Several members of the Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions staff were in London attending PLASA at the time of the attack on New York and Washington. Publisher Jackie Tien, ED/LD sales rep Adrienne Gurman, technical editor Michael Eddy, consulting editor Ellen Lampert-Greaux, LD editor David Barbour, and ED editor David Johnson were all on the show floor at Earl’s Court when news spread via cell phones and word of mouth about the attacks.
The fact that we were all New Yorkers made it especially hard to be away from the US at the time; luckily, we were able to share in our concern and uneasiness with many other fellow Americans stuck in London, not to mention a wide range of British and other international attendees of PLASA who were exceedingly kind and thoughtful during this time. And, needless to say, our isolation was miniscule in comparison to those who lost friends and loved ones in the attacks.
Our office at 32 West 18 Street was more than two miles from the financial center, but we have—had—a terrific view of the World Trade Center. Those still in New York bore grim witness to the site of the towers collapsing.
This being the modern age, one of the things that made it somewhat easier to keep in touch with friends, colleagues, and loved ones was the internet. We all received an astonishing number of emails from relatives, co-workers, industry acquaintances, even long-lost school chums, most of which sporting the subject line: Are You Okay? We also received numerous long emails from industry friends, eloquently describing what they saw or felt or witnessed on that fateful day in September.
We feel these messages perfectly express all our thoughts and emotions on September 11 and the few sad days immediately following, so we share them with you now. Our many thanks again to all those who wrote. We sincerely appreciate your concern. We also hope and pray that all our friends and colleagues in the entertainment technology industry are safe, and that your friends and loved ones are likewise out of harm’s way.
Peter, Jonathan and I wanted you all to know that all our sympathy and thoughts are with you during your darkest hour. Though we are glued to CNN, we still can't quite grasp the enormity of the crime that has been perpetrated against the USA and mankind in general.
We already know that Jonathan has lost an ex-room mate. With colleagues from their London office, this young woman was visiting their corporate headquarters. All are missing - the wrong time and the wrong place. I guess most of us will know someone.
If it's any consolation, from our experience with the IRA in London, (though they have never carried out quite such a heinous act), things will return to normality eventually but it will be normality of a different sort. Nothing will be quite the same again.
The eleventh of September 2001 will be with us all forever,
Tony Gottelier, Wynne Willson Gottelier
Scéno Plus is devastated by the events occurring in New York today and wishes to send you all our heart-felt moral support so you be able to courageously pass through this unimaginable tragedy for the USA and the whole civilized world.
Wishing you strength and determination.
Maurice Rhéaume, Communications,Scéno Plus
As we all know today was a tremendously difficult day for everyone.
I am writing for two reasons: 1] to let those of you who e-mailed me know that I am safe and in fact in Paris, and in fact was wondering why my mobile phone stopped working around 16:00 local time until two other American tourists came up to us an hour later and asked if we had heard the news (which we almost didn't believe at first).
More importantly, I am writing to implore that those of you in the New York and Washington, DC, areas please let me know that you are okay and safe. I realize that e-mail access may be sketchy at best for some of you but I'd love to hear from you just to make sure you are all okay.
Much love and my thoughts to you and yours,
Kai Harada, sound designer
I sent out an email Tuesday and two photos yesterday, and cc'd Jeff Long, a show control guy in California who runs a company called Granite Precision and the "ENews" mailing list. He has collated both photos and email into a web page: http://www.graniteprecision.net/personal/nycwtc/
Please excuse the typos and/or poor writing! I didn't know Jeff was going to do this...
The photos are from the roof of our building at NYC Technical College in downtown Brooklyn. I had been on the roof several months ago, and took the "before" shot just as a nice shot of the Brooklyn bridge. I took the other yesterday, trying to match the original.
Everyone here is still kind of shell-shocked, but trying to get back to "normal". At this point, I haven't heard that anyone I know was in the towers.
John Huntington, New York Technical College
It saddens me that this tremendous tragedy has moved me to write before any of the other pieces I have outlined to write. However as the images continue to pour in I see buildings and streets that I used to walk and work in on a regular basis. I have just seen the first images of the Wintergarden Palm Court, which is part of the World Financial Center located across the street from the WTC. It was a spectacular place of beauty and serenity and is now a bombed out shell. The destruction is widespread. I still do not know if many friends of mine that work in that space and many others were in the space at the time. Their homes are gone as well as their offices. I spent a three week residency inside the Wintergarden with a dance company I used to work for.
What made the Palm Court so remarkable was the scale of the space. It was a glass enclosed atrium that housed fully grown and growing Palm Trees. They grew out of a beautiful marble floor in the center of the round atrium, flanked on two sides by small shops and offices and on the south a beautiful wall of glass that looked out on a pavilion then out to the water, directly opposite of that on the other side of the rows of Palm Trees a grand and beautiful marble staircase that led up to the bridge that now does not exist that once led over the wide street to the WTC.
As it was really the images of the palm court that moved me to write but the overwhelming image and thought seems to be that this event is going to give us a new sense of national identity. The moving images of the younger generations in this country that seemed to this point to have no national identity. This tragedy will in some sick way bring this nation closer together than it has been since WWII. At the same time the level of ignorance towards Islamic and Muslim communities is sad and pathetic. We have been divided for so long on so many petty issues I hope that this truly does bring us closer together in tolerance. I face a very different city to live in I can only imagine that this will bring a very big and fast paced city to a point of becoming an even tighter and closer knit community. For a large city it is one of the warmest and friendliest places and it will be even more so as we try to regroup and help each other deal with the reckless acts that occurred.
