Published Fri, Sep 9, 2011 12:42 pm Dateline
Updated Fri, Sep 9, 2011 3:26 pm
WOUB asked listeners, viewers, and visitors to share their 9-11 memories on our website. Their contributions are listed below. This page will be updated as we receive your stories.
Tony Castricone, Winston-Salem, NC: I'll never, ever forget where I was when we were attacked the morning of 9/11. I was at WOUB. The Today Show was on in the newsroom while I was doing the morning shift. It led with: "Michael Jordan may be making ANOTHER return to the NBA, today, Tuesday, September 11, 2001." I turned to Amanda Barren and said, "Ha! Slow news day." Less than two hours later, we were huddled around the TV trying to make sense of what was going on.
Shawna Klingenberg, Athens County, OH: I remember that day well. I was home alone, my stepmom called me to tell me to turn on the news. She was really upset, the school was on lockdown & my little brother was at school. She told me she was on her way home After we hung up, I sat there watching the news- in shock. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, it didn't seem real. I was afraid a war was starting, afraid that it would come close to Athens County. Afraid that my family was in danger.
For days, I couldn't turn off the TV, I was still in shock, I cried a lot, for the ppl lost, the ppl injured, for our country. It is a day I'll never forget.
WOUB General Manager Tom Hodson, Athens, OH: The year 2001 had already been a monumental year for me. After 28 years of being in the legal profession, it was time for me to change careers. I had ended my law practice and took a job as the Director of the Mass Media Department at Marietta College. Among my many new duties, I was running a radio station – WMRT 88.3 – for the first time. During that beautiful September, I was in Florida, at a resort just outside of Tampa. I was teaching media relations to Florida judges and court administrators – not far from where President George W. Bush was reading to elementary school children. After our mid-morning break, one of the participants came in the room and said that a plane had run into one of the Twin Towers. At first, we thought it was just a tragic accident and we started back with the class. Then news came quickly of the second Twin Tower crash and by that time, class was dismissed. We all huddled around a television in the lobby and watched in silence as the towers collapsed and we heard of the Pentagon crash and the plane going down in Pennsylvania. There were a few notable gasps, but mostly silence; the eerie stillness of death and destruction playing out before our eyes. Immediately, our building was put in lock-down as all the Florida state judges had been assembled at this one location. We had no idea what, if anything, would happen next.
Lisa Dael, Athens, OH: September 11 holds bittersweet memories for me. While I take time to commemorate the date each year, this 10th anniversary has really brought things back for me and so I am writing my memories for you. I didn’t realize it had been 10 years until someone mentioned it about a month ago and I realized my daughter would be ten. That’s how I think of 9/11 in terms of my daughter. Let me explain.
On September 10, I entered St. Joseph hospital in Parkersburg to give birth to a beautiful baby girl named Eryn Faith. I woke up on September 11 to take care of my new baby and watch some TV while recovering from delivery. What I say on the Today Show looked like a recap of some previous attack on the World Trade Center. When I started listening in, I realized it was no recap of an anniversary, but an event unfolding LIVE. I watched as the building burned and the second plane hit and then the towers fell. Nurses came in the follow the story and we were all in shock. Then news came in about the Pentagon and from my sister in Cleveland that another possible plane was flying over them that had been hijacked. What I thought would be a joyous time to recover and show off my daughter had become a nightmare all in 24 hours. I worried about friends in New York and DC. News reports were coming in quickly and couldn’t be confirmed. It was a very scary time. My son Ryan was 5 at the time and we turned off the TV when he came to visit rather than expose him to this mess. His school had deliberately kept TVs off to avoid exposing the young kids in Kindergarten to this disaster. Everything was uncertainty the whole time I was in the hospital and I couldn’t get away even for a moment because event the cooking channels were covering the story.
Over the next few days, I discovered a high school friend had had lunch at the Towers the day before and another friend’s husband in the Navy, but not injured at the Pentagon. A college friend who flew Continental was safe because none of their planes were targeted and another friend in New York was late for a meeting at the Towers so he was fortunate enough to walk home across the bridge when he saw what was happening. Luckily, each of my friends was accounted for and alive!
I remember going to a memorial service at First UMC a few days after I got home. I had Eryn and Ryan with my husband and I. When we began singing Amazing Grace, I couldn’t get the words out and tears flowed. I began thin wonder what type of world I had just introduced my baby daughter to. A national news broadcaster was on a talk show and said he would never look at America the Beautiful the same. He broke up singing “Undimmed by human tears” and to this day I can’t sing that song without thinking of 9/11 and that reporter.
I do however remember how the nation came together and united around our tragedy. There were no party politics just support for each other. There was a hope for a better world that would come out of this disaster. We lost something that day, however. We lost an innocence we can’t get back. America was arrogant enough to believe we were invulnerable. We had never been attacked in any significant way on US soil since we fought each other in the Civil War, but we found out we were just as vulnerable as Europe to attacks. Unfortunately, I don’t think all the added security measures have helped. We turned a fun trip to Canada into a major trip because you need passports. You can’t see your friends off at the airport because they can’t go beyond the scanners. There is security at ball games and public events. You can’t event go to the state fair without having items searched. We lost something that day and I don’t know if we’ll ever get that back.
The one thing I did gain, was a wonderful daughter whose name teaches me every day to believe and hope for the future – Eryn Faith. The sun will come up again even in the worst of circumstances and we will survive.
Christine Hitchcock: I was teaching at a high school outside Albany, NY. I had a planning period and was walking to the office when another teacher motioned me into his room and said, "This is bad." We watched until it was time for the next class. I will never forget how quiet the halls were as the students walked to their next class. I just remember hearing their footsteps without the usual chatter and noise. I think I had lunch or hall duty next and just kept thinking that this was my generations JFK assassination. We would always remember where we were and what we were doing when it happened.