09/11/2014 08:39 am ET Updated Sep 11, 2014

'Today' Co-Hosts Recall Difficulty Of Reporting On Morning Of 9/11

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Tom Brokaw co-hosted "Today" with Matt Lauer Thursday morning as the two relived what it was like to report live on the events of September 11, 2001.

Wednesday marked the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Brokaw, who anchored "Today" starting in 1976, guest hosted as part of the show's "Homecoming Week."

Brokaw and Lauer have sat side-by-side in the anchor chair before-- most memorably, they said, on 9/11.

"We spent a lot of hours on this desk trying to make sense of what was happening," Lauer said Thursday morning at the top of the hour.

"I think what the audience didn't fully appreciate, and I don't think that we did until later, was how much we didn't know," Brokaw said. "It was the only time in my experience where we were on the air for hours and hours and hours without any indication of what may happen next. It was such a surprise."

Thirteen years ago, if you had been watching NBC you would have seen Lauer, Brokaw and former co-host Katie Couric emotionally covering the news as it happened.

"The ripple effect continues this morning, as we all try to adjust psychologically and intellectually to what we are witnessing here," Brokaw told viewers that morning. "It is difficult to comprehend, but this country, the strongest country in the world has been the target of a major coordinated terrorist attack."