Houston Remembers 9/11: Day of the Attacks Still Resonates with Locals
The morning of September 11, 2001, I was asleep upstairs at my house in the Heights. It seems like 100 years ago considering all the changes that have happened to the world and for me personally since then. As was typical, my alarm went off. It was the radio tuned to 610 AM KILT. Lance Zierlein and John Granato were the morning hosts at the time and I, in my sleepy state, overheard something about an attack in New York. I thought something had happened at the Yankees or Mets game. The more I listened, the more I realized it was much more serious.
Photo by Michael Foran via Wikipedia Terrifying even if you didn't live in NYC.
I went into the living room to watch on TV. A few minutes later, I woke my then wife and she and I watched in stunned horror as the second plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
At the time, my company was contracting with ex-Mayor Lee Brown's re-election campaign. We were all told not to come in to headquarters right away, but we all sort of stumbled aimlessly in that direction anyway not knowing exactly what to do. I remember how distinctly quiet it was on the roads. It was a beautiful, slightly cool September morning and very few people were on the road. But, more than that, the skies were empty and I thought how remarkably quiet it gets outside with no planes or helicopters in the air.
When I got to campaign headquarters, I found out the Mayor was huddled in conference with officials from the federal government discussing what sounded like the insane ramblings of a conspiracy theorist: concerns over poisoning the water supply, fears of an attack on chemical refineries near Houston. Everything was on the table.
My story is unique to me, but everyone who was old enough to remember that day seems to remember it vividly even if they weren't from New York and didn't know anyone there who was in peril. I queried friends online and asked them to share some of their memories in their own words.
Side note: very few remember now, but this happened on the heels of the worst flooding event in Houston history, Tropical Storm Allison. Many were still displaced from their homes.