CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{September 11, 2006}   The 9/11 I Remember

It started out as an ordinary morning at CityBeat over at 7th & Vine. I remember I was busy working, listening to NPR radio on my computer like I usually do.

Bob Edwards broke into regular programming to announce it appeared that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of The World Trade Center. Some minutes later, a second plane crashed into the other tower. I remember others in the office gathering around my desk as I turned the volume up on my computer. I remember trying to continue to work and how difficult it was.
This was on a Tuesday – production day at the paper. I remember the serious faces around me. I remember a reporter trying to focus in on a story she was writing that was up on deadline. I remember the tears in her eyes.

I remember going downstairs and going outside to smoke a cigarette. I remember a sales rep of CityBeat standing out there too with his cell phone trying to reach a friend in New York. He couldn’t get through.

I remember news editor Greg Flannery and the shocked look on his face. I remember general manager Dan Bockrath and the emotion in his voice when he talked about what was happening.

I remember riding the bus home that evening and how quiet it was. I remember turning on the television – something I seldom do – and watching Dan Rather. I was smoking one cigarette after another.

I remember being scared and thinking that life as we knew it would never be the same.

Larry Gross


Bill says:

I was in the office working when a co-worker came in with a radio. We were done for that day. There was a lot of sadness and yes, we were scared. A very black day.

Robin says:

I also was in the office working when my mom called me. I turned on the radio for the rest of the day.

Heather says:

I worked nights, so I was asleep the morning it happened. My husband woke me up to tell me that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers in New York. I thought about getting up, but was too tired. Then he came in a few minutes later to tell me that we were under attack.

We sat in front of the TV for a few hours, until we couldn’t sit there anymore. We went to the mall, just to walk around. It was pretty empty, and most of the stores were closed. I don’t think anyone was there to shop. We talked to complete strangers, some of whom were crying, others were angry, others afraid. Some just stood there with us and shook there heads in confusion.

Within a day or two, we read an article online by LaRouche called “Shooting the Neighbor’s Cat,” where he said that the Bush administration would use this attack by the Taliban to go to war with Iraq.

C.A. MacConnell says:

I was in the doctor’s office. I’d never seen my doc so shocked and frightened. I’d never seen him shocked or frightened at all. And that was frightening.

Then I drove home and went inside Sitwell’s, just to be around people. I saw some familiar faces, and then everyone started to look familiar, comforting, warm, more vulnerable. It was the middle of the morning on a workday, and the shop was packed. Everyone had their eyes on Lisa’s tiny TV. Hardly anyone was drinking anything. Everyone was smoking and wandering around, smoking section or not, whatever.

Then I thought of my stepmom, a flight attendant. I called my Dad. Luckily, she was home.

The reality of it didn’t hit me until later that day. I was at a job interview, having lunch with my former boss and his wife. I’d worked with him a few years before, and he was my good friend, so it was more of a “lunch with details” than an interview. At the restaurant, as we talked, TVs surrounded us. We watched the planes, over and over.

Beginning this job in a most vulnerable way, he became my closest mentor, my supporter, my teacher and true friend. I will never forget that interview. It was more a lunchtime full of feeling grateful. No one talked about work or pay or facts. There was real pain going on, very real. And we were real. And that feeling carried into the work, my most memorable, most missed job. I ended up working with him and his wife for the next four years, until he retired.

This day made people stop, break through all walls, come at each other naked and giving. I will never forget that interview.

Jim Stanton says:

I remember I was on vacation – one of those “honey-do” vacations, fixing things around the house. I was outside doing some gutter work when my wife came out crying and told me what had happened.

For the rest of the day, we watched television holding hands crying. We called our adult children to tell them we loved them.

Tim says:

I was having breakfast with a business associate trying to get a deal closed, a deal I had worked hard on. It would mean a big commission to me.

I can’t even remember the restaurant, just remember hearing a radio being turned out and that The World Trade Center was under attack.

My business assoicate and myself decided to call off our meeting. I went home to my wife and kids and spent the rest of the day watching the news.

I never did hear back from that business associate. On that day, it didn’t matter. My wife and kids were safe and from 9/11 to present, that’s STILL the only thing that matters.

Jackie says:

I lost a good friend that day. She worked In the World Trade Center. My life will never be the same.

Jill says:

I was unemployed just watching television when the news broke. All I could do was sit there looking at the tube crying.

Matt says:

Five years after the attack, I wonder what we have really learned from it. Five years later, airport security is still bad and five years later, we’re fighting a country that had nothing to do with the attack.

Five years ago, I thought our country would get smarter. How very said to say it really hasn’t.

