WMTW journalists recount 9/11 experiences in New York City – nonenglishfeed

On Sept. 11, 2001, WMTW News 8 Reporter Phil Hirschkorn was working in New York City as a political field producer, covering the city’s mayoral primary early that morning.He got a call from his newsroom to check out a report of a fire at the World Trade Center.”As we were driving downtown — and you could see coming down the West Side Highway along the Hudson River of Manhattan that gaping hole in the north face of the north tower — you knew a couple things right away: this wasn’t a normal fire, it wasn’t a small plane like a Cessna that went in, and this was going to be a major disaster,” Hirschkorn said.Unable to go live, because the transmission receivers were atop one of the World Trade Center towers, he and his crew started filming from a few blocks north of the 16-acre WTC complex.”You’re looking at both towers on fire and you’re still thinking those fires will be put out — maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow — but they’ll put the fires out. That’s just sort of the logical assumption,” Hirschkorn said. “So the second most shocking moment of the day, after the second tower being hit and seeing that live or hearing about that live, was of course the collapse.”That collapse sent a wall of debris and dust toward Hirschkorn and the thousands of others down below.”Some people have said it was like a tsunami wave. Other people have compared it to that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when there’s that huge bolder that Harrison Ford is running from,” he said. “Pick your analogy, that’s what it felt like and you knew you could be swamped and very seriously hurt if you didn’t start moving fast.”But before Hirschkorn started the sprint to safety, he made sure he documented a history-altering moment of that day.”Anyone hearing this is going to think I’m a little bit crazy, but I wanted to make sure that we got the shot before we ran,” he said. “We were at a relatively safe distance, with our camera pointed and the towers coming down. Your instinct is to run right away, but not if you’re a journalist. You’re rolling. Your job is to document history, to get those pictures and we did. We took that chance — ten more seconds — until the building went out of frame and went out of view.”He memorialized his experience, and the stories of hundreds of other broadcast journalists, in a book he co-edited “Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11.”WMTW News 8 Anchor Meghan Torjussen was in Manhattan that day too. At the time, she was working in the fashion world. From her office window, she could see the towers.”I just grabbed the Polaroid and snapped a picture, knowing that life as we knew it had changed,” Torjussen said.Her life changed that day too.The events of 9/11 led her to go back to school to become a broadcast journalist, earning a Master’s Degree from Boston University.”The flow of information was so important that day, and it was the only thing that was giving people piece of mind,” she said, noting how much the country relied on 9/11 and the days after on TV news. “The only thing that was calming was listening to people talk about kind of what was happening, where we are, here’s the information that we have.”The tragedy of the day also hit home for Torjussen, when she learned a close family friend, who she described as a “second big brother,” was in the World Trade Center.Craig Lilore, 30, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower.”He just never came home that day, he just never came home,” she said. “He had so much life and he was so funny and he was such a vibrant spirit. It was hard to believe he wasn’t with us anymore.”A memorial scholarship has been set up in Lilore’s memory at the school they all attended together.As we mark 20 years since that fateful day, Torjussen said she is sharing her story to help keep Craig’s memory alive.”It makes it real again,” she said. “You can educate people about what happened, You can keep these friends and loved ones’ memories alive, and — as much as I don’t like to talk about it — I feel it’s really important.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, WMTW News 8 Reporter Phil Hirschkorn was working in New York City as a political field producer, covering the city’s mayoral primary early that morning.

He got a call from his newsroom to check out a report of a fire at the World Trade Center.

“As we were driving downtown — and you could see coming down the West Side Highway along the Hudson River of Manhattan that gaping hole in the north face of the north tower — you knew a couple things right away: this wasn’t a normal fire, it wasn’t a small plane like a Cessna that went in, and this was going to be a major disaster,” Hirschkorn said.

Unable to go live, because the transmission receivers were atop one of the World Trade Center towers, he and his crew started filming from a few blocks north of the 16-acre WTC complex.

“You’re looking at both towers on fire and you’re still thinking those fires will be put out — maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow — but they’ll put the fires out. That’s just sort of the logical assumption,” Hirschkorn said. “So the second most shocking moment of the day, after the second tower being hit and seeing that live or hearing about that live, was of course the collapse.”

That collapse sent a wall of debris and dust toward Hirschkorn and the thousands of others down below.

“Some people have said it was like a tsunami wave. Other people have compared it to that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when there’s that huge bolder that Harrison Ford is running from,” he said. “Pick your analogy, that’s what it felt like and you knew you could be swamped and very seriously hurt if you didn’t start moving fast.”

But before Hirschkorn started the sprint to safety, he made sure he documented a history-altering moment of that day.

“Anyone hearing this is going to think I’m a little bit crazy, but I wanted to make sure that we got the shot before we ran,” he said. “We were at a relatively safe distance, with our camera pointed and the towers coming down. Your instinct is to run right away, but not if you’re a journalist. You’re rolling. Your job is to document history, to get those pictures and we did. We took that chance — ten more seconds — until the building went out of frame and went out of view.”

He memorialized his experience, and the stories of hundreds of other broadcast journalists, in a book he co-edited “Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11.”

WMTW News 8 Anchor Meghan Torjussen was in Manhattan that day too.

At the time, she was working in the fashion world. From her office window, she could see the towers.

“I just grabbed the Polaroid and snapped a picture, knowing that life as we knew it had changed,” Torjussen said.

Her life changed that day too.

The events of 9/11 led her to go back to school to become a broadcast journalist, earning a Master’s Degree from Boston University.

“The flow of information was so important that day, and it was the only thing that was giving people piece of mind,” she said, noting how much the country relied on 9/11 and the days after on TV news. “The only thing that was calming was listening to people talk about kind of what was happening, where we are, here’s the information that we have.”

The tragedy of the day also hit home for Torjussen, when she learned a close family friend, who she described as a “second big brother,” was in the World Trade Center.

Craig Lilore, 30, worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower.

craig lilore

“He just never came home that day, he just never came home,” she said. “He had so much life and he was so funny and he was such a vibrant spirit. It was hard to believe he wasn’t with us anymore.”

A memorial scholarship has been set up in Lilore’s memory at the school they all attended together.

As we mark 20 years since that fateful day, Torjussen said she is sharing her story to help keep Craig’s memory alive.

“It makes it real again,” she said. “You can educate people about what happened, You can keep these friends and loved ones’ memories alive, and — as much as I don’t like to talk about it — I feel it’s really important.”

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WMTW journalists recount 9/11 experiences in New York City – nonenglishfeed