9/11: the promise we’re trying to honor

Ground Zero
Photo: Alex Towle

As a company, Risk Waters was 14 years old on the day it lost nearly a tenth of its workforce in the World Trade Center attacks.

A mix of nationalities, some were based in New York—others had traveled from London. All of them are remembered, and missed: Sarah Ali Escarcega, Oli Bennett, Michelle du Berry Beale, Paul Bristow, Neil Cudmore, Mel De Vere, Elisa Ferraina, Amy Lamonsoff, Sarah Prothero, David Rivers, Laura Rockefeller, Karlie Rogers, Simon Turner, Celeste Victoria, Joanna Vidal, Dinah Webster.

Twenty years on from the devastation wrought that day, we set out to honor our colleagues by building an enduring memorial, sharing memories from the loved ones of staff who lost their lives, as well as their colleagues and those involved in the company’s response.

We have often said we wouldn’t forget our friends and colleagues, and we wanted to live up to that promise—we hope we have. In doing so, we hope we have also preserved something of our company’s history.

Anthony Malakian, the current editor of WatersTechnology, along with Duncan Wood, editorial director of Waters and Risk.net, spearheaded the project. Tony’s beautiful reflection on the impact the attacks had on the company, reflecting the deep sense of loss, collective and individual, draws on conversations with colleagues of those who died. But it is also a story of collective hope, of how the company endured, and where it is today.

To the families who lost loved ones, from everybody at the company, we offer our deepest respect and sympathy. To former colleagues who wrote, some for the first time, on their memories of that day and its aftermath, our heartfelt thanks for being a part of the project, and for helping us reach out to family members.

We did our very best to get in touch with every family member: trying phone numbers and email addresses two decades old in some cases, calling employers, and scouring social media. The last thing we wished to do is intrude on private grief; but we did want to make good on our promise never to forget our friends and colleagues. We are indebted to the September 11 UK Families Support Group for their immensely kind help.

If our message didn’t reach you, from the bottom of our hearts, we are sorry. But the project is intended to be a permanent memorial; please, if you’d like to contribute, don’t hesitate to get in touch: Tom.Osborn@risk.net // +44 207 316 9965. We also welcome all and any feedback on the project, from those who worked with or knew our staff.

Below, we list in full tributes from family members, reflections from colleagues. David Osborn, who led the UK Metropolitan Police’s family liaison teams on 9/11, also offers a reflection.

Jon Lloyd, managing production editor, and Alex Krohn, pool editor, who were both working as young subeditors at the time of 9/11, and, along with Duncan, lost friends and colleagues in the attacks, are owed a huge debt for thanks for their work on the project, which included commissioning a beautiful original series of images of the reflection pools at the World Trade Center.

Family remembrances

Oliver Bennett, by his mother

Melanie de Vere, by her sister

Simon Turner, by his wife

Sarah Ali, by her sisters

Karlie Rogers, by her father

Neil Cudmore, by his father

Amy Lamonsoff, by her sister

Laura Rockefeller, by Pauline Coutts

Former colleagues

Celine Connell, former publishing director and board director

Tony Gibson, former publishing director and board director

Nat Knight, former divisional managing director

Peter Field, founder and former chief executive and chair

David Osborn, UK Metropolitan Police family liaison co-ordinator

This series of articles is not the first time we have written about the colleagues we lost; in 2001, Risk magazine and Waters magazine published tributes to those who died. We reproduce those tributes here.

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