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No emoticon suffices on a 9/11 post

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to deliver a leadership seminar.

A few minutes before the program began, I was walking through the lobby of the hotel where a few employees had clustered around a television.

A skyscraper in New York City was on fire.

There was talk of an airplane crash and the broadcast media was talking about a terrorist "cell." Things were happening quickly.

We didn't know it at the time, but the 9/11 era had officially begun.

On the way back to my seminar room, my brother Dave called to see if I was all right. I ducked inside a doorway for some privacy.

I'm not sure why, but I started to cry. Looking back, I guess I was afraid.

Later, I learned that United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA just 90 miles away from my seminar class.

After the seminar, I headed out to my rental car to drive to the next venue. I was scheduled to speak in three more Pennsylvania cities in as many days and then another five cities in the Midwest the following week.

The topic? Conflict resolution.

Instead of returning the rental car as usual at the end of the week, I drove it back to Michigan -- and kept it for another two weeks.

A person couldn't find a rental car in the Northeast United States until the end of September. Some of my speaker buddies had to rent box vans to get to their gigs.

Anyway, the 9/11 tragedy changed air travel and security measures all over the world. 2,996 people died, plus 19 hijackers. And the world was never the same again.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?


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