I was hosting Morning Talk with Martha Zoller and Andy Maddox was my cohost that morning. Andy’s brother worked in the financial district of New York. He couldn’t reach him on the phone and later found out he had a meeting in the World Trade Towers at 8:30 am that morning. It was cancelled and he was walking out as the first plane was hitting.
I thought I had scored a coup by getting a county commission chair and a commissioner who weren’t getting along to come in and air their grievances. We had seen the first plane hit the World Trade Towers and believed like everyone else that it was a small plane that went off course. The problem with that we it was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky, yet.
While we were on break for the 9 am hour, we were all standing in the studio with the bank of TVs on. We saw the other plane come around and hit the other tower and we knew this was deliberate.
Over the course of the rest of the day, I was on air until about 4 pm. It was the most emotional day of broadcasting I’ve ever had. I found out later that my friend, Barbara Olson, was on the plane that went into the Pentagon. When I went to Iraq the first time in 2005, I met Mark Flagg. His parents were on that flight, too.
Over the next days and weeks, Congress sang “God Bless America” on the steps of the capitol. Our National Anthem was sung around the world in vigils by countries far and wide. Flags flew all over and everywhere.
How do we get back there? Do we have to have a national mass murder tragedy to have compassion for each other and remember what it means to be an American? Would today’s Congress sing “God Bless America,” or would they take a knee. Almost 3000 people from dozens of countries were killed that day just because they got up and went to work. They were innocents.
Every year, take a moment to think about how you felt that day. If you are an American, act like one. Love your country; find a way to serve and the only time you should take a knee is to thank God for the blessing of being an American.