Watch CNN’s Live Coverage From 9/11/01 [VIDEO]
On this 13th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11/01, the tragedy still seems to me like it just happened yesterday, yet at times feels so far in the past as well. For example 13 years ago there there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, and no YouTube. Can you imagine how those communication portals might have changed the shape of what we knew and when we knew it on that day?
I spent 9/11/01 at my college radio station reporting on the events that seemed as if they were ripped off the big screen. One of these days I'll upload my audio from that day. I'm sure I'll cringe at a whole bunch of it. After all, I was still in college trying to learn my craft. That actually was the second day of my senior year at North Central College. I recall it was my roommate's mother who called us, woke us up, and told us to turn on the TV.
From there most of the day is a blur. When you're in the midst of covering a story like that, it's difficult at times to properly reflect on the enormity of what's happening. But I vividly recall walking back to my dorm room about at about 10 o'clock that night. What struck me was the absolute silence all around. The flight path for planes arriving and departing from Chicago's airports was overhead and rarely was there a time when you could not look up, see dozens of aircraft, and hear them as they approached. But that night, nothing. All passenger planes had been grounded. Then I did see something -- a fighter jet that had been scrambled to fly that day. The weight of the attacks and events through the day hit me hard at that point.
Before I left for the radio station that morning, I popped a 6-hour VHS tape into the VCR and recorded Fox News' coverage for the better part of the day. I can't say I've ever gone back to watch the entire thing. Here's the first 40 minutes of CNN's live coverage. They break in at about the 1:20 mark with the first video of the World Trade Center tower on fire. At around the 15:00 mark you can see the second plane hit and hear the reaction of the anchors: