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Today Is a Strange Day to Be on the Radio

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Laurie Cataldo

It’s always strange to be on the air on this day.

Eleven years ago I was a junior in high school.

I first heard that a plane hit the Twin Towers from my friend Heather as she passed me in the hall on the way to second period.

We both figured it was a small bi-plane, or something similar, and I remember thinking, ‘What moron couldn’t steer around that?’ (I was 16, forgive my callousness.)

Fifteen minutes later I was sitting in health class. The principal came over the loudspeaker and told us a second plane had hit, and one of the safest places to be was in a school. (Comforting, I suppose.)

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur…students freaking out about their parents in the city, kids being called to the front office all day as parents picked them up early, watching the news in class instead of doing whatever we had planned.

I remember at one point sitting by the lockers as everyone around me was panicking about loved ones they couldn’t get in touch with…I started bawling because I felt bad that I couldn’t help. A random teacher came over to ask me if I was okay.

Fast forward eleven years and it’s not any easier.

I didn’t lose anyone in the attacks. My dad was in Brooklyn (near the Verrazano bridge) and Mama C in Staten Island when it happened, close enough to the city for me to worry, but far enough that they were able to get home with no major issues.

Obviously I remember that day clear as a bell.

I’m never sure how to handle it when I do my show though.

There is so much coverage leading up this day…you can’t turn on the television without seeing the memorial services, the waterfalls, the wreaths, the photos of the burning towers…Facebook is covered with photos and remembrance statuses…it’s everywhere.

I’d like to think most of us don’t need to see those things to remember that day. I know why we do it. I know it’s necessary.

I also think sometimes we need a break from it.

It is important to go on with our lives — not forget what happened — just go on.

So if I don’t mention September 11th on the air today, that’s why. I think some of you may want a break from it.

I think I want a break from it, knowing all the while how fortunate I am to be ABLE to take a break from it…when so many around us weren’t and aren’t as lucky.

Today I will try to do my show as I always do, even with the memory of the September 11th attacks on my mind.

I may not be playing ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’ on repeat, or talking about it all day, and I’m sure some of you will think I’m ignoring the importance of the day, but I assure you, I’m not.

I don’t want to be sad on this day. I am choosing instead to be thankful for my freedoms, my family, and the beautiful sunny day outside my window.

There’s really no good way to go about this day, especially on the radio.

But I assure you, we haven’t forgotten.

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