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Remembering 9/11: Inside the KCBD Newsroom

20 years ago, Karin McCay and Abner Euresti bringing the devastating news to the Lubbock...
20 years ago, Karin McCay and Abner Euresti bringing the devastating news to the Lubbock community.(KCBD)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 10:53 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Twenty years after Sept. 11, 2001, most people can still tell you where they were that fateful morning. For some of the staff at KCBD Newschannel 11 who had the job of bringing that news to viewers in Lubbock, it was a day they’ll never forget.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years, but don’t you remember it like it was yesterday?” anchor Karin McCay said.

The morning of 9/11, McCay was watching The Today Show when terror struck.

“Those of us who watched it from the beginning on The Today Show, saw things they will never play again, people jumping out of buildings, trying to hold hands. Those are images I will always remember,” McCay said.

“I was at home, getting ready for a board meeting, and Karin calls me, and she says, ‘Are you watching?’ I said, ‘No, watching what?’ She said, ‘Turn on the TV.’ So I turned it on and then I started watching, and not long after that, the tower fell. And I sat on the bed and cried because of what I’d just seen,” anchor Abner Euresti said.

Euresti remembers feeling afraid, thinking, “What would happen next?” The two describe the atmosphere that day in the newsroom.

“Quiet, it was just sad all the way. I think you wanted to hug people more and love the people you love more. It was just such a terrible time for everybody,” McCay said.

“It was very somber and we took the opportunity to do commentary more than we do, or we don’t do it at all. But, we wanted people to understand that we understood what they felt and we told them,” Euresti said.

“I remember Abner was compelled, he and Karin, to write an editorial in the 10 o’clock news on September 12th, I believe. And the line that stuck out to me was when Abner said, ‘Marquees everywhere say never forget, but how can we?’” news director Benji Snead said.

Snead at the time was an assignments manager, sending reporters and photographers out on stories.

“So, I was walking through this hallway here, trying to get people out the door. And there was a monitor right here, and as I’m about to round this corner, I stopped and saw the second tower falling. And I was frozen and I really couldn’t process what was happening,” Snead said.

Automatically, the day’s news shifted to local angles on 9/11, when early on, no one knew what was really happening.

Christy Hartin, at the time a video editor, says she went into work-mode, and didn’t process what she was seeing until days later.

“Sometimes the things we as journalists capture aren’t the most beautiful things, but they tell someone’s story in such a way that sometimes words just can’t explain,” Hartin said. “And when you look back at 9/11 and you see people who are literally making the choice to jump out of 60, 70 stories because they feel that’s the best option, that tells such a big story.”

“You know we said, ‘Never forget.’ And we thought maybe we would. I don’t think we will,” Abner said.

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