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September 11th, 2008
05:33 PM ET

When the big city became small town New York

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/art.brooklynpromenade.jpg
caption="Visitors to the Brooklyn Promenade look out at Lower Manhattan, September 10, 2002."]

Adam Levine
CNN Pentagon Unit

One of the things I remember most about 9/11 is the sense of community that started pretty much when the attacks began.

I was at home, getting ready for work on that sunny Tuesday in Brooklyn when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Told to come in, I jumped on the subway. At that point, I knew little. I believe the feeling at the time was that a recreational pilot somehow hit the building with his plane.

But as the subway train barreled towards Manhattan, I learned more. Each time the doors open, someone would inevitably get on having heard just a few more minutes of information. And they would tell it to people near them in the car.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
05:20 PM ET

We had three Senators on hold and Ted Turner in the control room

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/art.911.kay.jpg caption="Kay Jones booking guests in CNN's Atlanta control room on September 11, 2001."]Kay Jones
AC360° Editorial Producer

At 8am on Sept. 11, 2001, various people from CNN, including myself, were in our daily morning meeting, discussing how to cover Michael Jordan’s 2nd return from retirement, which looked to be the big story of the day.

At some point in the conversation, the NY bureau's managing editor broke in on the phone: “Guys, it’s New York here. A plane has just hit one of the World Trade Center towers. You can see it on router 22”. We immediately turned the TV in the conference room, saw the hole in the side of the tower and started running to the newsroom to start our coverage.

I was one of the morning show bookers at the time. I had only been on the job for a few months when the planes hit, and this was really the first major story I would work on in this new job. I ran downstairs and got my colleague, Erin DeLoach, to jump in on calls. We split up various businesses and hotels to try and get information, as well as “beepers”, also known as phone interviews on air.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
04:57 PM ET

O.J. jury pool down to final 40

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/art.simpson.jpg]
Editor’s Note: O.J. Simpson arrived Monday for the start of his trial on robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial.

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

The voir dire part of the jury selection process in the Simpson Las Vegas trial is over and the pool of 40 juror candidates is in place.

Judge Jackie Glass has ruled the news media and public can receive a blank copy of the Simpson juror questionnaire - "once the final jury is seated and sworn in to hear this case."

But Glass denied access to any copies of the completed juror questionnaire.

Two news outlets attempted to gain legal access to the lengthy questionnaire designed to weed out troublesome potential jurors in the O.J. Simpson kidnapping and armed robbery case.

The 116 questions, designed by prosecutors and defense attorneys, were aimed at ridding the case of jurors with an extreme views and or a bias for or against Simpson.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • O.J. Simpson Trial • T1
September 11th, 2008
04:50 PM ET

Tears, scattered shoes, automatic rifles, and a white plane overhead

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
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A look back at a story John King filed after 9/11; A mystery plane that flew over Washington on September 11, 2001 is still a cause for concern.
A look back at a story John King filed after 9/11; A mystery plane that flew over Washington on September 11, 2001 is still a cause for concern.

John King | BIO
CNN Correspondent

I remember the tears. The scattered shoes. The startling sight of automatic rifles. And a giant plane banking slowly in skies where no plane is authorized to fly.

I can see it like it was yesterday, though at times it seems like another lifetime. It was seven years ago, September 11, 2001, walking into the White House at the moment they were frantically telling everyone to get out.

The tears were streaming down the cheeks of young staffers who had been told to leave in an orderly fashion but then began to panic when Secret Service officers started screaming “RUN.” Some literally ran out of their shoes, leaving them scattered like bread crumbs on the path from the West Wing out the Northwest gate and across Pennsylvania Avenue to Lafayette Park.

In the distance you could see smoke rising in the air; it was from across the Potomac River at the Pentagon; a few people had radios, or we would get news when we could get a cell phone connection to the office.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
04:40 PM ET

He never cried. He didn't need to.

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
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Gone but not forgotten: A twin reflects on the loss of his brother on 9/11. CNN's Jason Carroll reports
Gone but not forgotten: A twin reflects on the loss of his brother on 9/11. CNN's Jason Carroll reports

Laura Dolan
CNN Producer

I was enjoying the last day of my vacation, running on the treadmill at the gym, when I saw a big hole in the World Trade Center on TV. Anchors were reporting a plane had hit the building. Other folks at the gym started gathering around TV’s in the cardio area as I took off for the train station.

As I was listening to the radio on my way to the station, the second plane hit. At this point I knew something really bad was happening. On the train ride in from Long Island, I was hearing all sorts of crazy things from other passengers on the train. ‘Another plane hit the Pentagon.’ ‘Both towers collapsed. ‘ I thought to myself, “people will make up the most absurd things during a crisis.”
FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
03:28 PM ET

First to break the news

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
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Listen to Sean's first call to CNN in this special look back at the first hours of 9/11/01 as events unfolded on CNN. Viewer discretion is advised.
Listen to Sean's first call to CNN in this special look back at the first hours of 9/11/01 as events unfolded on CNN. Viewer discretion is advised.

Sean Murtagh
Group Vice President, Finance, Time Warner Cable

On September 11th, 2001, I was in a morning meeting at 5 Penn Plaza on the 21st floor at CNN’s former NYC headquarters with Art Jackson, VP of Turner Properties.

