 2002 Winter Games. We did cut ins throughout the
day... commercial free hours of local coverage... and gave them
every angle we could think of. We followed up Tuesday with a
more fatigued but excellent coverage day on Wednesday.
We planned to continue extensive coverage Thursday...but also
saw it as a day to give some of our weary folks a little break.
At 3:30am...Amtrak's California Zephyr, filled beyond its capacity
with stranded airline passengers, left Salt Lake City. At 5:55am,
Amtrak's California Zephyr slammed into a freight train 120
miles West of Salt Lake City near Wendover Nevada.
Its going to be one hell of a day.
contributor on HalEisner.com
Considering that I had been in the vicinity of the World Trade
center barely 36 hours prior to the attacks, I was certainly
shaken by what unfolded early Tuesday morning. In previous incarnations
I had worked on the 76th Floor of 1 World Trade Center, and
across the Westside Highway in the World Financial Center for
a number of years.
I am intimately familiar with every square foot of that neighborhood.
My normal 2 hour morning show on Pacifica station KPFK stretched
to nearly seven hours of continuous coverage that I anchored.
We have a very small operation, but the staff pitched in like
true pros. Folks from administration and subscriptions began
monitoring wires, TV, radio, and internet reports, along with
our staff producers and fed me a steady stream of copy.
We alternated between our network coverage from Washington (Pacifica
Network News), the Associated Press coverage and the calls we
were able to place to contacts in both New York and Washington,
DC. That became my primary job, working the phones while the
rest of the staff worked wires, internet and broadcast media.
When I reached someone who would speak with us, we were able
to put them on the air with very little red tape.
In this manner, we spoke to residents in the vicinity of the
crashes (though one colleague on Murray St. just N. of the trade
center was too shaken to go on the air) as well as a couple
of contacts in Washington, DC, including the Bureau Chief of
the Dallas Morning News.
This was my first extended experience covering an all consuming
story as an anchor. It was exhausting, but I was very, very
proud of the information we passed on and the way in which we
KCDZ Radio Joshua Tree, California
Like news operations around the country, Z107-7 news had to
immediately go into overdrive to react to the breaking situation.
There is no local television in our market and we are the only
live news source for our 90,000 residents (including the 15,000
U.S. Marines of the nearby Twentynine Palms Marine Base. within
15 minutes after the second crash we had stopped our Adult Contemporary
music format and shifted to all news.
Using resources from the Associated Press and ABC News we were
able to keep up with developments. We started getting school
closures, event cancellations, and municipal information out
to our listeners. We contacted area lawmakers for on-air comments.
We took callers live on the air who had relatives and friends
I myself spent 8 straight hours behind the microphone anchoring
the news being gathered by staff. Having our Disc Jockeys cross-trained
in news really paid off in this emergency and made the transition
smooth and professional. Our 4 part-time reporters all immediately
reported for duty without being called. I am very proud of the
entire staff of KCDZ for the thorough and professional manner
in which we handled this tragedy.
During this whole experience our automated competitors just
played music and made little, if any, mention of the attacks.
To encourage community unity and spirit we gave out 1,000 American
flags and listeners were lined up for hours to get them! (we
just happened to have them around for another promotion) Our
listeners in Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree
were glued to our station for the entire day.
Even today, one day after, we are getting letters and calls
thanking us and commending us for the quality of our coverage.
Small town local radio again proved itself!!!
Reporter Austin, Texas
Living in Austin now, I had the unfortunate task of waking up
my relatives and friends in LA. Mostly...Palos Verdes, Thousand
Oaks, North Hollywood, and Manhattan Beach. Imagine someone
calling you yelling "wake up! planes are flying into the World
Trade Center" It may have happened to you, as it was so early
on the West Coast. I told them to be careful, as LA would seem
like a sensible target. At KEYE-TV, Our concern was The Capitol
and Jenna Bush.