I used to see those towers every day, it was hard to not see them loom over the city and they were a welcome site every time I flew back into NYC. I cannot fathom the fact that they are gone. That people I knew are gone. That many rooms and venues that I used to produce events in are gone. Windows on the World was the restaurant and club on the top it the tower, it was an amazing view of the world and a very popular place to hold press events and concerts and parties. It is gone. This has been unreal in its scope and it will be days before the true scope of this is realized. In effect the entire financial district is gone. It will take years for us to rebuild after this.
My heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones and friends as we have all been touched by this in a horrible way. We must all be together in the healing from this reckless disregard for life.
Perchik Miller, sound designer
I just want to express my sympathy to all of you great New Yorkers and hope that you have not lost any friends or family in this tragedy. I keep thinking about you guys.
I am still in shock and getting madder by the day. I imagine you are still in London and extremely anxious.
I hope that you arrive home soon safe and sound.
Larry Beck, PR Coordinator, Martin Professional A/S
I attended the BLMC last December. I wish to send a message of sympathy on the horrific events last week. I hope everybody is O. K. My good wishes to one and all. Ireland came to a standstill yesterday, we had a "National Day of Mourning". I had it first hand, my son works in 17th Street and was on his way to the Towers that morning, but Thank God he is O.K.
Best wishes and God Bless.
We at Leprecon and Littlite hope that all of you and your family and friends are safe and well after the attack. If we can do anything here let us know.
Barbara Burns, CAE, Inc.
I can't finish an email to you without saying that our entire country is horrified and appalled at the recent events in NY and Washington. We cannot even imagine the devastation that you all must be experiencing but even as far away as we are I cannot watch CNN or our local programming or even read the newspaper websites without tears in my eyes. I hope that all your loved ones and friends are safe.
Marie Southwood, Selecon
I just wanted to drop a quick note and say we here in Texas are thinking of you guys in New York and I hope you and your family and your friends are all all right.
I wish all of you at Entertainment Design and LDI much strength in the coming months and much relief, too.
Riki Rushing, High End Systems
To IALD Members and Colleagues
This past week we received many heart-felt messages of support and concern from all over the world. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers, on behalf of all of us, especially those members in New York, Washington D.C. and communities in other parts of the world who lost loved ones and friends in the unspeakable devastation.
Here in New York, we learned first hand the horrific extent of evil, ignorance and inhumanity. But, we were poignantly reminded each day, that friends worldwide far outnumber those who believe destruction will serve their cause. Our world has grown measurable smaller. Friendship and caring are very much needed and appreciated and help us all to be stronger.
JoAnne Lindsley, FIALD, President
We think of you all the time. You, and all the people we know in New York and in the US.
It is not possible for us to understand the scope of this terrible act of terrorism even if we constantly see those horrendous pictures on television. We are thinking of all the victims and their families.
Ralph Dahlberg, RADAM Market Communication
Our thoughts and prayers are with those media colleagues who have been so good to us and our clients over the years. We hope this email finds you and your family safe and in good health. If we can help in any way, please call upon any and all of us here at Gregory FCA.
Brian McDermott, Director of Media Development,Gregory FCA Communications, Inc
. Shocked by the recent events, we would like to express our deepest condoleances for all people involved and you as American citizens in general. Our thoughts have gone out to you these last few days. We hope that from somewhere you will be able to gather the strenght to pick up your lives again.
Although we stand with empty hands, please accept our moral support.
From all at Prolyte
What follows is a report by an ED/LD staff member written on the day after the events:
I'm actually the only one in the office today - it's about 10:30. I didn't know if anyone else would be in, so I thought I would try. It's so awful in New York right now. I've never seen such sadness and fear, and yet such hope and coming together. I saw the fire from Union Square on my way to work yesterday and the streets were already packed with people. When I got to the office, Raymond, Harvey and Deanna were watching it on TV. Then John Scott, Sara and Amy arrived and we all watched from the back windows. We were frantic trying to get through on the phones to our families and the phones were down. Cell phones weren't working and there was no telling what would happen next. We were all standing together as we watched the first one fall and then a few minutes later - in a matter of seconds - the second one fell. We were all so horrified.
When I left yesterday around 2:30, there was not a car in sight on 5th Ave. All of the stores around here were closed, and only a few food places were open. There were tons of people lining the streets and hugging and crying. One guy was walking around alone with an American flag. It's just been awful.
This morning things are still very shaken up. They haven't said how many casualties yet, and there is still hope, but they're guessing it will be a disturbing number of people lost. I can still see all of the smoke coming up right now. The good thing is that New Yorkers are coming together. People have set up little memorials along the street for candles and flowers. In Union Square this morning there were long rolls of paper set up with markers so people could write messages and put flowers down. From 14th Street south, everything is closed, so where I live there are tons of police and barricades set up. The only cars allowed down there are emergency vehicles and I've seen a few of the dust-covered ambulances - very disturbing. A lot of people are volunteering though, with food, clothes, water, etc. And so many people have helped the hospitals and Red Cross. So we at least have each other to lean on.
Also, we at Entertainment Design and Lighting Dimensions want to thank Lori Rubinstein at ESTA for helping us and other industry members during our difficult days in London.
If you have any thoughts you wish to share about the events of September 11, send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to post them as soon as possible.
Finally, we are back at work in New York. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact Jackie Tien, David Barbour, or David Johnson.