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7 Years

by Tracy Barry

Bio | Email | Follow: @tracybarrynews

kgw.com

Posted on September 11, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:32 PM

Watching the coverage of the anniversary of 9-11 this morning it felt like yesterday.I find it hard to watch the images even seven years later.

The first tower had already been hit when the phone rang that morning. I was up in time for number two.

Seven years ago my parents were still alive. I called my Mom on the way to work just to make sure they were okay. She seemed disoriented and fragile as she cried on the phone asking me "What's going on sugar? Are there more coming?" Now we know of course there were.

Looking back I think it was especially hard for people like my folks. My parents were married three weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor just before my Dad was shipped out. Seeing an attack on American soil again was almost too much for them.

I don't know what you remember most that day. For me it was the police officers and firefighters rushing into the burning buildings while everyone else ran out. The stories of people who chose to stay with their disabled co-workers who couldn't get down the stairs. The gut wrenching scene of people wandering through ground zero carrying pictures of their loved ones asking if anyone had seen them. My mother's sad voice.

Surrounded by the images and the stories for ten hours a day in the newsroom, we were all pretty overwhelmed those days. Even so far away, it felt so close. I got an email a few days later from a viewer disgusted with me. He said I always looked like I was near tears on the air and it was very unprofessional. He was right. I was close to tears and felt embarrassed. From then on I would try not to look at the video when I read the stories on the air for fear I would come apart. One of our directors would try to warn me what was coming with a simple, "shields up."

Then as fate would have it a month later on a short vacation, we met a New York firefighter and his wife. He had lost so many friends and colleagues on 9-11 that they had been going to funerals nearly everyday for the last month. Sometimes two a day. We sat with them, and cried with them for all they had lost. For what our country lost.

I was thinking about them as I drove in today. I can tell you that he wasn't embarrassed by his tears. And I'm not embarrassed anymore either.

Remembering can be hard, but it seems like the least we can do.

As always, thanks for watching.

Tracy Barry

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