Although the world has not forgotten the tragic events of 9/11, this year - 5 years after the American public realized the price that could be paid in keeping this great nation’s reputation as the land of the free - is particularly poignant. Time has passed much more swiftly than we ever thought; yet, most of us have committed our activities during that fateful Tuesday morning to memory. Grief still evokes a sense of immobility among family and friends of the many victims. Survivors are grateful they were spared from death’s door, but their progress, while steady, has been slow - merely steps, not leaps and bounds.
From early first-person perspectives to the subsequent photographs, books, and movies, society has been able to put a face to the heroics displayed that day and in the ensuing months. First-responder emergency personnel - New York City’s and Washington, D.C.’s finest - received well-deserved recognition for their bravery in one of the country’s most significant calls to action. The many selfless volunteers who sometimes offered expertise (but always resolve) while addressing the problems at hand have been acknowledged. The altruistic efforts of medical professionals have been memorialized. As they all should be.
As we remember - this month and into the future - let’s not forget another less-recognized group: your peers, the building management professionals who were on-site at the moment the world changed. They stepped forward - before all others - to help evacuate building occupants, monitor and buttress deteriorating systems, and lend whatever assistance was needed. Many perished; others continue to go about the business of buildings, aware of the possibilities that can transpire in uncertain times.
We salute you - this and every other month; and, once again, offer our thanks.