When I began to think about my post for September 11th my mind was naturally drawn to Aaron Brown. September 11, as many of you know, was Aaron's first day on air at CNN in NYC. He had been on the job since July but his new program hadn't premiered as of that terrible day. Within minutes of arriving at his CNN office he was on the roof guiding viewers through one of the most horrific days our country has ever seen. I'll begin with a short look back at Aaron's coverage that day.
I had the pleasure of attending a speech Mr. Brown gave, in March 2007, at Arizona State University. He had just finished a semester as the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at the ASU Honors College. Aaron must have done an amazing job (no great surprise) since shortly after completing his guest professorship he was hired to teach at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I wrote a post covering the topics of the night for our sister blog All Things Anderson. Here's the link if you'd like to read more.
As Aaron said, on the night I was in the audience at ASU, he rarely talks about 9/11. He said he feels uncomfortable discussing that day because he is no expert, just an observer like the rest of us. On the 5 year anniversary of September 11 Mr. Brown decided it was time to share his experience. In this speech he gave at the Elliott School of International Affairs on September 8, 2006, he talks of his 16 hours on air covering the tragedy, the impact that day had on his life and how the CNN team came together to tell the world it had been forever changed.
I struggled with how I could encourage each of you to watch this video of Aaron's account of 9/11. I realize it takes us to a dark place, but as ugly and painful as it is to relive the events of that day it is necessary. Necessary so that we don't forget and necessary so that we don't ever, ever have another day like September 11, 2001. ~Phebe