I awoke that morning to the news that "a small plane" had collided with the World Trade Center's north tower in NYC. I turned on the TV just in time to see, live, the second jet strike. My daughter had just come home from her job working all night at KRAB. I knocked on her door.
"You need to see this."
By the time I reached the radio station we had suspended normal programming and all of our stations became news stations for the day. A couple of TVs were set up in the studios and the entire staff gathered to watch the unbelievable tragedy.
About 4 O'Clock a few of us wandered next door to Woody's and...well...frankly...we drank. We weren't alone.
Back then I still occasionally smoked cigarettes. I stepped outside to have one and was struck by how quiet it was. Not only was traffic on Truxtun almost nonexistent, there wasn't a plane in the sky. It was strange to think that but for a handful of military craft, there wasn't a plane in the sky anywhere over the USA.
All I could think of in that silence was that earlier in the day over 3000 people got up to go to work not knowing they wouldn't be coming home that evening.
Within a few days it was business as usual for us radio folks. We didn't know then that we were on the brink of a war that's still being waged on the other side of the world. We didn't know then that people would soon be getting pissed off over not being able to bring their shampoo and nail clippers onboard their flight. We didn't know then how much the world had changed.
We know now. Has it really sunk in?