Right before I was about to leave my parents' house to head four miles away to La Salle University, I distinctly remember a sudden CBS News Special Report coming onto my television screen. Bryant Gumbel, then host of "The Early Show" on CBS, told us that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
In shock and assuming it was a horrible accident, I left my house and jumped into my 1996 Pontiac Grand Am GT and headed for school.
I still remember exactly where I was - on Ogontz avenue just about at Lindley Avenue - when Preston Elliott of then Y-100 mentioned a second plane had hit the other building of the World Trade Center. At that point, I knew it was on purpose.
By then it was 9:20 a.m., and I had class at 9:30 a.m. My professor and present-day good friend had class as normal as a full class. But I could not help but stare out the Wister Hall classroom of La Salle University and look at the Philadelphia skyline to wonder if something could happen to our skyline, too. The news was too new for anyone to get in time for that class, but the next one would not be the same.
My 11:00 class had just five students. I was there, still worried about Philadelphia and what was going on. Our professor, late and frustrated from the consternation of excessive traffic, did not totally understand where everyone was. As a student who had not left the Wister building all morning, somewhat knew, but was not going to leave class early. A short class on Philosophical Approaches to God later, we knew that one small group's approach to God was to destory anything they felt got in the way.
That night my job, Circuit City, was closed. The Phillies game was canceled. Life stood still.
Finally, when the Phillies returned, Harry Kalas offered his own personal, heartfelt take on the terrorist attacks. They were inspiring and still resonate today. Many thanks to the Facebook page Fightin Phillies who posted this:
Harry seemed to have the pulse of the American people at this time, and felt our pain with us. A small terrorst group seemed to take the best of the people, but no - it just made America stronger. Harry, thanks for bringing us back.