By Ralph Hipp
I believe lots of you will be writing in this weekend, because of the "flashbulb moment" of the brain that enables us all to remember exactly where we were on September 11, 2001. I was taking my children to school when I heard the first report of a plane (small plane? errant pilot?) flying into the World Trade Center building. I'd first heard the radio report on CBS Radio News.
Watching the television coverage, I saw it much larger than a small plane. A jet. From where? And who would possibly fly it into a building filled with people? Then we all watched the second jet. Act of war. Terrorism. Has to be Osama Bin Laden.
At work, we were all busy tracking down stories of the dozens of ways Topekans were trying to help. The television monitors were on, wall to wall, with what we call the "wall-to-wall" coverage of the smoking towers of what was the World Trade Center. Gone. Along with 3,000 of our fellow Americans. We'd also heard about the Pentagon crash, and even called a former Topeka City Councilman who had recently taken an administrative job at the Defense Department.
In going out in the community, I was sent to the blood bank. Plenty of people were donating blood that ill-fated Tuesday. What do we do with all this donated blood? Who will it go to? Do they really need this.. or cash donations to provide the victims with what they need? Some of the questions we asked that day. We had precious little time to show these stories, because people were so riveted to the network coverage. We all worked into the following weekend with more local reports of how Kansans were volunteering whatever they could.
How about you? Please share your memories with us, and your reactions. Nine years. It's all gone by so quickly, but with the wars has also gone so slowly as we still recover from that awful day. Ralph