I was in my office and got a call from one of the other VP’s saying a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. She didn’t elaborate and being she was an easily excitable person I thought to myself a little Piper Cub or something like that and went back to work. The President of the company was out of the country on vacation, meaning I was in charge. Then I heard from someone else and realized what had happened. We had a TV in the main lobby of the building and a number of us started gathering there to watch. After the 2nd plane hit I knew it wasn’t an accident and called my wife at home, just telling her turn on the TV, the country is under attack. My son was about 20 miles away at his high school and my daughter was in the Boston suburbs taking dance lessons for the day but I didn’t see any imminent risk to them and so took no action. While watching TV, at one point they were reporting from DC and in the background off at a distance I saw all the smoke from the Pentagon. We didn’t know it had been hit yet but I knew something was hit which really confirmed that we were under attack. Then we learned of the plane going down in PA and all planes being grounded, so we had the Sales Dept start trying to make contact with all of our Account Executives around the country to make sure they were safe and to determine whether any of them were grounded someplace other than their home city. I authorized them doing whatever they needed to do to get themselves home or otherwise hunker down where they were. Later that day when my daughter got home I Iearned that they weren’t collecting tolls on the MA Pike, that they were just waiving the cars through to speed up the outflow from Boston. Apparently they had started evacuating the office towers in Boston just in case Boston was also attacked.
One of my brothers had flown out of Baltimore that morning heading to NV for a meeting with the plan being to come home that night. His plane put down in Denver and he fortunately had the presence of mind to rent a car as fast as he could. He literally got the last one they had and scrambled to get a hotel room anywhere as they were also filling up with stranded travelers. Then he had an ordeal dealing with his meds. He has an uncommon heart condition but only had his meds for that day. First he had to make contact with his doctor back in MD to get a prescription and then find a pharmacy in Denver that had it. It took several hours to find one after he got the prescription being most pharmacies don’t carry it in stock. My sister who lives in OH happened to be in Denver herself for a conference and so she just extended her reservation at the hotel is all.
My boss that was out of the country with his wife had 5 kids at home with the grandparents. It took several days but he was smart enough to take the 1st flight he could get to anywhere in the US. He flew to Atlanta, rented a car and drove all the way to Boston to get his car that was at the airport, and then drove the 2 hours home from there.
In retrospect I should have had my wife fetch my son home from school and made contact with our daughter to get her home too because none of knew what else might be going to happen that day, especially so with my daughter having been in the Boston suburbs. The other thing I did wrong was sit mesmerized in front of the TV watching the same clips play again and again with the same commentary over and over.