On September 11, 2001, I was driving to work and turned on the radio in my car. The first plane had just struck the North Tower and the news report was only that an aircraft had hit the Trade Center. I called my then fiancee, and turned around as I was only a few blocks from home. We turned on the television just prior to United Flight 175 being flown into the South Tower.
Within approximately 30 minutes, our den was filled with our staff. Several of them were recent graduates from the Journalism School at UGA. For all of us, regardless of background, that morning was something we’ll never forget. There are few events in any person’s lifetime that are embedded in our souls for the remainder of our time on the planet. This was one of those moments.
What I remember most about that day was the immediate horror of what we watched unfold on live television. Just underneath that emotion, however, was the observation of my young editorial and video people – all of them engaged in working: creating content relative to what they were seeing and how it affected them. We talked about being in New York, as we had been standing on top of the Twin Towers only months earlier.
In the weeks and months that followed, the impact of that day continued to have an affect on us. One of our associate producers moved to New York, and embarked on a wonderful career as a television sports producer. Another moved to North Carolina, pursuing his dream to be a sports reporter.
Locally, my commitment to my soon-to-be wife became all that more personal. My focus on doing things of value for my business and for my emerging family also became more defined. Our relationship with the Los Angeles Fire Department and public safety soon became an important part of our life.
Today, some of my team don’t have strong memories of 9/11. I don’t blame them, as their lack of involvement was in part due to the fact they were 12 and 14 years old at the time. But they do recognize the significance of what’s happened since then. With politics and the world stage removed from the equation, all of us focus on ensuring each day is filled with productivity, teamwork, and a commitment to enjoy our lives and the work we do.
We encourage all of our friends, clients, and contractors to do something good for themselves on this important day. We appreciate and value your working and in some cases personal relationships with us. And we encourage you to be kind, considerate, and to do something good for those around you.