WNEP anchor Jon Meyer remembered being the first reporter on the scene of the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Speaking this weekend at a memorial service at the Shanksville, PA field where the plane went down, the anchor for the ABC affiliate in Scranton, shared his memories of that day with a large crowd that included victims’ families, according to the Citizens’ Voice.
“My first words were, ‘The only way to describe this scene is haunting,'” Meyer recalled Monday. “I could hear it in my voice all these years later, knowing I stood right next to where so many people died.”
Meyer said, at the time he was a 24-year old reporter working for WJAC in Johnstown.
“It was crazy to see this 24-year-old kid doing such an important story. I can’t believe how young I was back then – to be dealing with such a big story,” said Meyer, who joined WNEP in the summer of 2003. “My adrenaline was going. It was obviously going to be one of the biggest national stories in history.”
Meyer said he and his photographer were at the crash scene within 25 minutes, as emergency crews were still arriving. Police stopped his photographer about 100 yards away, but he managed to get within feet of the impact zone to absorb the enormity of what occurred and see the distraught faces of first responders. Later in the day, after the national press arrived and the FBI held a news conference, reporters learned a passenger uprising on the plane had forced it down to avoid a catastrophic terrorist act in Washington, D.C., he said.
“We knew that night this was a heroic story and not just a crash story. I realized this was an awful story, but there was some good as well because of the heroes on board. I knew I had to tell the story right on their behalf.”