Revisiting September 11th

August 17, 2011 1:14:29 PM PDT
We are beginning to prepare our coverage for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

And so the drumbeat for me these days is the never-ending sorrow for those whose lives were so dramatically and tragically changed. I've talked this week to a woman whose husband was on the 86th floor. They had a two-year-old daughter back then, and they were expecting another child.

There was mourning, of course, but with two kids to raise, Jill (that's her name) had little time to wallow. We've chronicled her life before, but now, for this 10th anniversary, we look at how her life has changed - and how her children have grown.

It's an amazing story, in part because how close-to-the-surface the pain still is, but also because of how the kids have grown up. Time passes and changes both everything, and nothing.

I watched Jill's kids and thought of how my own children have changed since that dark day back in 2001. And how they've grown up - my son now taller than me, and my daughter about to head to college this week. And my two-year-old, learning to use the potty. Nothing is stagnant.

Today I interviewed former Fire Commissioner Tom Von Essen, the one public official who, I think, has suffered more than any other because of 9-11. His department had by far the largest number of fatalities - 343 - and they included his best friends and his top chiefs. The best and the brightest of the FDNY - gone in a flash. It was an emotional interview because Tom will forever be haunted and consumed by this tragedy. He didn't go out and make a fortune as a 9-11 expert and consultant. He didn't seek the spotlight or run for office or exploit what happened. He has just tried to keep his firefighters' memories alive, and mend his own broken heart.

And so that's the backbeat for me at least as we prepare tonight's 11 p.m. newscast.

We'll have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Jeff Smith's AccuWeather forecast (he's in for Lee Goldberg) and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderwina and me, tonight at 11.


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