September 11: My First Big Story
Today, ten years ago, my life changed… In more than just the obvious ways.
I was a senior in high school. I’d already decided that I wanted to study communications in college and pursue a career in journalism, and I had recently been named editor-in-chief of my high school’s newspaper. September 11, 2001, was supposed to be the day that the newspaper staff stayed late to finalize the very first issue of the school year.
Well, needless to say, we didn’t stay late that day. Instead, all after-school activities were cancelled, and we headed home to watch more horrifying television coverage. We lived close to O’Hare Airport, and the unusual silence in the skies was deafening.
On September 12, I sprang into action — spending the school day interviewing students, re-writing our lead story, and reworking the whole front page of the paper. This was, up until that point, the biggest deadline of my life. It was a huge rush. After this first taste of true journalism, I was hooked! When that issue came off the presses and I saw my byline on the front page, I couldn’t have been more proud.
Today I remember the tragedy, but I am also thankful for the good things and the passion that ultimately came out of it.