Each of us remembers where we were on that fateful day, when the sky was so crystalline clear and blue that it almost hurt your eyes to look up. The morning seemed beautiful around the country — from California, to Washington D.C, to Pennsylvania, to New York. But the gray pall that would capture the day remains with us, always.
I, and my senior management team were at Lakewood Country Club on September 11, 2001, with advisors helping us work through the intricacies of an employee program. We were locked away in a room without any of the electronic devices that tether us to the outside world. At 10:00am we took a break from the meeting and that’s when we discovered just the beginning of what we did not yet know as fact. We called all Shamrock offices, and sent everyone home to grieve in their own private way.
Shamrock is a strong, family-oriented business. So on September 12, we resumed our lives, came together as a family, and grieved as a family. As a company, we all became more patriotic. We had prayer sessions once a month. We reached out to one another more often. For a time, business became secondary to our grief.
September 11 not only changed our profile as a family, it also changed how we conduct our business. Today, all documents and information for our customers are backed up electronically — onsite and offsite — so that we can protect their business and be even more mindful of customer confidentiality. As a nation, and as a company, we all grew closer together months after September 11.
A year later, I walked New York City and the hallowed ground of the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 with a friend who worked in the Towers. He might have been at work at the World Trade Center, if not for a business meeting. He is among the few lucky ones.
Ten years later, we are a different nation. We still remain among the most giving and trusting countries in the entire world. My concern, however, is that we have lost the national camaraderie that inspired the first few months following the destruction of our nation’s belief that we could never be harmed on our own soil.
As a final homage to September 11, 2001, I wish for more unity among us as a proud nation of unique human beings.