September 11, 2001

Fifteen years ago today, I was at my desk with a cup of coffee, preparing a briefing. It was a Tuesday and I was scheduled to fly to Europe on Saturday to present it the following week. It started out like any other day. No one in the office knew what was going on in New York. Back then, we didn’t have 20-foot television screens covering the walls. We had a small, perhaps 19-inch, television sitting on an audio-video cart in a corner turned off. My wife called to tell me to turn on the television. I turned it on and watched smoke rising from the upper floors of one of the Towers. One by one, my coworkers began to gather around the small screen to watch what we all thought was a tragic accident. Minutes later, we saw the second plane hit the other Tower. We stood in absolute silence from the shock. It took several seconds to comprehend exactly what just happened. Suddenly, we all realized that this was not an accident. Shortly thereafter, we watched the Towers collapse to the ground and knew that we were watching Americans dying. This was just the beginning of the worst day of my life. Our world was suddenly changed. That evening, my wife, children and I stood at the end of our driveway with candles and a large American flag and offered prayers to the cars that passed by – and we cried, and cried and cried some more. Car after car after car tapped their horns in support. We will never forget. I will never forget. Never.