Editor’s Note: A version of this blog appears in the September 2011 issue of Lodging.
Normally in this space, I discuss various issues within the lodging industry, but if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to take the time to remember the nearly 3,000 victims of the horrific terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. As you are aware, this weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And, if it weren’t for the heroic acts of the passengers of United Flight 93, which crashed in western Pennsylvania, who knows where else.
We all realize that the events of that day had a long-lasting effect on the travel and hospitality industries, but more importantly, we also realize that the impact on the country and the world, actually, was much greater. In particular, the impact on the families of the victims is much greater than I could ever imagine.
Like most Americans, I can remember where I was when the first tower was struck at 8:46 a.m., and like many of you I could tell plenty of stories about that day. But I was in New Jersey, across the Hudson River, and safe from the horrors that were happening a few miles away in Lower Manhattan. Of course, others weren’t so fortunate. They unwittingly found themselves in the middle of a nightmare simply by going to work at the World Trade Center, Wall Street, and the numerous retail, restaurant, and hotel establishments around the area. Those who survived the direct attacks and witnessed the nightmare firsthand are the stories that need to be heard over and over again.
I recently discussed that day with workers from The Millenium Hilton and the Best Western Plus Seaport Inn, who were on duty when the attacks occurred. Their stories can be found in the article “Remembering 9/11” on this website.
It still saddens me to think of all the unnecessary loss of life that occurred and led to many more years of lost lives in this country and overseas.
So as the country remembers the impact of that day and, most important, mourns the innocent victims, my colleagues and I here at Lodging remember with you all. We will never forget.