Ewing New Jersey - 9/11 Memorial Service
The following story was provided by Woody Alexander a member of Richardson East Rotary Club:
In 1985, I worked on a bank finance project on the 23rd floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in NYC. Sometimes I taught classes in one of the highest floors and entertained in the restaurant called Windows on the World on the top floor. Some weeks I lived in the small hotel connecting the Twin Towers. Architects told me they worried about the lack of outside beams. In 2001, I was working on another bank finance project in Utrecht, Holland and staying in a hotel that was a 400 year old palace of Charles V. We were seven hours ahead of NYC and after lunch, one of our Dutch workers told me that an airplane had crashed into a WTC tower. I told him it was probably a small Cessna blown by the wind. Thirty minutes later he called me over to look at the pictures on the Internet of another plane crashing into the other tower. The project stopped and the team members gathered around to watched the Twin Towers collapse and horror throughout Manhattan and our Country. My company (Accenture) had planned to entertain our clients (Rabobank) that evening in the wine cellar of my hotel (Charles V). People said we should cancel that gathering because of the terrorist attack. I decided we would meet there anyway to sign a remembrance book and toast the heroes and victims. Two hundred Dutch folks showed up and showed their support for America. The next day, American flags flew all over Holland because people remember how Americans saved their country in World War II. Air travel was cancelled into the US for the next week, although I had tickets home to Dallas the following weekend. I was placed on the first American Airlines flight home with a crew that had just spent the last five nights in a European hotel. At the airport, a woman came up to me and offered $3,000 in cash for my tickets. I turned her down.
-Woody Alexander