911 remembered: David Letterman delivered a powerful monologue after the attacks

In the days following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, television coverage of the aftermath of the attacks became the longest uninterrupted news event in U.S. television history.

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The four major U.S. broadcast networks took to the airways and stayed there for 93 continuous hours.

The network coverage began when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and for the next four days, all regular network programming and the commercials shown during those shows were suspended.

On the night of Sept. 17, talk show host David Letterman returned to television with the “Late Show.” Letterman was the first late-night talk host to come back on the air.

Letterman’s show opened quietly, without his opening theme music. He told his audience that he wanted to say a few things about the attacks before any guests came out.

The roughly eight minutes of television that followed would become some of the most memorable in the days after the attacks on the country.

Below, is Letterman’s monologue from that night.