September 11, 2008

Remembering September Eleven

I don't normally post things of a personal nature on this blog, but today is somewhat different. I live out on Long Island, and my home is about 20 miles from downtown Manhattan. Last night, I saw the 9/11 memorial lights in the sky (clearly visible from that distance) and I thought I'd take a moment to document my own memory of that day here.

January 2, 2001 was my first day at Adobe as product manager of Adobe Illustrator. It was an incredibly exciting time for me. By June, after the school year was complete, my family had completed the move from NY to San Jose, CA. A culture shock for all of us for sure, but it was an experience -- the summer of 2001 was wonderful, with us exploring all the beauty of Northern California.

Usually up early, on September 11, I was intrigued by reports on the news of a small plane that had apparently collided with one of the twin towers in NY. By the time I had made it into the Adobe office, it had become clear that things would be changed forever. Adobe's offices at the time were actually two towers (today there are three buildings), and Adobe's buildings are also directly on the approach flight path to SJC (San Jose's airport). Since no one knew what was going on that day, Adobe's security team evacuated everyone from the building, and Bruce Chizen sent out an email for everyone to stay home that day. I returned home to watch in utter horror, together with my family, as the second tower fell. My son (4 years old at the time) asked that we please not watch anymore television, and we spent the remainder of the day at Happy Hollow amusement park -- a small little park -- where the children could be happy and where all the parents could talk and somehow come to terms with what had happened.

On my desk at Adobe, I had a perpetual calendar from the Strathmore paper company (yeah, I'm a paper lover), and since that day, I haven't changed the date on the calendar. It's frozen in time. I also have a friend who used to work in the die cast business, who manufactured those souvenirs that people buy. When I moved out to CA, he was kind enough to ship me a box of NY souvenirs -- die cast models of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Center. When I left Adobe in 2004, I packed up my office and shipped it all back to NY. When I opened the box of office items to set up my new office here back at home, I found that the die cast model of the World Trade Center had broken -- one of the towers cracked completely off at the base. Spooky, I know. A photo of both the "frozen" calendar and the broken die cast souvenir, which still grace my shelf in my office today, appears above.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We will all remember that dreadful day. The world suddenly felt very small.

I actually got married on the same date, the year before. 9-11 was suppose to be our first anniversary. I guess I won't be one of those guys that forgets his own wedding-date...