Ten years ago today, 19 extremists did the unthinkable, attack the United States of America. On that fateful Tuesday in 2001, I recall coming into my office at 8am Central Time and seeing a bulletin on my e-mail: “Plane strikes World Trade Center”.
My first thoughts were of people that I had a business relationship with at companies like Cantor Fitzgerald before I switched jobs in 1999. I reached out to a contact at my former employer to see if he heard anything. He had not. Early information sounded like a private plane, not a commercial airliner.
Soon after, another bulletin came across about the second plane hitting the World Trade Center. I knew then that something was wrong. The contact center I was working in saw their call volume drop to almost nothing. A co-worker and I were asked to rig an antenna up to a TV/VCR that the training department used, and we were able to get a decent signal from the ABC affiliate.
We watched as the reports of the planes hitting the Pentagon and crashing into a Pennsylvania field.
I later found out that one of my contacts at Cantor Fitzgerald, Beverly Curry, did not make it out, and her name is now inscribed on the memorial at the site. I have visited the site in New York three times since the attacks, twice on the anniversary. I will never forget.
As we mark the ten years since our lives changed forever, let us not forget those innocent victims of this attack.
God bless us all, and God bless the United States of America.