9/11 SIXTEEN YEARS LATER: A SOMBER REFLECTION
THE HAGMANN REPORT – PETER CHOWKA
(September 11, 2017) Because of the media’s and much of the nation’s preoccupation with the evolving story of Hurricane Irma’s devastating contact with Florida this weekend, and also because of the passage of time and the dimming of memory, there hasn’t been much anticipation this year of the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. But as the day has finally arrived, I find myself thinking back to that Tuesday in September.
That morning in 2001, after a typical late night of research and writing, I had set my portable clock radio to go off around 10 A.M., tuned as usual to WCBS AM 800, the big all news radio station in New York City. When the radio came on, in my partly awake semi-dreamlike state, I wondered why the station was reporting on an attack on the World Trade Center. Was this some weird replay of coverage of the 1993 WTC attack? That’s what I initially thought, until I finally awakened more fully.
Still confused by the shocking breaking news that I was hearing, like everyone else I rushed to the TV and turned on a cable news channel and quickly learned the awful truth about what had happened earlier that morning in NYC, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon. For the next four days, when virtually all television programming, even the commercial broadcast channels, was commercial free and devoted to non-stop breaking news coverage, I stayed glued to the TV but with an eye on the Internet, as well. Except for the new and vital role that accessing online news was now playing, I was reminded of following the coverage of the JFK assassination almost without sleep during the four days after November 22, 1963 when I was in junior high school.