Calamity goes beyond words, pictures

  • Mark Briggs / All Things Media
  • Monday, September 10, 2001 9:00pm
  • Local News

I want to hug my son.

How this begins to offer summation of the dramatic and shocking events of today, I have no idea. My boy is 13 months old, lives with my wife and I here in Everett and has no idea what happened today. But if you want to know how I feel after watching video footage of the World Trade Center collapsing and reading virtually all of the news reports on the wire this morning, this is all I can offer.

I want to hug my son.

Working as editor of HeraldNet, The Herald’s Web site, affords me the great tool of the Internet to inform the public quickly about such remarkable news events. When the radio delivered a preliminary report on the plane crash at the World Trade Center this morning on my drive to work, I stepped on the gas a little, wanting to get to the office a little quicker to start what I knew would be an incredible day.

I arrived at 7:15 a.m. Our content producer Doug Parry was already here, having been awakened by his wife at home and told of the international calamity taking place. We knew there would be thousands of people thirsting for information on this horrific day. The number of visitors to our site today is roughly 10 times normal.

But how do you accurately explain the events of today? News reports can attempt to explain what happened, but explaining how it happened and why it happened will take some time.

My best friend couldn’t shed any light, and he watched it happen. He lives in Hoboken, N.J., directly across the river from Manhattan. I talked to him on his cell phone later in the morning. After reports of the first crash came across his radio, he climbed out onto his patio to see the smoke billowing from the top portion of the 110-story building. Then he saw a commercial airliner flying too low, too close to the other World Trade Center tower. The Boeing jumbo jet rammed one of the world’s tallest buildings and my best friend couldn’t find the words to describe the scene, even hours after it had occurred.

What he saw next was even harder to explain: bodies falling 100 stories from a smoking, burning World Trade Center. “They looked like cardboard, waving in the wind,” he said.

His neighbors work at the World Trade Center. He heard them leave for work this morning, but they hadn’t returned by the time he drove to north New Jersey later in the morning.

Rumors of biological weapons combined with the gigantic plume of smoke and dust that engulfed Lower Manhattan led him to exit the area. It’s hard to believe this catastrophe could have been worse, but if biological weapons had been included on those planes, it would have been dramatically worse.

Our lives are changed today. The country we live in will never be the same. War has been declared on us, and we don’t know who did it or where they live. Pearl Harbor has been mentioned numerous times today, but at least in 1941 we knew who picked the fight and where we could find them. Today, we don’t.

That makes us mad, downright pissed off. Especially since innocent lives have been lost in the name of terrorism and politics. That has a way of making the blood boil.

It also makes us a little scared. Which, I guess, is why I want to hug my son.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home after spilling off from the DTG Enterprises property on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Neighbors of Maltby recycling facility assert polluted runoff, noise

For years, the DTG facility has operated without proper permits. Residents feel a heavy burden as “watchdogs” holding the company accountable.

Rosario Resort and Spa on Orcas Island (Photo provided by Empower Investing)
Orcas Island’s storied Rosario Resort finds a local owner

Founded by an Orcas Island resident, Empower Investing plans” dramatic renovations” to restore the historic resort.

A possible development site for Snohomish Garden Townhomes at 9321 Paradise Lake Road on Friday, April 5, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Neighbors’ effort falls short of stopping 196 townhomes near Maltby

Nearby residents said the proposed development would make traffic much worse along Highway 522 — among other concerns.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Stanwood man gets federal prison for selling fentanyl on dark web

In 2013, Christerfer Frick was sentenced to nine years for trafficking drugs. He began selling online upon his release in 2020.

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

Dan Templeman speaks during a forum lead by The Daily Herald on housing affordability at the Mukilteo Library on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
At Herald forum, experts affirm Housing First model, despite downsides

At the Mukilteo Library, panelists discussed drug-contaminated housing and lengthy cleanup efforts in Snohomish County.

Molbak's Garden + Home in Woodinville, Washington closed on Jan. 28 2024. (Photo courtesy of Molbak's)
Molbak’s, former Woodinville garden store, hopes for a comeback

Molbak’s wants to create a “hub” for retailers and community groups at its former Woodinville store. But first it must raise $2.5 million.

A fire at a home near Alderwood Mall sent one neighbor and one firefighter to the hospital. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Officials: Residents returned to burning Lynnwood home to rescue dogs

Five people and six dogs were displaced in the Thursday afternoon house fire, according to South County Fire.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.