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Victor Anderson

September 11 – A Letter From the Editor

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Ten years is a long time. It represents approximately 25 percent of the average person's working life. Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt were unknowns a decade ago, and Michael Jordan was still mesmerizing fans in the NBA, although by 2001 he had made the move from Chicago to Washington. Ten years ago Enron was one of the most respected energy trading houses on the planet, WorldCom hadn't even begun its spectacular accounting implosion, not many people outside the US knew about or cared what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did, and Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns were still two of Wall Street's most iconic firms.

And yet it seems like yesterday that the world changed forever at 8.46 a.m. on that crystal-clear Tuesday morning in downtown Manhattan. It was a day in the US that echoed much of the collective shock felt by the British public in the early hours of Sunday 21 August 1997, as news spread about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, although the September 11 attacks directly affected far more people on a truly global scale.

The WatersTechnology staff have, naturally, discussed the events of that day, given Waters' poignant association with September 11, even though our youngest staff member hadn't even started high school at the time. But the families of the 16 Risk Waters staff members who lost their lives that day, will find little consolation in the knowledge that, as a group, we have spoken about their loved ones, and, while we might not know them, they have been in our thoughts in the lead up to the tenth anniversary of the day their lives were turned upside down.

On early Thursday morning, as I was readying myself to leave the house and make my way to work, I briefly watched a BBC interview with Margaret (Maggie) Owen, the mother of Melanie de Vere, one of the Risk Waters "16". For me, the interview "particularized" for the first time in years the emotional devastation of those caught up in the attacks, poignantly conveyed by a mother longing for her daughter, about whom people still talk.

In the days and weeks following "that Tuesday", resolutions were made and "bucket lists" compiled, but as is so often the case after an emotionally charged episode, we find it all too easy to slip back into normality, fixating on the trivialities of the day-to-day grind, blissfully ignorant of the bigger picture, revealed fleetingly during those flashes of intense, yet infrequent, introspection.

Perhaps now, on the tenth anniversary of that dreadful day, it is time to revisit those resolutions and actually eat with the good cutlery rather than just talking about it? Perhaps now is the time to follow through on those plans to climb that mountain, to serve in that soup kitchen during the festive season, and to enhance those relationships with our significant others?

From all of us at WatersTechnology, to all of you: We're thinking of you at this time.

Victor Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Waters and WatersTechnology.com


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