The Rundown: September 11, 2001
By: Jason Roberts
At 8:49 a.m. on a Sept. 11, 2001, CNN got the first report of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers. - http://goo.gl/tGcF7
On the morning of September 11, 2001 I was at my father’s house seeing my grandparents off as they headed back home to Florida. At that time I worked part time for my father’s company so we were waiting word back from a supplier. As we sat in my father’s living room, my step-mother came into the room to tell us to change the channel to CNN because something had just happened at the World Trade Center. My father switched channels and CNN was already on the first tower fully engulfed in flames at the impact zone. I remember staring at the screen in awe and I wondered what had happened. We were going back and forth to what we thought could have been the cause of the first plane to strike the North Tower.
I’ll never forget seeing the second plane come into view from the right of the screen and strike the South Tower and watched the huge fireball explode as the 767 made impact.
This image was quite unsettling because I knew the number of causalities would be high due to the amount of people that worked in the towers. Back in May 2001 I had briefly visited New York City for the first time. While I was there I used the Twin Towers as the South landmarks as I navigated my way through the streets of Manhattan. I never made it all the way down to the World Trade Center complex, the closest I came was Houston St. To now see both towers with planes crashed into them and on fire was something I could have never imagined.
CNN broke in on the coverage of the World Trade Center and showed a camera view of Washington, DC with a scene of smoke billowing but we couldn’t really tell what exactly they were trying to show us. When the CNN anchor announced that a third hijacked plane had just crashed in the Pentagon I immediately figured this all to be a large scale terrorist attack. United States citizens had not seen events like this on U.S. since Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Being the news junkie I am, I recalled the World Trade Center attack of 1993 and I wondered if in some way it was all related. This group of terrorists were obviously coordinating the attacks in concert and it had us all wondering what was going to happen next and where it would happen?
It didn’t take much longer for us to learn the answer to that question. CNN informed the world that fourth hijacked plane had crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and 150 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.
The next few weeks that followed I kept up with the continuing coverage of the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. I felt a deep sense of sorrow for the people who perished and the families who were having to deal with losing their loved ones to such a horrific event. At the time I didn’t quite understand what motive Al Qaeda had to inflict such damage to the citizens of the United States but now I can clearly see why. I honestly can attribute a lot of the problems the United States is currently dealing with can be attributed to the September 11th attacks in some way shape or form. In closing, I really hope our political leaders of government can put aside the partisan politics to finally get America back on the course to recovery.