The Day and The Decade

Friday night, the husband and I attended a taping of The Kalb Report at the National Press Club.

The guests were Dan Rather (formerly of CBS News), Charlie Gibson (formerly of Good Morning America), Brit Hume (Fox News), and Frank Sesno (GWU School of Media and Public Affairs, formerly of CNN). The program was “Anchoring 9/11: The Day and The Decade.”

It was stunning. Just an amazing program. To hear these men, each of which anchored a news program through the long hours of 9/11, discuss their roles, their emotions at the time, their fears, their “duty”. To hear them say they were HONORED to be there, amid all the horror.

It was the perfect reflection, for me. To really soak in what the day was for so many of us … but without the horrifying photos and videos. Without having to re-live it. It was a space where I could reflect and grieve for the past, without having to do it all over again.

The bit that brought me to tears, though, came from Charlie Gibson:

Dick Chaney gave a speech shortly after that in which he said, and I thought it was very profound, he said, “This is a war. For the first time we Americans will lose more people on domestic soil that we will lose overseas.” We have always been protected by oceans. And, of course, it has turned out not to be true because we have lost more people in Iraq and Afghanistan. And it did sort of ignore the Civil War but that’s okay.

But I thought that statement was very profound. And basically what it said to me and it is something that I kept in mind in the weeks and months afterward, whenever you drive through the Lincoln Tunnel, whenever you get on an airplane, whenever you put your kid on a school bus, whenever you kiss your kid good night, it’s a little act of courage there. And that was something that I don’t think we thought prior to that day 10 years ago.

I cried, because it’s true. It’s a sense of innocence lost, and the fear of what may be. I so wish we could get that back.

Sitting in a room full of college students barely old enough to remember the attacks (and definietly not old enough to have understood it), it almost felt like closure. I watched Charlie Gibson that day, as we sat riveted, fearful of what we’d see next. Hearing him speak now, 10 years later, about what he was feeling … it’s like we’ve come full circle.

Watch the program, or at least read the transcript. It’s wonderful.

 

* These seasoned anchors also discussed their views on the state of news media today. It’s not in the broadcast, as it was part of the Q&A, but it IS in the transcript. Food for thought.

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3 Comments to “The Day and The Decade”

  1. Oh my goodness I am SOOOOO jealous!!!! That sounds like such an amazing experience. Seriously. What a great opportunity!

  2. I JUST got back from shooting an event with Marvin Kalb and he was talking about this! I just wanted to share that, because I think it’s too funny!

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