Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11...

Fred says he won't post his thoughts about 9/11 on this day and I respect that, but I think it's worthy of a few minutes of "Where were you/What were you thinking".

I was scheduled to fly to Philadelphia for a quarterly manager's meeting at 2:00PM on 9/11/01. My wife was home pregnant with our little girl. I came to work to wrap up a few things before I headed to the airport. At the fateful point in the morning as news began pour in all over the wire, one of my employees ran into my office and said, "Dude! Someone just flew an airplane into the the WTC". After confirming that it wasn't a prank the guys were playing on me, the first thought that came to mind was I hope my buddy Jackson, his brother, and family are alright and immediately began to dial to confirm. Already the circuits were jammed. As I put the phone back into its' cradle, the second plane hit. HOLY SHIT! Then the reports of the Pentagon, Pennsylvania, and all the other false pandemonium that comes from being sneak attacked in such a way. I told my employees that if they had family in NYC that they could leave and go home, otherwise I asked them to be prepared to ship any needed communications gear that our network might need to get back up and running in DC and Manhattan.

I went home for lunch and watched news reports and came back to the office and filled my employees in on anything I thought they might not have gotten from the radio or the internet. Still no word from NYC friends. I knew it might be a while. By the end of the day, I had received confirmation that my NYC friends were safe. I had also heard too many stories of people being incinerated in their cubicles and offices and seen far too much video of people leaping to their deaths from twin tower windows. As my wife and I comforted each other that evening, I definitely recognized the events of the day as ones that would change the world forever. Before I left the office, I received a call from a friendly administrator at a company that I did business with in the UK. She just called to offer her condolences to me. I didn't know what to say. I was unhurt and my family and friends were safe, but I told her thank you and that I appreciated her call. I guess nobody else in the world knew what to do or say either.

I know I want all those responsible for the attack and those that supported and continue to support this kind of thing gone from this earth. If we've spent 6 years arguing about whether our government response has been carried out competently or incompetently, I hope the one thing we can agree on is that.

Other than that, I don't have much to add and have really spent little time looking for 9/11 retrospectives outside of my blogroll. I will leave you this link to Bobby's poignant post.


At 12:45 AM, September 12, 2007, Blogger Jackson said...

I was tying my shoes, for some reason CNN was on the TV, this was just after the first plane hit. Of course I freaked. I was supposed to go to work at Bruxelles, but I figured opening the kitchen wasn't as important as knowing where the hell my brother and his family were.

Eventually I got ahold of Fred, and was assured of thier safety - his story is much more compelling, he was a few blocks away, I was twenty miles up the river in Nyack.

I did go to work, apparently people wanted to commune at the bar, and some were hungry.

Looking back, I provided comfort, but at the time I resented it.

I did not feel like cooking.

I lived three blocks from there just a few months prior. Yes, I was safe in Nyack, but I could well not have been.

Certainly many suffered vastly more than I, but I am a New Yorker, and I think most of us feel like this was something that we went through - not America, but just us.

I'm sure many New Orleans residents understand the ownership of disaster.

It's wierd........

At 7:00 AM, September 12, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

What a great post, Tony Alva. I played the ostrich role yesterday, trying like hell NOT to remember that day. I had worked all night long the day before, getting home at 6 a.m. I thought my sister was playing a joke on me when she called. And spent the rest of the day in a panic.

At 2:19 PM, September 12, 2007, Blogger Mother Goldstein said...

I too laid low yesterday.

On 9 11 01 - I was walking my dog - my wife was pregnant with our son. I missed my bus then took my time back to my apartment to call work to tell them I would be a little late. When I called my coworker said - aren't you watching television? by that time the 2nd tower just fell. My wife came home and we spent the rest of the day comforting each other.

Bobby's post really put a chill down my spine.
great post TA


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