September 11, 2001 – We Can Never Forget
Twelve years ago, the world changed. It was a beautiful day, but it quickly changed when terrorists struck the United States. It was 9-11, a day that must never be forgotten.
I remember being at WABI AM 910, my office was next to the studio, and George Hale was on the air. When the first plane struck the World Trade Center, we both received phone calls, me from my mother, George from his wife Jeannie. I remember going in and asking him if he had heard, and he had. I remember thinking what a terrible tragedy, but little did I know. It was only when the second plane hit, that we realized that this was deliberate, and then we heard the terrible news, that planes had been hijacked. We abandoned regular programming and joined CBS News for the rest of the day.
I called my wife, Bonnie at school. I wanted to make sure she had heard about the hijackings and that the World Trade Centers, and Pentagon had been targeted, and that the plane had crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Luckily, she was safe at work, and our boys were in school in Bangor. Schools stayed in session, and I was home when the boys arrived and Bonnie came home. The television was on, and I don't think I turned it off for days.
That night everyone in our neighborhood met up at the park. Everyone brought United States Flags and candles. We had our own candlelight vigil, singing God Bless America, America the Beautiful, and the Star Spangled Banner. We held hands, we cried. America had been attacked, and the world would never be the same.
The next morning the Bangor Daily News had the largest headline I ever saw "America At War!". Planes were grounded, police were everywhere. Police and Maine National Guard patrolled the airports armed with tactical weapons. People looked up in the air when they saw a plane and anxiously watched. NATO Planes were flying cover over the United States.
12 years have passed. I hope you will pause and remember the tragedy. For those of you who may have been too young, please watch the video. It's painful, it shows America being attacked, but it must be watched. We can never forget! We owe it to all those who lost their lives. We owe it to the brave responders who charged into a burning, collapsing building. We owe it to ourselves. You see September 11, 2001 was the day that everything changed. We can never forget!