Recession Mama

{September 11, 2009}   We Will Never Forget

–by Carla


Our world changed 8 years ago today. Most of us will never forget where we were on September 11, 2001 when we heard the news that America was under attack.

I was single and living in Dallas at the time and just waking up when my Dad called to tell me to turn on the TV. He said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I rushed to turn it on and still had Dad on the phone when we both watched in horror as the second plane hit. He said, “Carly, we’re being attacked! You need to get to work.” I screamed, told him I loved him, and threw the phone down. At the time, I was the editor (producer) of an afternoon radio news program and didn’t normally go into the newsroom until 10am, but today was different. It was just after 8am, I tossed on a ball cap and ran out the door, speeding as fast as I could from east Dallas all the way to Arlington, about a 25 mile drive. On the way, the anchor of the afternoon news called me on my cell…because no one could believe what was happening. He was near a TV when the Pentagon was hit. He screamed, I hit the gas even harder, barely able to breathe now as I zoomed down the highway at nearly 90 miles an hour.

That day, the newsroom was quiet and somber and bustling…all at the same time. The morning anchors were still on the air, broadcasting what they were seeing on live television…when the towers fell. The silence was deafening, both in the newsroom and on the air. It was at that moment that I knew we had to jump into action. We, as news people, had to step up and cover this story…so we started sending reporters all across Dallas/Fort Worth: federal buildings, DFW International Airport, schools, malls. Word had spread that schools were sending kids home, that offices were clearing out, that malls were closing. Our newsroom was located on the ground floor of the Ballpark in Arlington, a giant baseball stadium, and the surrounding offices were closing and sending people home.

There was no news clock that day. News came in as it happened. As editor, it was all about not letting the story get to me, just getting the facts out as quickly as possible.

It was only when I got home late that evening, after being in the newsroom for 12 hours, that it hit me. I’ve never told anyone this, but my Mom and brother stayed the night. We wanted to be together, we were all so scared.  We stayed up late,  what else, watching the news…

I had not met my husband yet at that time, but now when I think about the risks that police officers and firefighters take every day, and then I think back to the enormous sacrifices that were made that day, I cannot help but get choked up.

To first responders everywhere, not just my Don, but all of you, Thank You.



teresa says:

You brought chills to my body again, and tears to my eyes. I lived it again. Thank you for all your time at the news room; thanks to Don and ALL the others involved……..

Lydia says:

Having worked the late shift the night before, I was just waking up to news on the radio that something was happening in NY. (BTW, it was KRLD and was glued to their coverage the rest of the day. Thanks Carla for all you guys did that day.) I turned on the TV just in time to see the 2nd plane hit. The sleeping giant was awakened that day…. we must NEVER forget. We must also temper our outrage with compassion. Yes, there are folks in the world that want us all dead. There are others in the same parts of the world that just want to raise their kids, have an opportunity to go to school, and make a living. When we hit, we need to hit hard. We also need to help whenever we can. Strength and Compassion are companions in Freedom. God Bless the USA, especially the military!

recessionmama says:

Ma, I know. Writing that brought back all those same emotions for me as well. I’m so glad we all spent the night together…it was so special. Lydia, you’re so right about having to temper those deep feeling of hurt and rage and an excellent point that not everyone in that region wants to bring us harm. Thank you both!

Katy says:

Thanks for writing this Carla! On that day, I was still working in news then. I woke up to my now ex calling me to tell me that the plane he was supposed to have been on had gone into the Pentagon! He was supposed to have been on one of those flights from NYC to LA! For some reason, his mom changed his flight at the last minute. I was at home crying so hard before my shift started. I couldn’t keep crying so I got ready for work early, and I went into work about 5 hours before my shift started. It was what I needed. I needed to be busy, and I needed to not be scared. I also needed to call everyone I knew in New York City and get their stories. It was good to hear my friends stories. Everyone I personally knew survived that day…some were miraculous. I had several friends who even worked at the towers, but for some reason or another had gone to work late that day or not at all. I had a friend of a friend who got out of the towers just in time…right when the alarms sounded. And I know that most of my friends who live in New York City today are still dealing with the aftermath of what happened on this day in 2001.

recessionmama says:

Carla, this is beautifully written. It brings back memories of working alonside you in the newsroom the day of the attacks. It was such an eerie, surreal, frightening and exhausting day. I will never forget it.

It was our second wedding anniversary. My husband managed to get through to the newsroom. He said not coming home? I said love ya and hung up.

We do like to celebrate our anniversary, but I never forget to take a few moments and remember the horric events of the day and the heroic actions that followed.

Thanks to everyone who protects us and sacrifices for our country everyday. They are true heros. May we never forget those who were lost that day. May we never forget those who fight for our country, so that we never suffer another tragedy like it.


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