Twelve years ago, our country sustained a tragedy so shocking that it rattled each American citizen to their core. We will always remember where we were the morning of 9/11, and the horror we witnessed as two landmarks of international commerce fell at the hands of terrorists. Thousands of lives were claimed that day but in turn, millions of Americans were united under the strength of our nation and a vow to Never Forget those lost.
As the years go on, 9/11 etches its place into American history and its symbolism grows. I was only thirteen when the World Trade Center fell, and at the time I struggled to comprehend what this blow meant to our country on an international scale. I understood the degree of death and destruction that had occurred and felt the confusion, fear, and grief that any little girl would at the time. Years later, now a young working professional, when I look back on 9/11, I am struck by the resilience our nation had to have in order to pick up the pieces and move forward – not only emotionally, but as a political and economic entity.
When hit with unexpected hardship, whether emotional or professional, it’s difficult to maintain focus on the job and push forward. Of course, the events of 9/11 exceeded any difficulty one could have expected to endure. However, I think its important to note that as Americans, both our humanity and work ethic were tested on 9/11. The al-Qaeda chose to destroy a symbol of international trade and commerce (as well as a symbol of defense and national security, the Pentagon) that day. The burden of strength in the eyes of adversity fell on our political leaders, but also on the American worker: corporate executives, entrepreneurs, young professionals, entertainers, laborers – no profession or discipline was spared. We had to dig deep and continue working to carry each other through.
As an entrepreneur, CBI Group’s president felt this burden especially hard that day, when his company opened its doors for the first time on the morning of September 11th. And yet, he and his employees, like many, had to press on and focus on creating business, even if it felt ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ to do so during a time of such great loss. Each year at CBI Group, this day is met with a bittersweet sentiment: as a celebration of another year in business met with a solemn reminder of a national tragedy. Over a decade later, we continue to operate successfully and help businesses fill jobs, recruit employees, and develop their workforce – a reflection of the resilience of an entrepreneur and his country.
So, this article is simply a testament to the American worker, for rising up and pushing forward in times of turmoil. Since 9/11, our nation has struggled economically and suffered the impact of war, but we have pressed on. In the American spirit, our country has rebuilt (quite literally, the National September 11th Museum and Memorial opened in 2011) and reclaimed our place as an economic force.
To all those lost and affected by the tragedy of 9/11, we honor and remember you. As citizens, we will never forget what happened that day and the toll it took on our country. As workers, we will continue to push forward and keep the American Dream alive…a notion that drives the belief that in America anything is possible and anyone can find success – if they work hard enough for it.