Our division had recently completed a major floor renovation which included the roll-out of considerable new infrastructure both there and at our disaster recovery site located nearly 30 miles away in New Jersey.
On that day, I unexpectedly got off to a late start. After completing my morning workout, I went for a 30 minute jog. This was followed by making breakfast for my wife and son before leaving the house. I have never done that before on a work day. This is something that would typically only occur during the weekend.
The Academy Bus to Wall Street bus that I boarded that morning was soon found to have some faulty mechanics. As a result, it was necessary for us to stop along the way near Freehold, NJ and await another bus before continuing on our usual path up U.S. Route 9.
If none of these things had transpired as they did, then I most certainly would have been in the World Trade Center getting my usual coffee to go around 9:00 am. Instead, the bus that we were all riding on was still on the New Jersey Turnpike during the time in which the 1st and 2nd planes flew into each of the towers.
As passengers on the bus, we vividly witnessed the second plane crash into the tower. Immediately we knew, based on the speed of the plane, that something diabolical had just occurred.
In the days and weeks that followed everyone was operating around the clock in an effort to effectively recover and maintain our businesses while we were also sharing in the collective pain and grief of massive human loss and trauma.
As an organization, as a team, as compassionate people we vowed to one another to never forget those who lost their lives that day and as a nation we must continue to do so.
God bless all those who were lost now fifteen years ago and our prayers continue to be with their families, very close friends, and the many coworkers continuing to carry-on.
We have been tried and we have proven not only to ourselves but to the world that we are fully capable of standing together in the very worst of times. As a united nation swarming with a great diversity of people we demonstrated that it is not our true nature to be easily defeated, to leave others behind or ultimately to neglect the most important needs of others. So let's remember to keep this wisdom present in our hearts and minds, and increase our efforts at practicing these principles through our actions each and every day that we are fortunate enough to be given. Because I am convinced that that's what it really means to collectively be courageous, proud, and grateful Americans. This is our greatest asset: each other.
As you seek to do these things, let it be foremost to honor the thousands of individuals who lost their lives and would give anything to be here today to join us in this uniquely meaningful and strident purpose. This will be a high honor and the greatest blessing to the families that have been left without their precious loved ones.
Thank you and eternal blessings to everyone.