SALISBURY TWP., Pa. - Our newsroom here at WFMZ was turned upside down on September 11, 2001.
Hearts broke watching the events unfold, but our anchors, like many others across the nation, had a job to do.
"It was a normal morning, typical morning show," said former morning anchor Jon Derr.
Derr was off the air when the news broke.
"After the show, I was in the editing bay working on something, and my co-anchor came in and said, 'there's a fire at the World Trade Center,'" Derr said.
After letting things process for a moment, it clicked.
"We pretty much knew that we were under attack," Derr said.
So the team did as we always do - we mobilized.
"And so we started putting together that noon show probably around 10:30, getting reporters in and sending them all over the Lehigh Valley and Berks County and we got a show on at noon," Derr said.
Our executive producer at the time, Matt Roth, can attest to that.
"Once the second plane hit, we knew that it was not an accident. There was something going on so then we started to mobilize everybody and get the day going with what we had to do," Roth said.
Producing a show in the midst of any tragedy or large-scale breaking news event is a challenge. 9/11 is a day that put all of our skills to the test.
"I was overseeing all of the reporters locally in the Berks office, trying to get everybody out the door, trying to figure out where to go, what to do," Roth said.
The one thing it showed is that we're human.
"For the next few weeks anchoring the morning show... You know, the morning show is supposed to be fun and get people up for the day but for the next few weeks, the morning shows were just like all the other news shows, just incredibly hard to watch because of all the tragedy and all the stories," Derr said.
"We were just going through what everybody else was going through."