She is in Austin attending UT. There was a slight concern, since
George W. is from Texas and lived in Austin just a short time
ago. The Capitol and the Airport Evacuation and the State Emergency
Center became live truck destinations. I was at the Austin-Bergstrom
Intl. Airport, but never went live. I'll never forget the people
I interviewed. Especially a young man from Boston who broke
down suddenly as he told me his brother was a pilot for American,
and flew out of Boston.
I don't know what happened, but my thoughts and prayers were
Radio Show Host
KPCC Los Angeles
My husband Tad Daley flew to New York Monday to speak at the
United Nations this week. The phone rang at 6:30 AM. A mutual
friend started babbling about "where was Tad?" and "World Trade
Towers exploding" and I assumed she'd had too much to drink.
I made calls to our news director and my talk producers. And
then tried to get hold of my husband. I knew he was safe --
it takes him forever to get adjusted to NY time and his hotel
was on East 51st Street.
But when the circuits finally cleared and his hotel room rang
and rang, I had the slightest fear that maybe he'd wandered
downtown to see for himself what was going on and was perhaps
crushed by the rubble. He finally called back. He was fine.
And I immediately started training KPCC's newest reporter. I
sent him out on the streets -- without a tape recorder, without
a cell phone (his had just been stolen), without a day of reporting
By the time I arrived at the station (about an hour away), we
were in full battle mode. Every secretary and intern had been
pressed into duty, watching the wires, monitoring the various
networks, making local calls. Reporters were dispatched to LAX,
downtown LA, and local churches to report the local angle. Our
normal schedule was scrapped and we stayed with NPR's network
coverage. But our talk hosts Larry Mantle and myself joined
our regular news anchors Steve Julian and John Rabe with local
We've stayed with the coverage -- and will continue to carry
24 hour a day coverage -- through the weekend. During my mid-day
shift, we talked to a child psychologist, someone from the City
Elections division (the primary went on as planned...the city
official called it a practical demonstration of our democracy
in action), and to our reporters in the field -- including my
husband on the streets of New York. Tad was a pretty good reporter
-- lots of detail, news that beat the network, great ambient
sound. Though it's not often I've been called "darlin'" by a
As a journalist, the truth is that this attack is unlike anything
any of us have ever covered. But in many ways, it's exactly
the same kind of crises all of us have covered. I remember my
former colleague Nick Roman's reactions to covering the Cerritos
air disaster. Frank Stoltze's tales of covering the 92 riots.
For me, this week reminds me of the Northridge quake. All of
us were touched by the event -- whether we lost our homes or
just a few jars of pickle relish. We shared the same sense of
shock, loss, sense of powerlessness, and the same need to DO
something positive. I sense that same need now. That's the reason
blood banks are crowded. That's the reason when we put out a
call from a local nursing home for volunteers to sit with older
people, the home was so overwhelmed with calls that they asked
us to announce they had more than enough. These are indeed the
best of times and the worst of times.
KMIR-TV Freelance Reporter
Palm Springs, California
I think the most accurate description about the attack is it
is like a movie. Because the only place most Americans have
seen that type of mass destruction is in a movie. It is very
important that people get back into a routine as soon as possible,
because the country must still move forward. Since Tuesday morning
every ones life has been changed irrevocably and there is no
way to go back. Thousands of lives have been lost, millions
of stories will emerge from that, and the perception of safety
in America will never be the same.
KUTV-TV Investigative/Consumer Reporter
Salt Lake City, Utah
I feel a lot different now than I did then: When the Los Angeles
riots broke out and I hit the streets in a live truck working
for KCAL. I talked to people who were looting. I interviewed
innocent homeowners terrified by the anarchy. I even lost two
back teeth when a group of thugs decided they didn't like my
presence. Through it all, I was exhilarated to be reporting.
When the fires broke out in Agoura and moved on to Malibu and
the Pacific, I found myself atop Sycamore Canyon. It was an
amazing view, from where I could report for more than two hours,
live, as the fire crept down the canyons and on top of homes.
Then, the fire crept across me, our crew, and a Ventura Fire
crew. We hunkered down, and it passed. We were smoky, wet, and
scared. Through it all, I was exhilarated to be reporting. And,
when the Northridge Quake hit, I was at first stationed at the
epicenter, by the collapsed apartments.
