The question everyone has asked today, and has an answer for. For our parents, that question probably relates to the assassination of President Kennedy. For my generation, and the one just before, it squarely relates to one thing: September 11, 2001.
Some details of the morning are a bit hazy but it’s still very clearly burned into my mind. I was a Sophomore at Marquette University, living on the 9th floor of Tower Hall (officially titled Carpenter Tower but no one called it that back then as East Hall was still East Hall and didn’t also have ‘tower’ in its name.) I was woken up by Bob and Brian on Lazer 103, as I was every Tuesday morning, around 7:45ish. I woke up to them declaring there was an emergency in New York City and they didn’t know what was going on or if they were able to continue their show or not. Immediately, I turned on WTMJ to see NBC on the air with live coverage of a burning WTC tower. In the process I woke my roommate up and he was pissed until he saw what was happening on TV. That was about the time the second tower was struck. I remember being glued to the television.
I quickly showered and got ready for class as things were unfolding. I was on my way over to Johnston Hall when I was met by a classmate who said that Ksobiech had cancelled class and that were were to watch the events unfold. I didn’t see the first tower fall because that happened as I was walking to class. But I was there watching when the second one fell. I think I was glued to the television for HOURS that day. Split between my room and Jamie & Andy’s room next door.
Three related things stand out for me from that day:
- September 11, 2001 was supposed to also be our first night of production for MUTV that year. The first night that Jamie and I would be running the show on our own, without being basically an interm Production Director as the both of us had stepped up to do in the last month of our Freshman year. I remember making a phone call to the Entertainment Director that year offering to rally up a crew if we wanted to press on. We ended up pushing production back a couple of days.
- We had the raw CNN Newsource feed on a monitor in the MUTV offices. The images that were shown on the raw feed cannot be unseen. I will not describe them.
- The terrible line outside of the Subway because the university shut down EVERYTHING including the dining halls in the wake of the attacks. Like the line was out the door, past Kampus Foods, and to Wells when I got in it.
Being glued to my television, I can only imagine the chaos that was working in news that day.