Because mankind has free will, evil may seem to win for a while ? but it won?t triumph forever. Do not lose hope.
Do not lose faith.
Keep your eye on the prize: the love, mercy and forgiveness of God.
I was up early and on the roof of our house clearing out a nest of hornets that had made a home in our attic fan. It was a delicate business until my wife rushed outside and told me I'd better come down and watch the Today Show- the World Trade Center was on fire.
My heart sank when I first glimpsed the pictures.
My mother and I had visited the Windows on the World restaurant almost one year to the day earlier and my thoughts went to the Windows staff that was obviously going to be trapped on the top floor.
Seconds later I watched in disbelief as the second Jet hit the second tower. I remember being frustrated those covering it were tiptoeing around the obvious that we were under attack.
Later that afternoon I confirmed, and reported live, the first known Detroit-connected casualty: Teddy Addderley, the son of Kelly Services Chairman Terry Adderley.
I met Teddy a few years earlier when he was in college. His first job was working for an investment company housed on the floor above the WTC impact point. He was a nice, promising young man from a wonderful family. Reporting his death live that afternoon is still one of the hardest things I've had to do in this business. As I recall I didn't do a very good job holding it together.
Two years later I covered a "Take Your Son or Daughter to Work" event at Kelly. My heart broke for Terry Adderley as he generously hosted all of these employees and their children, delighting in their shared moments with their children in the workplace, while he was still clearly having great difficulty moving forward without his child.
I normally would have been at Local 4 at the time the World Trade Center was hit. However, I was scheduled to work later in the day, covering the Detroit Mayoral Primary. I rushed to work as soon as I learned what was happening.
I still covered the election. Gil Hill, who won a spot in the November election, struck the correct emotional tone. On the other hand, the cheering of some of his supporters seemed inappropriate, given the tragedy that had just unfolded.
In the days ahead, I reported on the Michigan victims. This may sound like an unpleasant assignment, but it was important to give viewers a perspective on the wonderful people we lost that day. Names like Alicia Titus, Meredith Whalen and Josh Rosenthal are fresh in my mind.
I always try to control my emotions on the air. But after sharing the story of Meredith and her mother, I walked out of the studio, leaned against a wall, and wept.
Most striking about that morning was the weather.
Unlike the hot and humid weather we had been experiencing, a cold front made for the brightest, crispest blue sky I remember ever seeing. I had just finished the new carpool routine for my daughters and was headed down to the station .
As I would any day, the radio was blasting in constant search for new news. As I started down Northwestern Highway in West Bloomfield flipping around, I decided to stick with Don Imus and his band of loonies. All of a sudden he broke into his regular programming with a phone call from, of all people, Warner Wolfe -- his regular sportscaster who was not on the air that day. I was strange and quickly turned bizarre. He was not jolly at all.
He was calling in from his apartment across from the World Trade Center to say a plane had just flown into the building, he had heard it and was doing a play by play of what he was watching. I immediately did what we newscasters do and started flipping around again trying to see if there were better sources with better information.
No one had the news yet. I then landed on WDFN with Jamie and Gregg Henson and Gregg was saying, ?Hey look at CNN, the World Trade Center is burning and they?re saying a plane had flown into it.? My first thought was a terrorist attack. It was the only thing that made sense. But the training you get in the news business is not to assume, you want to make certain you know before you say something that inflammatory on the air.
I immediately called the newsroom on my cell phone to make certain the assignment desk was aware. It was. I hung up and started moving a little faster down the Lodge as it was obvious this was something to be concerned about. I just wasn?t certain exactly what yet.
As time rolled on the radio started crackling with the news, at every flip of the dial special reports repeating only the barest of information we already knew, a jet had slammed into the World Trade Center. With time to quickly research, I remember one of the reporters on CBS say this had happened before, that a plane had accidentally slammed into the Empire State Building many years ago. It was frustrating that we weren't getting new news for what seemed an eternity.