Industry Representatives Share September 11 Remembrances
September 11, 2012

by Penny Stacey,

As the nation marks the eleventh anniversary since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., several industry representatives have shared their stories with™/AGRR™ magazine about where they were when they heard the news about what had happened.

Dale Malcolm, technical manager for Dow Automotive Systems' aftermarket division, was in Minneapolis, where many in the auto glass industry were—or were headed—in light of the upcoming auto glass conference scheduled to be held there later that week.

"I was already in Minneapolis for an NGA Certification Committee meeting and I was unable to be in the meeting as a work meeting took me away that morning," he recalls. "I was intending to join the group in the afternoon but was not able to as the mornings events unfolded. Our friend, Gene Nichols [of Guardian Industries] was standing in as Committee Chair for me and he reminds me of that favor from time to time to this day."

He continues, "I was in a meeting with our representatives and other Dow Automotive team members. We started the meeting just as the first reports came in and it had not taken on the significance it ultimately would … We finished the meeting shortly after the second tower fell. We listened to the news in a large group of other hotel guests numb to the reports and rumors flying around. All my coworkers and I gathered that afternoon at the home of our local representative for a cookout and support. We all headed home by car in groups and those that waited were stuck there for at least another day. As we drove through Chicago and the Sears Tower came into view I looked up and the absence of planes in the sky spoke volumes. I will never forget. " magazine publisher Debra Levy also had already arrived in Minneapolis for the week's events. "I was in Minneapolis Hyatt at an AGRSS® Council meeting with about 40 people from around the country when the cell phones started to go and it became apparent we were under attack," she recalls. "We took a break and went down to a very little TV that people had gathered around in the convenience store on the ground floor. I knew my brother, a New York City firefighter, was working that day but I didn't know the time of his shift, though the TV said that all of FDNY had been called in. I looked up at the TV an instant before the first tower fell. It took about 30 seconds for my brain to register what I might have been watching and that he might have been there. I felt my whole body sway and my knees buckled as I fell down on them."

It wasn't until several hours later that she was able to confirm his safety. "It was impossible to get through by phone," says Levy. "Eventually family friends from Spain were able to reach my brother, find out he was fine, and then call back to the States to notify all of us—even my parents who were just a few miles from him—that he was all right."

Neil Duffy, owner of Auto Glass Menders in San Jose, Calif., and a blogger, was at Lake Tahoe for a golf tournament. "I had turned on CNN after waking and heard that a plane had hit one of the towers," he says. "I had just got out of the shower when I saw the second plane crash into the second tower. I can't recall being so horrified and sickened for three decades. It was immediately apparent that something sinister and evil just had taken place. I drove out the golf course and no one talked about anything else and I then decided to withdraw [from the tournament] and drive the 200 miles home. Never has that trip seemed so long and angst-filled. I wanted to be home with my family and nothing else mattered."

Several industry representatives also have taken the time to share their remembrances on the magazine message forum.

"I was on my way into work, [and] I had just stopped by the ATM at my bank to make a deposit when the local news on the radio said they had a report [that] a plane [had] just hit one of the World Trade buildings," recalls one Midwestern industry representative. "So I am thinking a Cesna or something ... I was sitting at a traffic light in Eau Claire, Wis., and the local news had a live feed on and Peter Jennings was interviewing someone who witnessed the crash when all of a sudden this guy yell[ed] out, ' … a plane just hit the other building!' I sat there with my hand over my mouth."

Another industry representative recalls that he had not yet started his work day yet when the tragedy began. "I was having coffee, watching the local news. The broadcast cut to national news, [saying] something about a plane hitting the first tower," he recalls. "I told my wife to come and see. Then the surreal moment [came] when the second plane hit. I asked my wife, 'Is that what we just saw happen? Did that really just happen?' We were in disbelief."

Where were you on the morning of September 11? Click here to share your own stories on the magazine message forum.


This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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