Champs

We publish this issue with great sorrow. The gentlemen gracing our cover are some of New York's finest engineers, and indeed New York was the host of the "Law and Firm Management" roundtable that we feature in this issue. It was with great anticipation that we looked to unveil the story. Instead, it comes to light in the wake of one the darkest moments of our era—the murder of thous...

10/01/2001


We publish this issue with great sorrow. The gentlemen gracing our cover are some of New York's finest engineers, and indeed New York was the host of the "Law and Firm Management" roundtable that we feature in this issue. It was with great anticipation that we looked to unveil the story. Instead, it comes to light in the wake of one the darkest moments of our era—the murder of thousands in an inhumane terrorist attack culminating in the destruction of the World Trade Center.

It's personally hard to fathom that I was in Manhattan just weeks before to moderate the panel. That day in mid-August was a sweltering one in the midst of a power crisis due to the near 100°F heat. But that crisis, which had the governor ordering state employees home, was but a pale shadow to the events that happened September 11, 2001.

That day, as I was driving to our office, located near O'Hare Airport, the horrible report was announced. I drove on in gut-wrenching anxiety as the events continued to unfold. In that time, the FAA ordered all planes grounded, and indeed jets began to land with greater frequency at the airport adjacent to the highway I traversed.

Upon arriving at work, it was a surreal atmosphere, one of shock and disbelief. Then, before our very eyes, the second tower collapsed into rubble.

Someone, with tears in her eyes, asked how could someone do this? There is no logical answer. Our hearts go out to all the people caught in this nightmare, including two very fine gentlemen from our own company. The event has left me with a very sobering realization: how precious and precarious life is.

In contemplating my editorial prior to the attack, I wanted to entitle the piece "Champs," in honor of the good spirit our panelists showed that hot afternoon. Upon reflecting on the event, some days later, I think it is still appropriate to do so, but in honor of the valiant rescue workers who gave their lives saving others that day as well as those heroes still with us who went into the rubble in the ensuing days. We delve briefly into the tragedy within the issue, including a summary of another special panel assembled to examine the fires that consumed the WTC and the possible fallout the disaster may have on high-rise design. The full version can be found at www.csemag.com .

Moving forward will be a difficult task. Indeed, it's difficult to conceive New York's skyline without the towers. I'm not sure rebuilding them is the right answer, but I hope a new and appropriate structure will emerge and that the engineering community will be a big part of creating that new symbol for America.





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