Where Were You On September 11, 2001?
Most country fans have heard the Alan Jackson song, “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning”. Likewise, I can imagine that most people remember exactly where they were the day that those planes hit the World Trade Center. It was 18 years ago today and I still remember exactly where I was.
I was right here at the WYRK studios. I was just hired on fresh off my internship about a month before it all happened. I was running the board for The Breakfast Club as they were out on their 40 Towns In 40 Days promotion. Dale Mussen was on vacation but Clay and CJ Lee were at Northtown Dodge.
When the first plane hit, one of the other DJs from our sister station (Joy-FM at the time) came in to let me know. I didn’t think much of it. I assumed it was some idiot in a small plane that accidentally bumped into the first tower. But I passed it on to Clay anyway.
He found a TV right away and turned it on. As they were watching, the second plane hit. I heard him talking and was shocked to hear him say, “Oh yeah…there it is right there…wait…is that a second plane? I think that’s a second one!”
He was right. A couple minutes later, I was updated again that a second plane had hit the towers. It was apparent that it was a terrorist attack. That was the day the world changed for us all.
I remember the drive back to Geneseo that day as I drove down the 90 watching all the unmarked police cars flying the opposite direction from Batavia to Buffalo. It really was a scary time. Our country was under attack and there was little information that day to tell us citizens who had done it.
I remember watching the news that night and seeing the people from Iraq and Afganistan cheering in the streets that our people had been metaphorically dropped to our knees for the first time on our own soil. I remember being angry.
However, I also remember the pride that grew in the following weeks. Flags were on every porch and flag pole. People put ribbons on their cars. We began to hear stories of the people that we lost. The heroes that charged into the buildings to help were uncovered.
The despicable acts of the terrorists that day were meant to tear our country apart. But I’ve never seen this country more focused on a single goal than we were in the weeks that followed. I can’t remember a time when I was more proud to be an American.