September 11 2001 was the day I woke up hearing jets flying over downtown Kansas City. Not just any jets, but stealth bombers. They were low and landing just over the Missouri River at an airport which I could see from my loft apartment next to the Folger coffee plant in downtown KC. I had recently started a new night show on top 40 radio station Z95.7 KCHZ in Kansas City. A few minutes later I got a phone call from my sister Betse in Massachusetts telling me to turn on CNN. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was dumbstruck. That’s home, my home. New York City. The world was in chaos.

After watching the day’s events in horror, I knew that my job on the radio at 6pm that night was going to be incredibly different. I called my co-host Chantelle, and asked her to meet me at 3pm before our show started that evening. We went to The Olive Garden; we were their only customers all day. The staff was scared about what was happening in our country. I asked our waitress what we should do on our show, she said just talk to us, tell us that it’s going to be okay. We did exactly that.

I turned on our microphones at 6 pm, and said “I know I play an ass on the radio a lot, but that’s done for now. Tonight, we are just going to talk. You rely on us, and we rely on you. So, no music, just us talking. We are here because you are.”

The next weeks on the radio were incredibly difficult, when to start playing music again, when to laugh, when to feel normal again. For many normal is never coming back. God Bless the victims and families of September 11, 2001.

I will never forget.

-dw