AUSTIN (KXAN) — Many of us remember where we were and what we were doing the day our nation changed forever.
Former KXAN journalist and CNN anchor, George Howell (current co-founder of KSQD Media), interviewed the family of Captain Jason Dahl. Dahl was the captain of United Airlines Flight 93 which was hijacked the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. It later crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The Dahl family invited KXAN to visit the site in remembrance of Captain Dahl. Howell was the reporter who went to the site with them.
“They really typify the 9-11 family, the people who were struck by this tragedy but were so resilient,” Howell remembered. “They were finding their way through it and to be with them, to travel with them to Shanksville, on their invitation and to see them really process the place where it had happened…that was, again, one of those moments that I will never forget.”
On that journey he would learn that Captain Dahl had been flying since he was 15 and that it was a lifelong dream. One family member told Howell she took comfort in the fact that he died doing what he loved.
“The person I know Jason as is my husband’s little brother, he was a man of integrity, he was very proud of what he did and he was a man that you could trust with your life,” Debra Dahl told Howell during an interview.
“You really sense the the power of this family, despite all the odds, despite the situation, to still come together, to feel the love that they had for Captain Dahl, it really showed the spirit of these families and what they went through,” recalled Howell.
Howell later became an anchor at CNN, and has covered stories across the world.
But as it is for so many, Sept. 11, 2001 will be etched in his mind and heart forever.