It was a beautiful fall day five years ago. The kids got off to school and Mr. Wonderful was dropping me off at metro. He was the at-home parent and I was on my way into CNN.
I’ve never been one of the earphones/music types; I like to read on my commute to work. Everything was normal on the train.
I got to the elevator in the bureau lobby and someone said, “a plane has hit the World Trade Center in New York, the newsroom is going nuts.” I bypassed my office and went directly to the Assignment Desk. Phones were ringing madly and the editorial rim was humming. I started answering phones and generally lending a hand. Then the second plane hit.
After the second plane, it is hard to describe the level of activity in the newsroom. Ordered chaos, fact finding, running from the live rim to the studio and control rooms. There was a high-pitched hum of many people talking to each other, on phones, calling other bureaus and remote sites around DC.
I’m not absolutely sure of the timeline of the subsequent events, but I remember vividly someone yelling, “the Towers are collapsing.” I was surprised to find myself sitting on the floor, so shocked my legs just gave out. I sat there thinking, all those people…. Everyone froze for a moment, horrified eyes on the televisions.
I remember hearing a plane go by, loud and low. That is when I realized that I was not a real journalist. Everyone in the newsroom ran to the window to see what was going on, I backed up and thought about bolting for the exit. The plane hit the Pentagon. Shock turned into utter disbelief and chaos.
Telephone calls came in fast and furious, the noise was unbelievable. Then Bureau Chief Frank Sesno stood up, yelled “calm down everyone” and the noise level quieted. News rolled in: they were evacuating the White House. There was a bomb spotted at the State Dept (which turned out to be just a rumor). All area schools were on lockdown, government workers were told to go home. People were jumping out of the Towers. I don’t know if that happened before or during the collapse. I just remember the horror.
Big question turned out to be: Where the hell were the President and Vice President? In hiding?!?! What gutless wonders.
CNN White House correspondent John King argued with secret service about evacuating the White House, dragged his feet leaving and stopped often to look back and see what was happening. His producer finally said, “John, we can’t cover the story if we’re dead.” Some people were willing to risk staying at the White House to find out what was going on.
The days that followed were a blur. I don’t think anyone at CNN went home for more than a shower and change of clothes for months.
Tomorrow is primary voting in Maryland. November brings mid term elections that will determine the House and Senate for the next six years.
Please vote. We have been at war with Afghanistan and Iraq for years.
Even the lameass idiots that currently represent our executive and legislative branches of government don’t pretend anymore that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. All we’ve done in Iraq is made it easy to shoot American soldiers. Why are we squandering our money, resources, and our children there?
I’d like to show support for our troops by bringing them home. Nothing we do there is going to make any difference, now. Bush is leaving a mess in just about every corner of the world. There is no course to stay, because there was never a real reason or plan,