|Editors Note: We originally posted this tribute in the days following the 9/11 attack in 2001, and it was viewed here by tens of thousands of people. We have re-posted it for every 9/11 anniversary to honor those who perished, and to reaffirm our commitment to “never forget”. Bob’s story below was originally published two years ago in conjunction with this annual tribute.
It was a beautiful morning here in Sarasota, FL. I had an early morning breakfast meeting at the Sarasota Quay, at the corner of US 41 and Fruitville Road. President George W. Bush was in town, and his motorcade was scheduled to pass by our location just after our meeting concluded. Having never seen a sitting Presidents' motorcade, several of us decided to wait by the road for it.
A presidential motorcade is quite an impressive undertaking. First comes the security people, swerving into oncoming traffic to block its progress, while others yell for those of us by the road to “back up” about 30 feet or so. We oblige. Then comes a long procession of vehicles including police cars, vans, and limos, north on US 41, turning east onto Fruitville Road. Near the end, we see the “beast” – the Presidential Limousine approaching. Through its thick glass windows we see President Bush. We wave. He waves. And then he is gone. I am struck by the final vehicle in the convoy. It is an ambulance, which apparently follows the President wherever he goes.
What I thought would be the highlight of my day was over. I looked at my watch. It was 8:45AM.
My friends and I chatted for another 20 minutes, and I got into my car to head to the office. My cell phone rang. It was my wife. Two planes had flown into both towers of the World Trade Center.
Life had changed.
A few days after the attack, we came across a touching video tribute, and received permission of the creator to run it on WorkersCompensation.com. It was viewed by thousands over the following weeks, and the feedback was both touching and phenomenal. We have run that tribute every year since, and it always remains a popular feature.