I’ve been doing a lot of sad reminiscing about the tragedy 19 years ago. One thing I flashed on was how David Letterman was the first late night TV talk host to return to a live show after the terrorist attacks. The strike occurred on a Tuesday. He was back on the next Monday night, six days later.

I recalled the lack of jokes and an abundance of humanity. I remembered how he didn’t do a funny monologue standing on stage but instead a somber one seated at his desk.

If you are too young to recall the mood of the nation at that time, watch this clip of that show opener. It’s one of the best representations of what we were feeling. Letterman’s hands shook at times. Each word was said through a filter of anger and pain, but wove a tapestry of dignity and determination.

His guests that night were Regis Philbin and newsman Dan Rather. There were times when Letterman wiped tears from his eyes. At one point Rather was crying and had a hard time going on and Letterman called for going to break.

It was an exceptional time in American history and this clip captures the raw emotion.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.