Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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I Remember: NY1 Senior Producer Melissa Maguire Recalls 9/11 Attacks

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As part of NY1's coverage of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, NY1 Senior Producer Melissa Maguire discusses her memories of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In September 2001 I was just starting my senior year at NYU, and on the morning of the 11th I was in a journalism class when the professor received a phone call. It was from another professor, suggesting that we gather around the television in the lounge to see a breaking news story unfold.

The north tower of the World Trade Center had just been hit by a commercial plane and before our eyes the south tower was also hit. Besides a collective gasp, the news was met with stunned silence.

Our lesson on breaking news coverage was over. The professor sent everyone home, telling us to stay safe. The journalism building was down the block from Washington Square Park, and from there we could easily see the smoke rising from downtown.

Unclear of what to do next, I headed back to my dorm on 14th Street feeling lost. I was not alone. The streets were filled with shell shocked New Yorkers.

When I arrived at home I tried to call my boyfriend, but the phones were already unreliable because of the sheer number of people trying to call their loves ones. It would not have mattered though because Rob had headed downtown with his camera to take pictures for a photo journalism class that required shots of a breaking news event. He was out of touch for hours, but it felt like days.

As I waited to hear from him, many of my friends who lived below Canal Street had gathered in my apartment. They were not allowed to go home so they stayed with me.

Rob, who is now my husband, appeared later in the day, dusty but unharmed.

–Melissa Maguire

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