Laura’s 9/11 Memory

I arrived at RadioShack Corporation at 8:15a to welcome the three financial analysts and to facilitate their meetings with our CFO, CEO and President. Their meetings started at 8:00a with the President of RadioShack, so when news came of the first airplane hitting the towers, we were curious. When the second plane hit minutes later, someone in New York contacted the analysts and warned them to reserve a rental car back to New York, which was immediately arranged. I checked with their office in NYC to make sure there was not something else we could do and I conveyed my thoughts and prayers.

The analysts continued with their meetings while those of us not in meetings gathered in the Investor Relations office around the only television on the executive floor. We watched in horror as the buildings fell. The NYSE floor trader called a few minutes later to say trading was halted. I conveyed my thoughts and prayers to him. A few minutes later, I talked with our NYSE representative who told me the Exchange was closing and she was heading home. I was barely able to hold my emotions in check as I told her we would be praying for her and everyone else in NYC. Then the plane hit the Pentagon. As a former military brat, I knew we were under attack. My immediate thought was, “Shut down the borders, bring home the troops and lock this place up against any intruders.”

Our analysts showed the most control as they completed their meetings and left to pick up their rental car. They had lost many friends when the towers fell, but their offices were not housed in the WTC. One of our bond analysts died in the WTC collapse. She had been something of a maverick and had left an indelible impression on all who knew her. I later learned that one of my high school alumni died in the Pentagon.

That evening was eerily silent in my home near the DFW airport. The shock was wearing off and I realized our country would never be the same.

By 2003, our NYSE representative had two children and then retired. I left the corporate world then as well.

Laura S.