A Reporter Remembers 9/11

How well I remember this day in 2001, as I was working as a reporter for the daily Progress Index newspaper in Petersburg, Va.

I was excited because an article I wrote (with awesome photos) about an elderly Black couple who still took neighborhood strolls hand in hand, every day since they’d been married 60-plus years ago.

The article told of their unwavering love for each other.

Dorothy Rowley
Dorothy Rowley

Anyway, in the newsroom, we had just finished the whole paper, having lastly laid out the front page that included a tease on the couple’s article, when we got dispatches about 9/11.

The newsroom went completely silent — until we heard the editor yell out that we had to tear up the front page and replace it with 9/11 coverage.

I ended up working all over the city of Petersburg to get people’s responses and their photos relative to the tragedy.

We worked hard that day — very hard, all day into the late evening preparing 9/11 copy for the next day, which took up several pages.

I was exhausted when I got home that night. My story about the couple never ran.

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Dorothy Rowley – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I knew I had to become a writer when at age nine I scribbled a note to my younger brother’s teacher saying I thought she was being too hard on him in class. Well, the teacher immediately contacted my mother, and with tears in her eyes, profusely apologized. Of course, my embarrassed mother dealt with me – but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my passion for words and writing. Nowadays, as a “semi-retiree,” I continue to work for the Washington Informer as a staff writer. Aside from that, I keep busy creating quirky videos for YouTube, participating in an actor’s guild and being part of my church’s praise dance team and adult choir. I’m a regular fixture at the gym, and I like to take long road trips that have included fun-filled treks to Miami, Florida and Jackson, Mississippi. I’m poised to take to the road again in early 2017, headed for New Orleans, Louisiana. This proud grandmother of two – who absolutely adores interior decorating – did her undergraduate studies at Virginia Union University and graduate work at Virginia State University.

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