Monday's program was a sober reminder of what happened half a decade ago, when everything changed in a flash.
On September 11, 2001, our program was ordinary in its lineup: E.D. and Brian had just completed an interview with Marisol Thomas the wife of Matchbox Twenty front man Rob Thomas and I was walking back into the studio after a weather segment with Mr. Peanut, the mascot of Planters Peanuts, when the producer whispered in our ears, "A plane has flown into the World Trade Center."
We would do a FOX News Alert, just as soon as the helicopter pictures came up from Lower Manhattan, but as we waited, I started to assemble some historical information about planes flying into New York skyscrapers. The first iconic image that came to my mind was from 1945, when a B-25 flew into the Empire State Building. The last thing the pilot radioed was, "From where I'm sitting, I can't see the top of the Empire State Building."
Then within 60 seconds the pictures from our chopper came up, the vantage point was from the north side, and if you remember, from that angle the hole in the WTC looked like it was 20 or 30 feet wide. That was because the entire width of the airliner had crashed into the south side, which was a huge gash gushing smoke. In comparison, the hole on the north side was pretty small. In fact apparently what caused the hole in the north side, was an airplane motor crashing through the windows.
One of the initial reports was that a plane the size of a 767 had crashed. Of course the hole we saw was more in line with a two-seater, like a Cessna, I figured a traffic reporter airplane had steered too close and lost track of the towers. Then we saw the other side, and realized the hole was to vast for a little plane, and the initial report was accurate. It was a full-sized commercial airliner. I remember thinking as we were relaying incoming information, "Look at that. How are they going to fix that?"
Thirteen minutes after the initial impact, Jon Scott took over and was on the air when the second jet crashed into the other tower, turning Lower Manhattan into the largest crime scene in American history.
I think about that day, everyday. It's not just the big empty space in the skyline I see when I drive into work every morning. It's also the last thing I think about before bed, as my daughter Sally says her prayers, "And God bless everyone who lost their lives on September 11th," and then she adds, "And take care of all of those who are keeping us safe."
So many were killed, just because they showed up for work. And that’s why, today, we need more protection than ever before. I thank all of those who wear a uniform across the street and around the world for all they do to keep us safe.
Today's powerful pictures and sobering stories broke my heart all over again. They are a reminder of all that we've lost, and another reason why we can never forget.
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