9/11 Anniversary: 'Things would never be the same'

Editor's Note: Ten years ago, CNY Central reporter Brandon Roth traveled to New York City on September 11 to report on the attacks. These are his memories of that day, and the days that followed.

NEW YORK CITY -- We got within a few blocks of Ground Zero, and the devastation there was hard to put into words. There was ash everywhere, like snow. It covered my ankles. Thousands of papers were floating in the air. There were crushed cars everywhere.

I remember we came across a shopkeeper with a mask on. In the middle of this destruction and devastation he was sweeping the sidewalk out in front of his shop. We interviewed him and I think he was in shock but he said it was important to show the terrorists that they hadn't won.

We also came across a firefighter who was so tired he couldn't stand up. He asked to use our cell phone so he could call his mother to tell her he was okay.

One of the heartbreaking sights was the hundreds of missing person flyers that people with missing loved ones were posting everywhere. One guy came up to us and asked if we could get the word out about his brother-in-law who worked in one of the towers and was missing. He hoped that maybe someone who was watching our broadcast might recognize his brother-in-law and help find him.

In the days following the attack, the response from firefighters, police, first responders and regular people was overwhelming. So many people pulled together to help. It really made you proud to be an American.

This was such an incredible tragedy. I remember thinking that day as I looked at the devastation at Ground Zero that things would never be the same after this, and they never were.