I had a good post ready for today, but it will have to wait until next week. As I was typing today’s date, it hit me. Today is 9/11. Oh, I was aware. I attended a memorial event yesterday and I’ve been thinking about those events all week, but until I typed the date, it didn’t really hit me. Today is the day.
20 years ago, I was working as the HR Director for a retailer. We had an all-hands meeting early in the morning, and during the meeting a job candidate came in (he was scheduled for an interview immediately after the meeting). I greeted him and we stood at the back of the room while the meeting wrapped up.
He turned to me and said that he was listening to the car radio before he came in the building. The news reported that a plane had struck the World Trade Center, but he didn’t hear any details. We both shrugged and assumed it was a small Cessna or something similar. That kind of thing had happened before.
When the meeting was over, I escorted him to his interview and went back to my office. I turned on the TV to see if there was more to the story, just about the time the second plane struck the towers. Everything changed. My staff joined me, and we spent the rest of the morning glued to the TV.
I know that almost all who were alive at the time can tell you how they learned of the event, and how they were changed by it. I have similar memories of the Challenger explosion and my mother has told me about how she learned of President Kennedy’s assassination. These seminal events become seared in our brains.
My point this morning is not a history lesson, it is about today. I want you to find a new job and build a successful career, and I want to help you with that. But, I also want you to not ignore the world that is revolving around you. Do not to forget the events that shaped our lives and brought us to this point in time. Never forget or discount the sacrifices others have made so that we can enjoy the lives we lead.
Step away from your job search today and spend some time reflecting on the events of 9/11. Regardless of your politics, too many lives were lost that day. We must honor those who ran toward the danger, without concern for their own safety, only to try to help others. We’ll get back to working on your job search next week.