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Sandra Bookman reflects on the 9/11 attacks

September 10, 2013 8:29:59 AM PDT
I remember just about every detail of that day...especially the morning:

Of waking up later than usual because I'd worked late the night before and would work late again that night because of the election.

Of listening to news on the radio that a plane (believed to be small) had struck one of the Trade Center towers, and then turning on the TV to Channel 7 and seeing the second plane hit the other tower.

Of believing we were under attack.

Of calling the assignment desk first to say I was headed in and calling my mother in Texas second to let her know I was okay, but probably would be out of touch for the rest of the day.

Of running down Columbus Avenue from my apartment six blocks away, hair barely out of curlers, clutching a second set of clothing and makeup, believing I might not get back home that day.

Of going on the anchor desk with Bill Ritter just after the first tower fell and trying to stay calm and make sense of the various unconfirmed reports coming in: planes missing, explosions in Washington, people jumping from the World Trade towers.

Of volunteering to cover a special Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral later that evening and reporting the name of the first confirmed death: Father Mychal Judge, the FDNY Chaplain.

Of standing in the middle of Fifth Avenue on the phone with my mother, weeping, and repeating over and over, "Mama, it's bad. It's bad."

Sandra Bookman


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