Nina Pineda reflects on the anniversary of 9/11: 'Familiar lump rises'

Nina Pineda Image
Monday, September 5, 2022
'Eyewitness to 9/11: Behind the Lens' Official Trailer
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we hear from the Eyewitness News journalists who were there, in the streets, in the air, and in the newsroom, reporting on the events as the tragedy unfolded, capturing the unforgettable video of that day, and risking their lives to tell the world what was happening.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- (Written in 2010) I am standing on the roof of 2 World Financial Center overlooking Ground Zero.

It is freezing. We arrived at 3 a.m., and we watched the day illuminate this dark day in our history.

The light now shows the beginning of progress. I see steel beams jutting out of the reinforced concrete, which will surround the footprints of the North and South Towers. The footprints will turn into cascading pools of water surrounded by a pavilion for reflecting on the profound losses of that terrible day.

RELATED | 'Eyewitness to 9/11: Behind the Lens' reveals untold stories, rare video of America's darkest day

WABC-TV looks back on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 to hear from the Eyewitness News journalists who covered the attack as it unfolded.

I still don't look inside the "pit." I haven't since that election day nine years ago, when we ran toward what we thought was a fire at the Twin Towers and would learn quickly that America was under attack.

In the years that followed September 11, 2001, each time I covered the hundreds of lives which changed, each time we did stories about the bodies recovered...or not, the sicknesses workers suffer with, the environment, the reconstruction, I thought the moment would come when I could look at Ground Zero. That moment is here now, again, eight years later, and I still can't do it.

RELATED | How reporter N.J. Burkett and his photographer escaped Twin Towers collapse

Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett and photographer Marty Glembotzky rushed down to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. While shooting a standup right below the burning towers, the first tower began to collapse.

The familiar lump rises. The hollowness wells. And the deep sense of overwhelming sadness overcomes me. Every time I am next to where the towers stood, it is the same today as it was in 2001.

CLICK HERE for more Eyewitness News reflections, photos and stories marking the anniversary of 9/11


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