Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where were you?

I was in Ms. Luna’s fifth grade class at Rountree Elementary School in Springfield, MO on November 22, 1963. Everyone my age remembers where they were on that day.

On Tuesady morning, September 11, 2001, I was in the main conference room at LPD Headquarters. Our weekly staff meeting had just begun. Just as the meeting began, someone came in and told us that the World Trade Center had been struck by an aircraft. We turned on the television just about the time the second tower was struck.

Since the command staff was already assembled, we quickly brainstormed about what we ought to be doing, and started making some assignments of officers to key public facilities, such as the Federal Building, State Office Building, State Capital, City-County Building, and Airport. We didn’t have any detailed instructions, other than to be visible and to keep your eyes open for the unusual. More than anything, I suppose, we just wanted to make sure that citizens were reassured somewhat by the visibility of the police at these public places.

I imagine that 45 years from now, those in their mid-fifties will all remember exactly where they were on September 11, 2001.


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, yet I can remember the exact intersection I was at when I heard the news. I pray every day for the families that lost loved ones and friends that day. I continue to pray everyday for those soldiers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics that protect and fight to save our lives every day...

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to say that it's reassuring, considering your position, that you remember well what happened just six years ago.

I was around for the decades-earlier event that happened down in Texas, but don't remember it (I didn't even have all my teeth in yet).

JoeMerchant24 said...

I was asleep, only in bed for 3-4 hours, when David Stoeffler, then-editor of the Journal Star, called me to tell me that a plane had hit the WTC and I needed to be in the newsroom 5 minutes ago.

I was backing out of my parking spot when the second plane hit.

We scrambled to get an extra out that day. I remember ordering much higher editors than I around. I never apologized for that, but nation/world was my turf, so sports/editorial/features bosses listened to me and never retaliated.

There was a problem with the large-format printer, so I had to cut and tape two page-sized negative together old school to get the extra out in time for the lunch rush.

When the first tower fell, I'm a little bit ashamed to admit, that my first thought was "the main headline needs rewritten." In the pace and stress, all I could do was focus on the work at hand.

After the extra went to press, a group of us grabbed a fast bite at Barrys, then headed back to plan the next edition.

I went home around 0730 Wednesday to shower, sleep for a few hours and be back at 1230 to get the entertainment tabloid started for Friday's paper.

Needless to say, I was less-than enthused to work on Ground Zero that week.

Days like that do NOT make me miss working in news.

I also remember how well LPD did at reassuring the public by showing the colors. Officer Finnell (as usual) was outstanding that day keeping Aaron and the rest of the staff up to speed.

Anonymous said...

What is so odd in all this is the Govt is doing little if any to keep our borders secure. Local police across the USA do not work close with the INS to catch illegals and deport them. Many are turned back to the streets only to do greater crimes. If Lincoln ever is the direct recipient of a terror attack we will all be caught with ah bunch of "What should we dos" at the information desk.

Anonymous said...

Me too, I was in fifth grade in Topeka, KS. We watched Walter Cronkite that afternoon, and I will never forget my teacher (Miss Walters or Waters?) crying uncontrollably. That's the same thing I did on September 11, when I suppose I was about the same age she was in 1963.

Anonymous said...

I was at work and someone mentioned a plane hitting the WTC. I thought "Ok... some small plane clipped one of the buildings or something. Not great, but no big deal." Boy was I wrong.

Later in the day, a kid who also worked PT at a gas station had talked to his boss at the gas station. His boss had mentioned that he needed to get a new sign for the price banner "because... OMG... prices MIGHT hit TWO DOLLARS a gallon!"

Those were the days? :/

Jenn said...

I remember I was still in the Corps. We were at work and had a formation called. We were to start working 24 hrs, with 12 on and 12 off. There was a huge shipment of body bags that came through our warehouse. I guess everyone thought they would be necessary. The body bags came back, the victims were ashes. It was very somber and stressful. we had gear inspections and were told we could leave at the drop of a hat. Marines are the first ones in, we don't need Congress' permission. I felt bad for the Marines who were from NY. They couldn't get in touch with their families, but had to keep working. It was an honor to be able to serve. Semper Fi.

rob said...

I had just returned from Spain on the flight line guarding a b-47 (Lincoln Air Force Base) trying to get off because it was my 21 birthday sgt narcessis came by and said the president had been shot i through it was a joke so that they would not have to let me off only when sgt. Wallace came by did I believe it.