September 11 retrospective

The last thing the internet needs is yet another commentary about September 11, so I will be brief.

I used to listen to sports radio. A lot. Especially when I lived in Safety Harbor, Florida.

It seemed like just another Tuesday morning drive to the office down in St. Petersburg. Tony Bruno was on the air yakking about something or the other, who can remember what. I pull into the First Union parking lot at around 10 minutes until 9 or so, and Tony is making some kind of comment about a fire in a skyscraper in New York.

Cross the street, quick elevator ride up to the 6th floor, and there is dead silence amongst my team. When it was clear what was happening, my first thought was that my wife worked on the 29th floor of a building in downtown Tampa, which thankfully was evacuated very quickly.

The comic relief that morning was provided by Jim, our company president who was scheduled to fly out of town on business that morning. He called me at the office from his cell phone as he was waiting in traffic trying to get to the Tampa airport, asking me what was going on. (I am not sure what Jim listens to while driving, apparently nothing.) I told him to turn around and head back home.

Much like everyone else on that day, we followed along with the news at the office until the internet was overwhelmed with traffic, at which point we switched over to radio. I tried to keep everyone focused to try and get something done, but it was a lost cause and we closed the office a few hours early.

The air travel experience was much different when I traveled to my brother’s wedding 10 days later. My wife also had a plane ticket but would not go with me, and I could not blame her. Are we better or worse off in this country after the events that occurred on that day? I am not sure how to answer that, so I will leave it up to posterity.

But I will tell you to make sure to hug family and friends today to remind them how much they are appreciated.

We must not fear.

We must not forget.

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