It’s hard to believe that 7 years have passed since the horrifying day none of us will ever forget. The images will never fade, the feeling of helplessness, the sense that things will never be the same. We all remember where we were when we first found out what was taking place.
For me, I thought I was on an overnight business trip to St. John’s Newfoundland, I would arrive late in the evening on September 10th and fly out the afternoon of the 11th. In the middle of my meeting the second plane hit the twin towers, and shortly after that all domestic and international planes in flight were ordered to land. There were hundreds of transatlantic flights in the air at that time, and the province of Newfoundland, the most easterly location in Canada, offered the first landing opportunity. Newfoundland is an island with a small population of about 500,000 people. Over 250 international and domestic planes landed there on September 11th – in succession, one right after the other. You could see them coming down.
I was fortunate to have kept my hotel room, I was stranded for the next 5 days. Thousands of others weren’t as lucky. Hotels set up cots in their ballrooms, residents opened their homes, everyone pitched in to help. As it turned out, several thousand people from all over the world ended up together in the small cities and towns in Newfoundland to mourn the events that took place September 11th 2001. We were all frightened, worried, wishing we were at home with our families. The Royal LePage broker I was meeting with that day, Glenn Larkin, became my surrogate family that week. He took me out for dinner, offered to drive me to the airport each day as I tried unsuccessfully to get a flight out. I knew I would never forget his kindness. And so it was with great excitement I met Glenn and his wife Lynne for dinner earlier this week, as they happened to be in New York for a few days. We had a lot of catching up to do, and of course we reflected the events of September 11th.
Many people everywhere during the week of September 11th 2001 made promises to change their lives, stay closer to home, treat people with more kindness and respect. Many followed through on their promises. This morning all of us at Realogy observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, The Pentagon in Washington DC, and the flight that went down in Pennsylvania. We remembered the victims and their families. We also need to make sure we remember the promises we made to ourselves 7 years ago to do our best to make this world a better place.