Discussion of the memories of the 9/11 attacks
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Anyone old enough to remember the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will remember where they were when they learned the world had changed forever.
Almost 3,000 people lost their lives when hijackers hit planes in the towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Passengers on a fourth aircraft battled the terrorists on board and the plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania.
Now, 20 years later, FOX4’s John Holt and The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling are joined by retired FBI special agent Jeff Lanza to discuss what reminds them of that fateful day.
“I remember going into the master bedroom that morning for a quick workout, turning on the old tube TV and seeing what was going on in that hour of the morning for millions across the country and around the world, and my day went by quickly was away from training, in a suit and on my way to work, ”said Holt.
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Helling recalled a similar memory when he went to the KCTV5 studio to anchor local CBS coverage of what happened.
“And after the first plane hit the first tower, I remember seeing and thinking that this is not a small plane that does that kind of damage. Something else is going on, ”recalled Helling. “About 17 or 18 minutes later the second plane hit the tower and at that point we knew we were involved in the story of our lives.”
“I remember also seeing the contrails of jets spinning in the air to land, which was one of the first visual evidence of the tragedy the entire nation was involved in that day,” added Slipway added.
Retired Special Agent Jeff Lanza said he remembered giving a speech to a business group in the plaza when the planes hit the towers. Then he went straight to the FBI branch in Kansas City.
“My beeper went off like a firework. I got peep after peep. Then my cell phone got calls and I also had voicemail messages. And I knew something was going on in Kansas City, ”Lanza said.
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Lanza was the FBI spokesman in Kansas City at the time of the attacks and the media called him whenever something happened.
“I knew something happened and I wasn’t sure what it was. I turned on the radio in my car right before I checked that news to see what the news was and I couldn’t get local news, I got national news and Peter Jennings, I remember well, said that the tower had just collapsed, ”said Lanza.
Holt and Helling spent the days and weeks after the 9/11 attacks covering the events nationally and locally for their respective television stations. But the hours and days after the attacks were very different for Lanza.
“Right out of the conference room window, I spoke to the FBI executives trying to figure out what was going on. We left the TV on in the background and watched the second tower collapse, and he was sitting there on live TV because a lot of people were watching that too, ”said Lanza. “We’re watching a plane come in, actually a couple of planes come in, like right outside the FBI’s windows. We look at these planes like you wouldn’t think about them any other day, but now we think, is the FBI a target? “
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After the attacks, a number of security measures were put in place to prevent an attack like 9/11 from ever happening again. Lanza said he “without a doubt” believes America is safer today than it was 20 years ago.
But he also warns that a new type of threat is lurking that we should all be aware of.
“We are pathetically undervalued when it comes to cybersecurity, not just at the corporate level but also at the government level, and this has been noted in published reports,” Lanza said.
To learn more about America’s cybersecurity threat, as well as the steps taken after the 9/11 attacks to make the US a safer place, click the video in the player above.
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