Thursday, September 11, 2014


September 11th is a date that will be recalled with infamy. It is one of those pivotal moments that is frozen in time. One that you'll always remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard the dreaded news.

On September 11, 2001, I was working in the newsroom at CTV London. My shift started at 10:30am, just in time for the noon news. I was tuned in to the radio on my way to work when I heard that a plane had crashed into a building in New York. My first thought was that it was a small hobby plane and, though tragic, not a lot of harm done.

When I walked into the station, I was met by commotion in the hallway. People were gathered around the water cooler talking about what had happened. It seemed two planes had crashed into the twin towers in New York. There was a lot of confusion about the facts, with rumours swirling about multiple targets.

I walked into the newsroom and observed clusters of people gathered around TV monitors. Other than the audio from CNN, the place was eerily quiet. I made my way to the control room where our noon producer was watching her screen intently. "The tower just collapsed. I can't believe this!" She said it in disbelief. We were all in disbelief. The scenes on the monitors were like that of an apocalyptic movie.

I remember being scared. I wasn't sure why this was happening or what would happen next. I remember wanting to talk to one of my family members - but I couldn't seem to reach anyone. I remember my co-worker insisting this would lead to war and he would be drafted. I remember being unable to walk away from the constant barrage of information and horrifying pictures on TV. I remember that when I did walk away, I found myself in the staff lounge watching Sesame Street. It was the only channel that was not taken over by the carnage in New York.

We didn't produce a newscast that day. We flipped the switch to CNN and followed along with the rest of the world. In retrospect, I was situated in a really unique spot to observe the biggest news event in my lifetime unfold. Where were you on September 11, 2001?

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