September 11 in Cincinnati - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

September 11 in Cincinnati

Eggs sunny side up served as the order of the day at Price Hill Chili, until the news hit.

"There has been an explosion at the World Trade Center," FOX19 Morning News anchor Rob Williams broke into the regular routine of restaurant business with words that would forever change the lives of customers and staffers, as well as the rest of America.

"The hair on my arms stood up," recalled one patron.

"I just heard it was two planes that crashed," said another. "There was a huge explosion and everyone came out."

"Our land hasn't been under attack to this degree since Pearl Harbor," claimed a third.

When the Japanese attacked the naval base in Hawaii 60 years before, the nation had to wait for details from President Roosevelt. On September 11, huddled around televisions in restaurants, store windows, and homes, America watched, in horror, the terror attacks unfold. And then came the first words of defiance from President Bush.

"These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed."

However, the terrorists succeeded in briefly leaving us stunned. Parents rushed to pick up children from schools and day care centers. Malls and business shut down. Police cleared downtown streets surrounding the Federal Building, while government offices evacuated and governor Bob Taft placed the Ohio National Guard on high alert status.

Drivers fearful of a Mid-East fallout filled gas tanks. Interrupted bus service left other riders stranded. In the sky, the FAA diverted commercial airlines to the nearest airports and ordered all civilian planes grounded indefinitely.

"It could have been us," said one reflective passenger. "It could have been anybody."

Tri-State attention quickly turned from remorse to relief. Donors overwhelmed Hoxworth Blood Center. Other volunteers headed off for New York within hours . And almost everyone offered signs of support, both silent and soulful. By day's end, the voice of resilience sounded strong and clear.

"I think the terrorists completed one of their missions: panic, to try to shut us down. But this is America."

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