Remembering 9/11: One reporter's personal account

For me, September 11 began just like it did for most New Yorkers. A gorgeous fall day with the most brilliant blue sky.

And then, just a few hours later, the streets were filled with panic, and our lives as Americans were changed forever.

I was anchoring that day with my colleagues Rosanna Scotto and former Good Day New York Anchor Jim Ryan when the planes struck the World Trade Center, and watched as the chaos unfolded on the streets of Manhattan. 

Journalists were desperately trying to make their way into the city to find out what had happened, and, after the initial confusion turned to realization and horror, document the aftermath of one of the most tragic days in American history.

When the towers fell, it felt as though the world around us was coming to an end. We watched, powerlessly, as our colleagues near Ground Zero were literally sent running for their lives.

People in and around the city were frantically trying to make phone calls that would not connect. 

Within minutes of the attack, military bases across the country were locked down. I had contact with some of those bases in New Jersey, as it became clear that this wasn't a movie or a dream, this was something beyond our worst fears, suddenly becoming true. 

That Tuesday was Primary Election Day in New York City, meaning many journalists were at City Hall when the planes struck.

Within hours of the attack, terrorism experts spoke with us to identify Osama bin Laden as the architect of the attacks.

People who were unable to get a hold of their loved ones called us at FOX 5 NY as they desperately tried to get in touch with missing loved ones. One of the things that struck us was that many of the calls came from people whose loved ones worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services firm that lost a stunning 658 employees, 70% of their workforce on September 11. 

Many of the memories from that day will stick with me forever. I remember hearing from people who were near Ground Zero, that breathing in the dust clouds created by the World Trade Center's collapse was like breathing in glass. 

In the aftermath of the attack, I spoke to many families that were left grieving an unimaginable loss that day. One young family told me a heartbreaking story of their 4-year-old child, who kept trying to crawl into a photo of his father who had died at the World Trade Center. Hearing that kind of pain is forever etched into your memory. 

2,977 innocent people lost their lives that day, and countless more were irrevocably changed. I know the memory of September 11 will stay with me forever, and I hope that we, as Americans, will Never Forget.