From STAFF REPORTS

Eighteen years ago, staff at the Herald & Tribune scrambled to cover a story they could not have even imagined. Terrorists had attacked New York’s Twin Towers, and then the Pentagon.

Far from its usual fare of community board meetings and school events, the paper’s in-process front page article that week would instead reflect the nation. But General Manager Lynn Richardson and Managing Editor Bryan Stevens knew, even at that moment, that the Sept. 11 events they were watching unfold were going to impact every small community across America. And they knew they had to report it.

“It always happened somewhere else,” Richardson wrote in an editorial in the H&T, published on Sept. 12, 2001. “We’ve watched newscasts, read articles for years, shaking our heads. Poor souls in other countries, dealing with terrorists in their backyards, attack after attack.

“But somehow it never seemed quite real.”

Now, as reported on the front page that day, this time it was real.

“At press time,” the Page 1A article stated,” the United States had suffered two horrendous terrorist attacks. Apparently, each tower in the 110-story World Trade Center was struck by planes, possibly piloted by suicide bombers.

“Just as reports on the World Trade Center began to circulate, new reports also revealed that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.”

Richardson dubbed the attacks as the start of a “frightening new era.”

“Today terrorism came to our front door,” she wrote. “It came to our nation’s largest city. It came to our nation’s capitol. Horrified, we gathered around a small television set in the office. We stood in disbelief as we watched billowing black towers of smoke rise, slowly unveiling unspeakable destruction.”

As of that day, she said, America’s children had a new kind of fear, that at any time and any place, something like this could occur.

But they would also come to witness a type of heroism that had not been seen before as well.

Today, on Sept. 11, 2019, the Herald & Tribune remembers. And says thank you.