It was a morning like most. The alarm went off and still wanting a few more minutes of sleep, I hit the snooze button. When it went off again 9 minutes later, the morning show on the country station I listen to was talking about a plane that had crashed into a building in New York. It took a few minutes for that to sink in. I grabbed the TV remote and sure enough, vivid pictures of the World Trade Center Towers. And, of course, shortly thereafter scenes from Boston and the Pentagon.
I called my sister. I knew she was scheduled to fly out to Sacramento sometime that week. I called my folks who were just getting ready to go to work. I got myself to the office as quick as I could. I wanted (needed) to be around people, to talk about what had happened. And then, as the reality of what had happened sunk in, we knew there was work to be done. It was not going to be business as usual at our office or at any office for that matter.
As communications professionals who consult with organizations during times of crisis, we are guide important discussions that lead to decisions on how to proceed. Throughout a crisis, decisions made on one day are often revised the next. New information becomes available and we react as appropriate.
The country came together in the weeks and months after 9-11. We commemorate that day with tributes, flags at half-mast and other memorials where we can pay tribute to those that lost their lives that day.
Those memorials will be a bit different this year. COVID-19 has impacted so many things. It forced us to prioritize and remember what’s important. Today, I’ll be remembering that day and the feeling of solidarity that resulted.