Through the week, I reported on the tragedy of loss, and the
elation of the rescues. Through it all, I was exhilarated to
be reporting. But, when the planes hit the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, I was stunned. As I now report from Salt Lake
City on the affect on the coming Olympic games, I observe the
new preparations and new federal money destined to Utah for
the games. But I am not exhilarated.
I remain stunned. I'm moody. I feel a little perplexed. I'm
vulnerable. And I find that everyone I cover answers my questions,
and amplifies my stories. But they, too, remain stunned, moody,
perplexed and vulnerable. We've all changed. We're not exhilarated.
KFWB News Radio Los Angeles
Quakes, Floods,Drought,Riots,..Power Crisis,...now,..the Tuesday
Terror. It was my first day back from vacation,..so much for
a soft landing. A variety of feelings swept over me,..horror,anxiety,sadness,..dread,..despair,
but as I'm sure was the case with my colleagues who had to tell
this horrible story, there was no time for that.
The training kicks in,...and off you go,..knowledge that I was
performing a valuable public service,..providing vital, perhaps
even life-saving information, was a great source off comfort,
and a needed reminder that we got into this business for something
more than following car chases or updating the latest on Anna
Nicole Smith. It was a shining moment for all of the media that
I observed this week,..my hats off to everyone.
KCOP-TV Reporter Los Angeles
Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. It was clearly the biggest news
event of my career, let alone my life. I was choked with emotion
the entire day while trying to report on security at the Federal
Building in Westwood (Headquarters of the Los Angeles FBI).
In between my reports, I listened, watched, and grieved. Being
so far away from the destruction, I probably had more time to
absorb and think about these atrocities compared to reporters
in New York. But by the end of the day I was exhausted.
Physically I was fine, but emotionally I was spent.
September 11th, 2001...a sad day for America, an even sadder
day for mankind.
Photographer KCOP-TV Los Angeles
Just working in the media you get caught up in the moment trying
to cover it to the best of your ability and it's usually not
until the next day that you really have time to sit down and
think what really happened. I think what really got to me the
most was listening to an interview. It was with a woman talking
on a cell phone with her husband on one of the planes that was
being hijacked and saying that they were going to crash it into
the ground. We all know what happened after that. Now, she's
faced with telling her children that Daddy's not going to be
here anymore, but that he's in heaven. The kids seemed to understand
at first and then one of them turned to their mom and asked
if they can call their Dad on the cell phone in heaven. Her
only reply was that heaven doesn't have cell phones. I'm a parent.
That hit home! How do you explain something like this to a kid?
Freelance Photographer KCOP-TV Los Angeles
Working these past few days on this unforgettable assignment
and seeing how the nation has rallied together, I feel I'm playing
a small part of that in capturing the reaction and the aftermath
of this terrible tragedy.
Buzz" Contributor for HalEisner.com
Huntington Beach, California
It's been a mentally, and physically exhausting week for all
of us in broadcast journalism across the nation, but I can't
even imagine the trials our brothers, and sisters in the profession
have been going through on the East Coast. I have to say that
in this incredible emergency, I'm proud to see the amount of
cooperation that's occurring, with no questions asked.
To see networks sharing tape, sharing resources to inform the
public is wonderful. Here in Los Angeles, Clear Channel blew
out hours on its music stations, turning them into all-news
outlets during the critical hours. CBS pre-empted not just its
normal programming, but put Dan Rather and company on TNN, VH1,
and even MTV. And stations that days ago were complaining about
revenues being off pre-empted everything from "Friends" to local
newscasts, doing the right thing to keep the public informed.
For once, many bean counters put their beans away, to see the
big picture, and do the right thing!
Photographer KMEX-TV Los Angeles
I guess I've never felt anything patriotic about this country
until now. It kind of brings it out in you -- you know?
By Phil Shuman
The radio alarm went off as usual… the words didn’t make sense
at first… ‘evacuation ‘’ ‘’rescue crews at the pentagon’’ ‘’
massive damage’’…. .. "smoke rising into the air".. … "fire
has broken out" . Oh, Ok I thought. A fire at the pentagon.
