(photo by Larry Rader via 9/11Photos.com)
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the darkest day in American history on September 11, 2001.
I remember it so vividly because I was in New York on that tragic day and witnessed the horror and the chaos in its aftermath up close. I arrived in New York just minutes after the first plane hit the towers and the police were evacuating the train station on 34th street and shutting down ALL subways.
It wasn't until I arrived at my news desk that I saw on television screen the horror that was unfolding that day. I was one out of three journalists who made it into the office early that day. The other members couldn't make it into Manhattan because all transportation in and out of the city were shut down.
I had to report the tragic events to my various radio affiliates across the country all day. By late afternoon, I was totally overwhelmed by all of the television, radio and internet coverage of the disaster. At some point during the day, I became emotionally drained and put my head down on the desk in my cubicle and I cried.
But the day wasn't over for me. The fire marshall order us to evacuate the building and leave the city, if possible. Well, I couldn't go home because every transit system in the northeast was on shut down completely until midnight. So, me along with thousands of passengers were stranded outside of the train station waiting to get home.
It looked like a refugee camp outside as people huddled to find a spot in front of the doors -- they were all hungry, afraid, tired and distressed. I didn't catch a train until 2 a.m. the next morning. In the end, it was a very stressful and eventful day for me to say the least.
Much like Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 is another American tragedy that we must never forget. In addition, many thanks goes out to the brave police, firefighters and rescue teams who rose to the occassion to save numerous lives. And Rest In Honor, to the people who perished in the Twin Towers, at the Pentagon and the passengers who fought back on the plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
I will never forget.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, State Farm partnered with acclaimed director Spike Lee to film a touching tribute to thank the heroes of New York City. Nearly 150 school children (ages 8 to 11) from the New York area visited four firehouses and thanked the firefighters personally through song.
God Bless, America. Peace.