As we looked at the window we noticed a plane flight south very low over Manhattan and couldn’t believe it as it impacted into the north tower of the WTC. I then called our NYC Assignment desk and told them what I witnessed and to get camera crew up to our roof.

I then called the Atlanta assignment desk and a few minutes later I was put through live on air with Carol Lin and Vince Cellini. I was the first one to break the news of the crash. I was certain I’d seen a twin engine passenger jet hit the tower, but said maybe it was a 737, not a 767 as it turned out. I recapped what I had seen and what happened the last moment before impact with the plane tilting its wings side to side.

All I could remember at impact was the fireball and since I was a couple of miles away and indoors, there was obviously no sound. I answered as many of Carol’s and Vince’s questions as possible, but when the questions became more localized to what was happening at or near the building, we ended the interview.

A few minutes later, I went on Headline News to recount for them the same story. What I remember most from my Headline interview was the moment I saw the second plane approaching the south tower and thinking it was a tanker plane flying in to put out the fire. Then I saw the second fire ball. My voice inflection while on HLN was shock and quickly jumped to the conclusion of the fact that the hits to the towers were intentional.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
03:06 PM ET

When sons follow fathers into flames, and never return

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world. Howard Carlson has been with the FDNY for 40 years, retiring April 1st of this year. He shares his memories of 9/11:
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/art.911.fdny3.jpg]
Howard Carlson
FDNY Battalion Chief (Ret.)

I arrived on the scene about 1 hour after the Towers collapsed, having responded from the borough of Queens where I was working that day.

When I was about 3/4 of a mile from the scene we were within range to here the radio transmissions from the World Trade Center...the first message that I heard was devastating.

It was a 'May-Day' message. An entire ladder company; an officer and 5 firefighters, along with a civilian woman, were trapped in a stairway and were asking for help.

The Command Post replied that it would be at least an hour before any help could get to them. I thought "My God-what must the conditions be if they can't get an entire company any help for an hour!" This type of message is the highest priority and is usually acted on immediately.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
03:05 PM ET

9/11 Full Circle

Editor's Note:
We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world. Howard Carlson has been with the FDNY for 40 years, retiring April 1st of this year. He shares his memories of 9/11:
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/art.911.watching.jpg]

Adam Reiss
CNN Producer

This week I interviewed high-end fashion designer Liz Lange for a story on her low cost line being sold at Target. It was seven years ago almost to the day that we were together as she presented her first runway show of her maternity line at the Bryant Park fashion shows in New York City.

CNN was backstage live interviewing the models who were to hit the runway minutes later when we got the fateful call. Managing editor Barclay Palmer was on the other end of the line barking out orders for us to immediately cease what we were doing and head to the World trade Center where it was just reported that a small Cessna had flown into the north tower.

I left with live truck operator Jeff Jaramillo and we raced down Fifth Avenue towards the World Trade Center. Even from 40th street you could see the burning towers and the streets were lined with people looking towards the sky as if Superman was flying overhead.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
03:03 PM ET

A building wrestling itself to the ground, and I was running


Editor's Note: We are devoting many posts today to the anniversary of 9/11, with first-hand accounts, insight, and commentary dedicated to that day seven years ago that changed our world.
_____________________________________________________

Richard Roth
U.N. Correspondent

On September 10th, 2001, I was told if anything happened outside the United Nations, where at the time I was the full time correspondent, I would be the lead person on the story. I was not happy to hear about that. It meant leaving the UN, and in the past that meant racing to a false alarm somewhere. Getting such a warning was actually rare during my stint at the UN and I remember leaving the UN Monday night in the rain and hoping things would stay quiet.

The event on the Sept 11th calendar I did know about was a 930a.m. CNN bureau staff meeting. The relatively new CNN president wanted to bring more story-telling to our air, and less listing of facts.

The next morning dawned with nice clear blue skies. I wasn’t looking forward to this CNN meeting and made sure I would cut it close getting there on time.

FULL POST

September 11th, 2008
02:37 PM ET

That uneasy feeling has returned

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/11/art.ike.bigwaves.fl.jpg caption="Huge waves from Hurricane Ike roll by the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier on Okaloosa Island, Fla. on Thursday Sept. 11, 2008. The waves were so large they covered the main highway on the island closing it down to traffic."]Kim Segal
CNN Supervising Producer

As I pack for my flight to Houston that uneasy feeling has returned. Lately, it is a feeling that I often have – yet one that I will never become accustomed to.

It was just last week when a hurricane caused the most recent pit in my stomach. At that time Ike was headed toward my Ft. Lauderdale home. I made evacuation plans for my family. I secured my home the best I could.

For days I scrutinized Ike's every move. Once again, a powerful hurricane spared my hometown but it did not mean the anxiety subsided.

I cannot stop thinking of those already impacted by Ike, like the people of Haiti and Cuba. As the hurricane spins its way across the Gulf of Mexico, I know what residents living on the Gulf Coast are going through. This time I am anxious for them as I study Ike and hope to see signs that the storm is weakening.


Filed under: Hurricane Ike • Weather
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