Gone, but always remembered

December 1, 2001 By    

Turn the final page of your trusty, worn calendar and say goodbye to 2001 – if you can. As much as this nation wants to put the terror and tragedy of these past three months behind us, we will always cling to that historic turning point when life as we knew it forever shifted.

This holiday season is sure to lack the festive sparkle that customarily ushers out the old and anxiously greets the new. A rowdy midnight countdown in Times Square will do little to lift the spirits of nearby crews that continue to sift through the rubble all these weeks after the attacks. And what New Year dreams are left for the thousands who lost loved ones that bleak, mournful September morning?

Return to normal? How? We’re battling mounting fear and distrust sewn by faceless zealots bent on collapsing all that we hold dear. Because of their diabolical actions, getting on airplanes and opening mail make us fear for our lives.

Still, the collective good of the American people has forged a renewed sense of national pride to sustain us in our grief. Complete strangers from every state have pitched in to aid those most in need.

We’ve gained a long-overdue appreciation for the thousands of men and women who daily put their lives on the line as police officers, firefighters and rescue workers.

I also sense a commitment by many to seize each day for the blessings so often taken for granted. When did you last tell your spouse and children you love them? Will this year’s holiday gift exchange carry a deeper meaning for the loyal workers in your office? Will Old Glory continue to hang proudly from your shop, even as the pain and indignation subside in your community?

Business, too, will forever feel the impact. Before Sept. 11, the safety concerns in our industry centered on reducing or eliminating industrial accidents involving toxic substances. Now we must focus on the safety of all Americans from deliberate attempts to cause harm and destruction.

Because propane is a hazardous material, there is a high probability that our industry could be targeted for future terrorist activities. Propane companies across the country must anticipate the unthinkable to secure storage facilities and protect drivers, customers and communities from these threats. Every carrier must have a security plan in place, and security concerns must be included in all business decisions.

Welcome to the New Year.

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