Big story.. not earth shattering. Then the broadcast continued…
‘’attacks on New York’’ ‘’ plane crashes’’ …. The next thought,
a hope really, was that this was some sort of radio drama, fiction,
another ‘’war of the worlds " then , almost reluctantly, a fraid
of what I’d find.. I turned the TV on and of course the unimaginable
became reality .. Then the next thought.. I’ve got to get into
work. This is the dilemma of the newsperson…disaster strikes,
you gotta go…Earthquake hits.. you’re on the way. Fires ? same
story. . Family is left, quick good byes. Then you’re in the
middle of the storm… but in this storm, in Los Angeles, a bit
of a break… a bit of shelter in that we were 3000 miles away
from the worst of it. For us, it was almost as if we were watching
a disaster movie. But……. ..all the while.. in the back of our
minds.. the fear that something would blow up here. After all,
those planes were headed our way. What would happen next ? Where?
How to react ? Where to go ?
The morning lasted forever. It literally ticked by minute by
minute. The pictures continued to be impossible to believe.
In the newsroom.. there are TV monitors everywhere… assaulting
the senses. It’s just too much. The second jet slams into the
second tower.. over and over.. slow motion. Different angles.
You have to finally just turn away or turn it off . How many
times can we see that shot. idea of people jumping. That can’t
be aired, shouldn’t be aired, but it is , just like the airplane
crash, over and over. . The buildings collapse one after the
other. Like Vegas casino implosions, but here thousands were
still inside . You can’t even comprehend what this must be like.
How do you report on this ? What can you say ? Incredible video….
Incredible shock. Ok… that’s in New York.
Again, what about us here in Los Angeles. Disneyland ? Universal
. LAX ? Would there be a target ? Who to interview ? where to
start ? We go to the airport.. deserted… surreal It is literally
empty.. something you’ve never seen before. The President, from
Louisiana, on a TV in the deserted lounge. Looks and sounds
presidential. We get back on the road, talk to one expert, then
another. This one’s a former Navy Seal, this one’s an academic,
this one’s knows about airport security. It’s not over one says,
more attacks to come. It is over another says they took their
best shot. . It’s a well-coordinated attack. There’s more to
come, there isn’t more to come
It’s a war, we’re at war, this is an act of war, everyone agrees
on that. We’re at City Hall. The acting Mayor is speaking. Isn’t
he like 20 something? Sounds good though, looks good. Calm.
Reassuring. This will play well on TV. The police chief and
the fire chief say they are on it, they have things under control.
Just like in New York? Where’s Jimmy Hahn? In Washington ? Ironic.
Race back to the newsroom.... The car radio has no music to
take a break. None. What time is it? What’s the deadline? When
are we editing? Who’s going to be watching? What can we add
? What makes sense, informs, comforts ?
The networks have taken over the airwaves, but we still have
to produce a show. Then the pizza… it’s a sign.. you know it’s
a crisis when the pizza shows up… when the newsroom is in crisis
mode and no one has time to stop or eat or breathe, someone
always orders dozens of pizzas… Seems odd something like that
would stick in your mind, but it does. It’s a symbol
You think back to the earthquakes, the big one in Northridge.
The fires when Malibu exploded in flames. The riots after Simi
Valley. . The Oklahoma City bombing. It’s another story, bigger
than anything else… but it’s a story. You’re in a sense on autopilot,
not stopping to feel. The facts come in, they change, the numbers
of dead you don’t even want to think about. You move in a daze,
the writing and editing gets done, but you’re in shock, thinking
of the victims, watching other reporters do frantic live shot
after frantic live shot under the worst possible conditions
in New York City .
In normal circumstances you’d be getting on a plane heading
for trouble, but these of course are not normal circumstances,
and won’t be for some time. So you watch and work from afar,
wonder what’s next, and wish you could turn back the clock to
Am A New Yorker
By Nancy LeMay
I am a New Yorker. I love my city the way one loves Home, that
singular, unduplicatable place-of-origin, but there's more.
