Some of you know that although I am a professional Business Continuity Consultant, I also consider myself an amateur poet. For today, I am going to mix the two worlds and post a poem I wrote last year. Let us never forget.
S ome events, in each generation, significantly, our lives do sway
E veryone remembers the same exact moment as if it occurred yesterday
P ast history that stays in our minds, moments we cannot forget
T error reigned upon our countrymen from an unknown threat
E ven now the vision still haunts us, as many the pilgrimage make
M emorials stand now where towers stood before and pictures the visitors take
B uried beneath the now sacred ground are souls forever lost
E nergies spent on security tightening is the ultimate cost
R emember forever the events of that day and lives lost in trying to right it
1 day of terror from a stealthy foe and
1 decade now trying to fight it
The tenth anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11 is quickly approaching. I am sure this will garner much media attention and prompt lots of events in memory and reminiscence about this horrible day in our history.
I know I am already involved in several activities regarding looking back on lessons learned from this day including an article to be published by Continuity Magazine and participating on a panel discussion, “September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks: Duties of Corporate Directors and Officers in the Preparation and Execution of Disaster Avoidance Programs”, sponsored by the Tort Trail and Insurance Section of the American Bar Association.
But my personal memories will go beyond lessons learned and professional concerns. I lived just outside of New York City on the day of that tragic event and had several friends and acquaintances perish on that horrible day. My family is one of those lucky stories where my wife did not attend work that morning due to a scheduled doctor’s visit – otherwise, she could possibly have been one of its victims as she commuted through the World Trade Center on her way to her office just across the street severely and irreparably damaged in the event.
My high-school aged son and I volunteered to assist in the recovery efforts the following Saturday morning and helped hand out bottles of water on the edge of the restricted zone to the rescue workers returning from the disaster site. We stood just inside the police barriers as crowds of pedestrians gathered outside cheering every rescue worker as they took a bottle from us, covered in the soot, ash and dirt from the fallen buildings. It is a day that I will never forget.
This event, Hands in Hand, somehow reminds me of the emotions I felt that day, as we first got to our station about 6:00 am when there was no crowd, and watched it slowly grow to hundreds and hundreds of people throughout the day – all, seemingly, standing hands in hand thanking the rescue workers for their efforts and dedication.
Now that I live in Washington State, physically far removed from the site, I am not sure what I will do to commemorate the date, but I am sure, somewhere along the way, a tear or two will flow. I may not be able to stand hand in hand with those who participate in this event, but I will be there in spirit, praying we never live through such an event again.
We are nearing the 10th Anniversary of that tragic day in 2001 when the world at large, and the crisis management, business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency management industries would be forever changed.
I lived and worked in the shadows of the World Trade Center on that day and became very much involved in assisting a number of companies respond to and recover from that event. As a result, I contributed to and was featured in a number of articles and presentations to discuss challenges faced and lessons learned from this crisis.
Below are some surviving links to articles and stories from that time. There were many more but I could not find links to them.
I have recently been approached to take a look back on that tragic time in our history and explore whether or not the lessons learned are still applicable in today’s world and/or are companies in a better position today to respond to a similar event than we were back in 2001.
Continuity Insights Magazine will soon publish an article I wrote on this topic and I will be participating in a teleconference event sponsored by the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association on September 16.
Going back and revisiting the events of 9/11 is both emotionally stressful and professionally concerning, but something I think worthwhile doing to ensure, indeed, that the lessons learned then are not forgotten.