Saturday, September 11, 2004

9/11

The morning of September 11, 2001 I was in a rush to get to my office. I was late for work, as usual. During my drive, I tuned into the Howard Stern morning show on 92.3 FM (WXRK) in New York City. I listened to Howard every day. 2 hours and 58 minutes into his regular morning broadcast, the unthinkable occurred. In the midst of a jovial discussion about an encounter Howard had with Pamela Anderson at a local strip club, Howard interrupted his broadcast with breaking news. It took a while for the seriousness of the situation to sink in. The audio files I've included below are of Howard's broadcast during the 9 o'clock hour of 9/11 during the first moments of the disaster. It may be difficult for some to hear, but this is my memory of the events of 9/11 and how I first heard the news. (Each segment is 1 minute long.)

Part 1 - Breaking News
Part 2 - Prophetic Statement by producer Gary "Hope this wasn't one of those terrorist kamikaze attacks..."
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Once I arrived at my office's underground parking deck, I sat listening in horror and disbelief. In shock, I made my way upstairs to my office. I had a meeting that I was late for. In the meeting, one of the women kept getting cell phone calls from her husband who worked in one of the buildings next to the Trade Center. He could see everything from his office window. We listened in horror as she gasped and put her hand over her mouth. Apparently, her husband had seen someone jump or fall from one of the towers. She left the room in tears and the meeting couldn't continue. I made my way back to my office but saw a crowd of people outside the executive conference room. They had the satellite TV on, tuned into CNN. I stood for a while watching the news as several coworkers broke down and cried. No one got any work done that morning.

My husband John was in California for a conference (he'd only just left Sunday evening) and I longed to call and tell him what was happening back home. I knew he was still sleeping so I decided to wait.

By 2PM, the building was evacuated and we were all sent home. I was unable to reach John on the phone or his cell (networks were jammed) but we did finally get in touch via instant message on his palm device. When I got home, I was so relieved to see his screen name on my buddy list. His conference had been cancelled for the rest of the day and there was talk of canceling it, period. The FAA had grounded all flights, so he was uncertain how he was going to get home. I wanted him home, but if terrorists were hijacking cross-country flights...I just wanted him to be safe. Some of his colleagues were already looking into renting a van to make a one-way trip home. Everyone wanted to be with their families.

I finally went to lie down at the end of the day. I was just drained. My phone rang around 7:30PM just as I was finally nodding off. It was our adoption attorney in Hawaii. The day was about to take an even more unexpected turn. After witnessing a terrorist attack, who would have thought something so amazing could happen after so much tragedy.

To be continued...

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