If you had been tuned to 90.3 WCPN the morning of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, you would have heard host Bob Edwards deliver the news of the terrorist attacks in New York City. The calm in his voice reflected not just Bob's professionalism, but clearly conveyed that we really had no concept of what that meant in those first minutes, and it is no hyperbole to say that America, and the lives of all its citizens dramatically changed in those minutes.
Not only was 9/11 the single deadliest terrorist attack on U-S soil, but in response, the United States launched two wars, one of which, the longest in our country's history, only just concluded last month.
As to more immediate results - air travel changed, security precautions in every walk of life increased, the relationship that many Muslim Americans had with this country was forever altered, and political divides in the wake of the U.S.'s military response deepened.
Today, we're spending the hour looking back at the September 2001 terrorist attacks, as we approach the 20th remembrance, which will be marked this Saturday.
Here's Sound of Ideas host Rick Jackson's own memories of that day.
Then working as the nightside reporter at WOIO, I was awakened by my sister calling from Charlotte to say 'turn on the Today Show'. I did that, just in time to see the second plane strike, somehow instinctively knew what that meant, and from that instant - I was showered, dressed, and in my car in less than eight minutes, yelling "We're under attack" to the mailman in my front yard as I screeched away, then barreling up I-77 at 100 miles an hour to get to the studio long before my shift - an all-hands-on-deck situation that we as newspeople knew ...would be unending for some time to come.
I saw the first tower fall on a 19 inch TV monitor in the basement of Reserve Square, then spent the bulk of the day reporting from Cleveland City Hall, as a harried Mayor Mike White was dealing with concern that a fourth hijacked airplane had been communicating with dispatchers at the Cleveland Center - but the tower didn't know where Flight 93 had gone...
From the outset, this attack was more than a far off story to me - as I had returned to Cleveland from working IN New York City... less than two years earlier. I was thinking of people I knew, knowing folks who WORKED in those towers, and who passed THROUGH that transit station in the lower level daily...
And my brother-in-law's office... was in the Pentagon.
Rick Jackson wasn't the only one who was working that day though, as two of our own Northeast Ohio publIc radio journalists were working in the New York City area back in 2001.
Amy Eddings, host of Morning Edition here on WCPN was with WNYC radio, based right in Manhattan. And Andrew Meyer, the News Director at WKSU, was directly across the Hudson River, working at WBGO in Newark, New Jersey six miles due west of lower Manhattan, with visibility of that skyline.
We'll share their conversation reflecting on 9/11, and how those days events changed them as individuals and as journalists.
Later in the show, we'll talk to a Baldwin Wallace University Professor who was also on the ground in the days following 9/11, as a member of a field research team tasked with observing and recording the unfolding events. He has since researched and authored a book on how 9/11 has affected our society in the past 20 years.