"On that Tuesday morning, I did not know that fourteen years later, I would lead the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia. I was barely four months into my job as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development, attending a meeting in upper Northwest DC. Suddenly, the meeting organizer was interrupted by her military aide, whispering in her ear. She abruptly concluded the meeting, as we gasped at the jumbo screens with scenes of the burning Towers. People emptied from the building, hastily trying to make cellphones work. A colleague and I grabbed one of the few taxi’s and made it back to the Commerce Building adjacent to the White House. The scene was out of a disaster movie with cars jamming the streets in a hurry to leave DC and what was believed to be an impending strike at the White House or Capitol Building. I got in my car and made my way across the River to Virginia, where I will never forget the plumes of smoke rising from the Pentagon.
Safely at home, the phone rang. It was Commerce Secretary Don Evans checking to see if everyone was ok. I, like so many others, will never forget that day."
Linda Conlin, WTCGP President
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