Here in our country, September enters into early fall with our dread of reliving the memories of 9/11/2001.
Many of us remember boastful Osama bin Laden who ordered stolen jetliners to destroy the World Trade Center (WTC) that early Tuesday morning.
Likewise, we remember the same destroying forces that crashed into Washington, D.C.'s Pentagon and the frantic phone calls to loved ones from hostages before their stolen jetliner crashed.
Understandably, the location under attack that hit closest to my heart was 2WTC in New York, where, for many decades, the headquarters of the company for whom I worked, Ebasco Services, Inc., occupied several floors to accommodate more than 2,000 employees.
Subsequently, when the company changed ownership in late 1993, the then headquarters were located in Princeton, New Jersey. Raytheon (the new owner) continued to retain some offices in 2WTC.
Although I retired from Raytheon in 1998 when the Atlanta office closed, I was hired as a security consultant through a Denver, Colorado firm, Worldwide Security Services (WSS) that managed all Raython’s security challenges throughout the world.
In late 2000, months prior to the 9/11 crisis, as security consultant, I made my last trip to 2WTC to outline their emergency preparedness program.
After retirement in mid-August 2001, my husband and I left Georgia for a leisurely trip driving across the northwest USA with plans to stay about a month. Although every moment of the trip equipped us with pleasant memories, after being gone for a couple weeks, something told me to head back home.
I feel so blessed to have been back home a day or so prior to the 9/11 tragedy.
On 9/11, as always, I woke up at 6 a.m., put the coffee pot on, and turned on ABC’s Good Morning America. Within a period of time, the horror of 9/11 unfolded in front of my grief-filled soul!
It was days before the anguish diminished enough so that I could read e-mails listing those men and women from our company that had lost their lives. Yes, we lost some of our employees, for whom I feel great sympathy for their families. Fortunately, there was no one on the lists with whom I had worked.
A few years ago, I received a government telephone call letting me know I would receive a call within a few days inquiring about 2WTC.
“Why?" I wondered.
When I received the call a few days later, I was asked if I was at the 2WTC on 9/11. My reply was, "No, but why do you ask?”
I soon learned that I had failed to turn in my badge after my last trip to 2WTC.
“Yes, I still have my badge and yes, I shall treasure it for the rest of my life.”
9/11 MAKES FRONT PAGE NEWS
BOWEN’S WORLD TRADE CENTER ID TAG
BOWEN’S BUSINESS CARD
PHOTOGRAPH OF BOWEN WHILE IN NEW YORK