We were having breakfast in lower Manhattan that morning before a board meeting. It was the CEO, another board member and me. We were sitting outside in a sidewalk cafe in lower Soho and the plane flew right over us, at a height that was clearly not normal, and banked and slammed right into the first tower.
The CEO knew right away it was a terrorist act and we quickly settled up and headed over to the company’s offices. We told everyone to go home that could go home, and then waited to see how many people would arrive at work. Once we had sent everyone home who could go home, we got everyone who could not go home and started walking uptown to our house in Chelsea. We invited everyone in to our home and went out and got sandwiches and made a buffet lunch.
Nobody did anything but watch TV and call their loved ones, if they could get a call out on the overloaded cell networks.
By evening everyone had made plans for the night or figured out how to get home.
It was a horrible day, one that I certainly will never forget, and one that changed everything in many ways.
But when I look back at it, the ability to take everyone in, feed them, and provide some community and comfort, made that day a lot easier for me and my family. I am grateful for that.