I consider myself very fortunate. Twenty years ago this morning, I was in Montreal, ironing my clothes in my hotel room. I was Addison’s Managing Director of New Media, preparing to speak about “New Media” (as the term “Digital Marketing” hadn’t yet caught on) at a conference for specialty paper manufacturers. At that time, Addison was primarily a print design firm specializing in annual reports, and here I was discussing “how public companies were likely moving to online annual reports.”
Had I not been in Montreal, I would’ve been exiting the R train at the corner of Rector & Greenwich, right when the second plane struck.
The news coverage in Canada was not as sanitized as what you probably watched in the States, which was very disturbing and made it difficult to sleep that night. The next day, I got on Amtrak to Penn Station, which, thankfully, had remained open.
Many of my colleagues at Addison were traumatized by what they had seen that morning. They were either on their way to the office and caught up in the tragedy – or were already there, watching from the balcony, until the plumes of ash and smoke engulfed 20 Exchange Place, forcing them to go back inside. We returned to work in lower Manhattan the following Monday, but not until passing through checkpoints and breathing in the acrid smoke.
And my family? On September 11, my husband was at a doctor’s appointment, and my daughters were already at school; one was in the Bronx, and the other was on the Upper East Side. But that’s another story for another day.