Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 10 years ago

Ten years ago, I worked at The Associated Press in Louisville. I had graduated from Murray State four months earlier, completed a three-month internship at the Lexington Herald-Leader and recently started at nine-month temporary stint at The Associated Press.

I was surrounded by the news of the terrorist attacks.

I heard news of the first plane crash while I was driving into work. Then I walked into The Courier-Journal building, where the AP office was, and heard of the second plane crash. Other reporters and editors -- who had a history covering history -- were stunned. Nobody said much to each other.

And then I got in the AP office and couldn't take my eyes away from the three TV lined up on one wall. Each was tuned to a different major network. And yet we craved more information. We had access to so many different AP wires, so we kept refreshing the New York and Washington news. Stories were being updated in a matter of minutes. Information trickling in as names were confirmed, as places were secured, as plans were made, as an investigation revealed dark answers.

Eventually, I talked to people on the Louisville streets and made phones to learn how local people were responding to what was becoming a day no American would ever forget. There were so many stories of loss and hope. I was reminded why information helps people cope and how documenting these stunning moments -- even from a distance -- is a way to preserve history.

And I'll certainly never forget the way our country mourned and came together. Heroes were honored. Security was tightened. And a few numbers signify a date that changed so many lives and continues to be part of our American story.

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