Heather says:

I hear you, Matt. I think one of the biggest problems in this country is our inability to educate ourselves about what is really going on in the world. The evening news watchers are completely caught off guard when things like this happen, and they are far to willing to accept “they hate our freedom” as a reasonable explanation for why people in other countries hate us. If you try to educate people and talk about what’s actually going on abroad, they just get angry. They would rather be edu-tained by the fluffy bunnies on the evening news.

Find a happy place, think thoughts of fluffy bunnies and easter parades: that’s fine, I don’t have a problem with that. I just wish these people would remain in their bunny holes when it’s time to vote.

Chuck says:

I agree with Heather. Americans need to know why “they” hate us and are willing to kill themselves to kill us. Most people in this country have no idea why. It goes beyond hating us for our freedom.

Jeff- or-ly says:

man – too heavy for me today. lighten up.

Heather says:

It’s okay, Jeff. Just think happy fluffy bunny thoughts and everything wil be okay.

Larry Gross says:

I hear you Jeff -or-ly.

Maybe tomorrow, we’ll get back to writing about fleas, what we had for lunch, bathroom problems or how hard it is to find a date – but not today.

I think today is a day of reflection. I want to echo what Matt and Heather had to say. Five years after the attacks, I’m not sure what we’ve learned. Our president keeps saying “they hate us for our freedom,” but it’s more than that. At another time and if this blog can make an attempt to talk about it seriously, maybe we can begin to educate people as to why so many countries dislike us.

Or maybe not. I’ll leave it up to the people who read us. Would you like to see this blog become more serious or do you want it to stay lighter? Maybe tomorrow, I’ll put a post up about this.

For today, thanks to all of you who took the time to be a little serious.

Erin says:

I for one usually like this site because it’s not really serious, It is about everyday life. I understand today is the anniversary of Sept. 11 and reflection is all well and good but if this starts to become serious then I’ll stop reading. There is already enough of that kind of stuff out there.

Heather says:

Larry, I like the way this blog is turning out. I think you should keep on putting up topics of conversation, whatever they may be, and letting the conversations unfold. Part of the interest is tuning in everyday to see what we’re talking about.

I’m an intense person, and I think arguments are interesting and fun, but I wouldn’t expect everyone to gather around a soapbox (whether to listen or to object) every single day. I also think you would lose people if you went all fluffy bunnies all day every day.

If it’s interesting, they will come.

hard as nails says:

turn serious = i’m gone – like today

Brenda says:

I for one have no idea why we are so hated in the world. It’s so confusing.

Jacob Hicks says:

Today on the Fox news web site, they are replaying their entire broadcast of what happened five years ago. It’s frightening to see this and makes the whole thing real again.

Like most poeple I was working when I heard about it and like most people knew that this country would never be the same again. Five years later, I believe we are much safer. Say what you will about President Bush, but he has done an excellent job in protecting our freedom. I know many are sick and tired of hearing that we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here but that’s the reality of the situation.

Jacob Hicks

Debbie says:

Honestly, I’ll be glad when this day is over with. All is 9/11 replay is giving me a headache.

Adam says:

On September 11, 2001, I was at the airport getting ready to fly to New York. Needless to say, the flight was cancelled and I haven’t been on an airplane since.

What we have learned five years ago is of course nothing. I understand now that before you can board a plane you have to take your shoes off to go through their x-ray or what ever kind of machine to see if you have a bomb in your shoes. Know what? THE EQUIPMENT DOESN’T EVEN WORK! We have learned nothing!

Geri says:

The media has rammed this nightmare down our throats all day. I come to this blog looking for relief and here it is here too. Can’t we just forget about it?

Michael says:

I agree with Heather about the mix on this blog. If you make it all serious, you’re going to lose people.

Geri says:

Today is almost over. Thank God.

Beaver Head says:

Hey people! If you don’t have cable, go to crooks and liars web site and look at The Daily Show and their story on 9/11 and the forgotten man – Osama. Its very funny!

Heather says:

Keith Oberman on 9/11: listen at

“When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American…When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have “forgotten the lessons of 9/11″… look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:

Who has left this hole in the ground?

We have not forgotten, Mr. President.

You have.

May this country forgive you.”

Larry Gross says:

Thanks, Heather, for putting Keith’s editorial up. I watched it on Crooks & Liars this morning. Powerful words. Powerful truth.

Bob says:

Keith Oberman is a hero of mine.

Johnny says:

Five years later and Bush is still a jerk. We still have that big hole in the ground five years later. Five years later we still haven’t honored the dead or honored the police and firemen who gave up their lives to save others.

Five years later it’s just a hole. Bush is the worst president we have ever had.

Matt says:

Johnny…we have two more years to put up with this clown. I totally agree, Bush is our worst president ever.

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