Knowing New York the way a native knows it is like knowing a
big, strong, handsome and fascinating man- someone who has been
everywhere, knows everyone. Someone whose company you never
tire of, even though you may struggle sometimes to keep up your
end of the conversation.
New Yorkers get their strength from New York, and we liberally
return it, both to our own city and to wherever we happen to
be. I watched them build the World Trade Center. It took all
of the years I was in high school and half the time I was in
college before they finished the whole complex. (Sometimes we
wondered if they ever would). When it was finished, my parents
and I took in the view from the top. On a clear day you really
can see forever, take my word for it.
The architect is Japanese, Minoru Yamasaki; through the years
as my knowledge of art history and architecture deepened, I
came to see the Japanese qualities in the Towers. The spare
and unadorned lobbies were soaring spaces of white marble, matte
and polished stainless steel, and glass- acres of glass- which
sucked in the light reflected off the vast concrete plaza outside.
The lobbies made me feel different as I passed through them;
you will forgive me if I can't tell you just exactly how they
made me feel different.
This is The Day After. So far, I have not heard of any relative,
friend, or friend-of- a- friend, who was hurt at WTC. And yet,
I know every one of those people who have been lost. I stood
on line with them at the candy store, I bought New York Lotto
tickets from them- and they wished me good luck. I sat next
to them on the E train, riding with them from Forest Hills to
the last stop; 45 minutes on a good day. If you got a seat,
you could get a lot of reading done on that trip. I watched
their kids grow up. I secretly battled them for parking spaces.
They took the Daily News off the top of the stack, and I took
the next one. Our quarters made a cheery little sound as they
clinked together in the change dish.
On the north edge of the complex, on the Church Street side,
there was a coffee place- the gourmet type where you pay $1.35
for a flavored coffee and you could get a Cranberry Orange Scone.
They had tables outside, so you could sit and watch the folks
dash to the subway, or back to their desks to trade commodities
or check the exchange rate of the yen or the mark.
I loved to sit there- they made delicious coffee- and watch
the free New York show. This was a great delight to me. Today
I see those same people dropping the paper coffee cups with
a splash-their faces turning ash white as they ran for their
lives. I see the beautiful white marble lobby burst as the Tower
drops onto it.
I know that they are busy today in Heaven.
try not to think about the "What-If's"
My World Trade Center ID Badge for the 2000 Election.
As Hal's webmaster I have never contributed to the content as
a writer, however as many others write out their personal experiences,
I too feel the need to express a few thoughts about my connection
to the World Trade Center.
Fresh out of college, I jumped at the opportunity to work for
the infamous Voter News Service, during the 2000 Presidential
Election. Half the experience was traveling to Chicago and New
York to work for the election....and to work at the World Trade
Center seemed to me; an opportunity I could not pass up on.As
California State Manager for the 2000 Election I worked on the
93rd Floor in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. As I look at
my WTC ID Badge now, I shudder at the thought of being there.
Not many people know about the extensive background checks that
one must endure to be provided with access to the non-tourist
areas of the towers. "Tight security" doesn't even
begin to explain it.
The badge system, implemented immediately after the first WTC
bombing, was a safety precaution for those working in the building.
All safety clearances had to be applied for 2 weeks in advance,
and all employees that were granted a "swipe-card"
had to use it just to get in the elevator doors. With all the
security elements, I always felt safe, as many of the employees
working in the WTC felt.
As if the Election of 2000 was not memorable enough, now I have
other memories to make that experience something NEVER to be
forgotten. I have been trying not to think about the possibilities-
the "what-if's"- that many whom have close ties to
the WTC must be thinking and feeling.
I will never forget being inside that massive building, or its'
I will never forget the vertigo-inducing views from that awesome
height, or the creepy swaying that the towers were so commonly
known for doing.
And I will never forget the victims whom have lost their lives
in the disaster because I ate with them at the WTC food courts
and I rode the subway home with them after a long day at the
office.....I was, for a short time, one of them.