Where were you on 9/11? News 8 Now staff and community members recall

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Where were you on 9/11? News 8 Now staff and other community members are recalling where they were on that day.

“The news was on in the living room. And I remember it was a tight shot of when the first plane went into the first tower. And there were no graphics on the screen, so it didn’t say where it was taking place. And I automatically assumed it had to be somewhere else, because things like that don’t happen in the United States. And I was wrong,” News 8 Now evening anchor Amy DuPont said.

“I did go into work later that day. And you just have this helpless feeling. Like this huge, national tragedy is unfolding but there’s nothing you could do about it. And it was very, just weird in a sense of being a journalist at that time and feeling helpless, like you couldn’t do anything,” News 8 Now evening anchor Mike Thompson said.

“I was actually sitting in this (News 8) studio waiting to do a local weather cut-in during the CBS National Show, and the breaking news countdown started. So, at that time, that was a big deal and you knew something significant had happened. And they kind of came out to a shot of the first tower that was hit by the airplane,” News 8 Now Chief Meteorologist Bill Graul said.

“I remember going to class and I remember the archaeology instructor — I don’t remember who it was — but I remember he said something along the lines of, ‘well, clearly because of the events of today, we don’t be having class today.’ And then, that’s when it really hit me that, ‘oh my gosh! This world has really, really changed in a tremendously, just very dramatic way,'” La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds said.

“I was actually working with a 17-year-old who was just diagnosed with cancer when he said to me, ‘a plane hit the Twin Towers.’ I think it was the first tower. I was like, ‘really?’ We just thought it was an accident, right? And then shortly after that, the second one hit. And he said, ‘I think they’re terrorists,” School District of La Crosse nurse Sara Lieurance said.

“I remember getting to my first class, and other students coming in and talking about the other tower being hit. And over the course of that class period, the tower had fallen, the first tower had fallen. Yeah, I just kind of remember it stopped everything,” School District of La Crosse director of student services Aimee Zabrowski said.

“I got my breakfast, knew that a plane had crashed into the first tower of the World Trade Center, but didn’t think a whole lot of it. ‘Oh an accident happened.’ Then went to my lab, and it was a long lab, like a 4-hour lab, and I can remember somebody coming in the middle of it and stopping our lab,” Gundersen Health System pediatric hospitalist physician Nicole Hennessy said.

“I was actually supposed to go in for a test in a chemistry class, or I think it was actually a quiz in a chemistry class. And 9/11 happened. And basically I was mesmerized. I had to see what was going to unfold and happen,” Gundersen Health System oncologist Benjamin Parsons said.

“I remember that day clearly. That morning when it happened, I was supposed to be at a home. And when I got there, it was on the news and they were devastated. The family was just devastated. They knew people that were there, and I spent a good couple hours with them that day,” La Crosse County foster care supervisor Lila Barlow said.

“I learned that the planes had hit the towers in New York when I went to my mass media class at Winona State University. And our professor just had a note on the door that said, ‘ go home and turn on your TV,'” GROW-La Crosse communication and outreach coordinator Bonnie Martin said.

“I was working in my home office in Sparta, Wisconsin on 9/11 when the news started to roll in. And I was home with my newborn baby and watched the world unravel right there on the TV, and just thought about how this is going to impact her life,” Java Vino owner Tina Schumaker said.