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Sep 10 2011

Where were you when the World stopped turning

It’s really hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since the attacks of 9/11 occured. At that time, I had not met the woman who would become my wife almost two years later. It was a much different time for me as it was for most of us. I had been working at WQLN Public Media as a TV Master Control Operator for almost four years with a great staff in the engineering department. Sometimes, we would get together in the control room and talk about anything in and out of TV or radio since we also monitored WQLN FM and made sure the station did not go off the air for any reason. Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 was one of those times when the engineers (Then Chief Engineer Dennis Spagnolo, Dave McIntyre, Ed Upton and Paul Stone) were having a discussion in the TV Master Control Room after a staff meeting we’d have every two weeks in the lunchroom. We were talking when Dennis said “Oh my God, a plane hit one of the World Trade Center towers.” (He saw it on a monitor we had to watch for WSEE since their tower was further from their studios than ours was.) The rest of us was like “What?!” since we weren’t watching it like he was. We then turned up the audio on the monitor and heard that it was a second plane that went into the second tower. We were all stunned trying to figure out what was going on and immediately locked the building down. It didn’t take long before the lobby was full of staff watching the events that would unfold that fateful day. We went scrambling for a PBS feed that had it but there was not any since they were not prepared like a commercial network would be (or as much as anyone could be.) WQLN FM went wall to wall with NPR News as did everyone in Erie with news sources they could find. It was really hard to comprehend what just happened but the World had changed forever. We’d love to hear where you were on that fateful day whether you worked in broadcasting or like reading PBRTV.com.