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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The events of September 11th, 2001, are like a timestamp for those tasked with covering its aftermath.
CBS4 Sports anchor Jim Berry said that fateful day is burned into our memories.
He said on the morning of September 11th, he was sitting at the counter at The Muffin Tin restaurant in Pinecrest having breakfast.
“My sportscasting mind was on football because the Dolphins and Vikings had both won that weekend. When I turned and watch the monitor, the sound was down and then when I saw the first plane at the World Trade Center, I thought it was looking at a terrible accident. But then when the second plane hit, I realized it was something far more sinister,” said Berry.
“As a native New Yorker, it tore my heart, it really hit me in the pit of my stomach,” said CBS4 news anchor Eliott Rodriguez.
The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks sent thousands of journalists, like Rodriguez, springing into action. CBS4 photojournalist Brian Shanahan recalls his camera lens capturing a local sense of panic,
“When they finally sent us downtown, they were evacuating every high rise. I mean, thousands of people outside, staring up, most of them crying wondering, you know, what just happened,” said Shanahan.
With flights grounded, other news crews, including CBS4 photojournalists Manny Alvarez and David Agudelo, more than a thousand miles to ground zero at the Pentagon. There they captured searing images of the nightmare.
“We saw a bunch of firefighters on the roof of the Pentagon and it looked like they had something and right when we went live, we saw them throw over the flag. You could just hear the crowd, there was some cheering, just a real moment, like a victory moment and really a moment of true despair,” recalled Agudelo.
CBS4 reporter Joan Murray recalled covering a trail the airplane hijackers had left in South Florida.
“So in time, we learned that they had left quite a footprint here in South Florida, staying at a condo, staying at a local motel, even getting into a fight at a Hollywood bar over a bill,” said Murray.
Over the days, weeks, and months after the attack, CBS4 covered the stories as America mourned and regrouped.
Berry said for him, he knew the games would resume. For Mary Mabjeesh, the owner of the deli where he had breakfast that morning, life would return to normal but twenty years later she still wonders if things will ever feel quite the same.
“We are not prepared for things like that. I mean, it happened once. It could happen again, but God forbid it would. I hope we are prepared,” Mary Mabjeesh.
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