If the unthinkable happens, are you prepared?
On Sept. 11, 2001, the unthinkable happened. Terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and in the skies over Pennsylvania. I clearly remember where I was. A co-worker and I were heading south on I-71 from Cleveland south to Columbus with the final stop to be Cincinnati. We didn't have the radio or our cell phones on as we were quite busy reviewing all of the items we had to accomplish in the other cities. Imagine our shock when we walked into the Columbus office around 11:30 a.m. and learned of the towers' collapse. Officials in all three of Ohio's Big C's were shutting the cities down and telling people to go home. We quickly went back to the car and, on the long drive back to Cleveland, listened in stunned silence to the endless reports of the day's tragic events.
Like many others, we watched television news, we tried to call friends in NYC, and we talked to our family members in Marietta and around the country, reassuring each other that we were safe. We watched many acts of courage and resilience and we wondered if our country would ever recover.
One man went to work at his job with the New York City Fire Department that morning, never imagining the responsibility that would be his within a few short hours. Dan Nigro had worked hard and risen through the ranks of the New York fire department. As the second-in-command, he knew well the operations of the department and its ability to protect the people of the city. He also knew the determination and dedication of the NYC firefighters to get the job done.
When the World Trade Center towers collapsed and claimed the life of the FDNY Chief, Nigro was quickly thrust into the role of leadership during the most difficult times in the history of NYC. As he said, "I found myself that afternoon thrust into the position ... at a time that was our darkest hour as a department, but also our proudest moment."
The Marietta Area Chamber is pleased to introduce this year's keynote speaker Chief of Department FDNY (ret.) Daniel Nigro at our 97th annual meeting dinner on March 12.
Year after year, the business community has gathered to hear a speaker and to recognize our fellow citizens who contribute so much to the rich fabric of our Mid-Ohio Valley. In checking with other chambers around Ohio, Marietta consistently ranks in the top five chamber meetings for attendance, beaten only by the metro areas. It is an evening to recognize the area's businesses. It is also an evening to honor men and women who give tirelessly to this community. We will be announcing the recipients of the Washington County of Cooperatives Agriculture Award, the Zonta Elizabeth L. Hadler Woman of the Year, the Gabe Zide Citizen of the Year and the MACC's Business Leader of the Year.
Tickets are $50 per person and include admittance to the social hour, dinner catered by Chartwells, the awards presentation and the keynote speaker. Held in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center on the Marietta College campus. This event is open to the general public. Call 373-5176 to make your reservation.
Since our founding as a board of trade in 1887, we continue to promote and speak for the interests of our area businesses. We hope to see you at our 97th annual meeting when we hear, first-hand, Dan Nigro's story.
Charlotte Keim, CCEO-AP, is president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, The Riverview Building, 100 Front St., Suite 200, Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on Opinion.