Thanks to TheWrap.com for this insightful description of why I can't celebrate 15 years with HLN.
Most people would go all out to celebrate their 15th anniversary at a high-profile job, but HLN’s Robin Meade isn’t most people — her start date was Sept. 11, 2001.
“It’s painful to really sit and think about your emotions from that day,” the network’s weekday-morning anchor told TheWrap.
Meade spent her first day at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, where she was set to make her HLN (then Headline News) debut at 9 a.m. ET — minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center’s north tower.
“I was busy doing what they call digitizing for 9 o’clock, so at 8:46 when the first one hit, I remember I was on the set getting stuff ready and I remember concern in the newsroom, but I immediately thought, ‘Oh, they must be having tower problems. That’s terrible. It must have been a small plane,' When the second plane hit, the whole tenor of the newsroom changed.”
I started work just a couple days prior to 9/11, I was at CNN for the HR stuff and computer training. My first day to be on-air was 9/11/01.
“That’s when our whole world started to change. It wasn’t clear what was happening. It wasn’t clear how many planes were still up there. They started grounding planes.”
We moved from Chicago to Atlanta and my husband Tim was tying up loose ends in Chicago. He added to my stress and anxiety that day.
“We lived in downtown Chicago, near the John Hancock Tower and what was the Sears Tower. I called him and I was like, ‘Look I can’t stay on the phone, but you need to drive to the suburbs for the day because we don’t know if all the planes are accounted for,'” Meade said. “His little act of defiance was to say no. I wanted him away from any tall buildings but he wouldn’t do it.”
“Anytime I think about 9/11 and I think about my first day, I become very grateful inside. I’m so grateful for longevity in this business. I’m so grateful that those sorts of horrible things aren’t the things that lead our news everyday. I’m so grateful we haven’t seen an attack of that size, on our soil, since then,”