Working in Arlington, Virginia, at then-SatoTravel/Navigant, I vividly remember September 11, 2001. Upon hearing the news of the initial attack from a colleague, we turned on the television to witness the second attack on the Twin Towers. Throughout that unspeakably tragic day, we watched the events unfold along with the rest of the world.
The airspace around the country closed immediately and planes landed where they could quickly and safely touch down. We began fielding an overwhelming number of calls from travel managers wanting to know the whereabouts of their corporate and government travelers, and family members seeking information about loved ones. With no air service and a quickly diminishing supply of rental cars, we coped with the shock and horror of that day’s events and images while doing what we could to take care of our colleagues and get our customers home.
Twenty years later, we remember the feelings we shared that day and beyond. Profound sorrow for the victims and their families, and gratitude for the courage of first responders. Concern for the well-being of our customers and colleagues. And a deep feeling of unity and resolve as an industry. We responded to a crisis as best we could and adapted to changes in our lives brought about by those events.
As we mourn and remember the lives lost on 9/11, we remain steadfast and hopeful for the future. Travel, an industry that has shown its resiliency time and time again, encourages us to connect, respect and appreciate one another for the differences we have and what we have in common. We honor the people who make these connections possible, including the frontline workers, airline crews, airport employees and travel advisors who have done so much over the past 20 years, and in the past two years, to adapt to challenging and changing environments.
By remembering how we came together in the aftermath of 9/11, we continue to heal and grow stronger. We must never forget the power of resiliency, compassion, and connection as we face and continue to build a better future together.