9-11 six years past. Just what memories are you carrying for this day? Those of us east of the Mississippi were at work that Tuesday morning. Phones rang with friends and family telling us to turn on the TV. In America, when something important happens, people turn to television. The thoughts and feelings that went shooting through us changed each minute that day. I remember dialing someone who worked in the Tower – he got out. I remember waking up friends in LA, who were already up because they had been called by someone wanting to alert them, perhaps to help make sense of it all. We wanted to find some reason in this from the beginning. It’s been a long road.
As a part of the media, yet not news per se, it was an odd, useless position that marketing people found themselves in. I know many of you used your editing skills to help out your stations. Or your knowledge of logs. Or your community service outreach plans. The Art Department was asked to do all kinds of things that never saw the air, because the local news didn’t make it on the air. Everybody wanted to DO something; yet finding out what action to take was nearly impossible. There was so much that needed to be done, but what exactly. So we sat and watched.
Will there be any more haunting way to summarize 9-11 than to think of the empty emergency rooms in New York and Washington? Doctors, nurses, staff…adrenaline racing, ready to do their jobs – eyes glues to TV monitors while an odd silence enveloped their hospital rooms. Expected casualties would never arrive.
Many of the news leaders that day are no longer leading. Rather, Brokaw and Jennings aren’t taking a daily role anymore, and the question in many leading operations is “what is relevant in the post 9-11 world of TV?” Is TV still the source for American’s when something needs to be seen, be understood, and be shared? And what role does marketing play in that new media order?
World War II vet CHARLES DURNING recently said “Memory is more like a duffel bag than a filing cabinet.” Please share your memories with those you work with, your family and your friends today. Examine how you view things with 1,825 days gone by. What’s changed within you and around you? Then eat dessert first. Life is short.
Come back tomorrow.