|Medford, NJ: Tuesday, September 11, 8:45 a.m.—The sky was the
color it only achieves in autumn, deep blue and with an endless ceiling.
A stray wisp of cloud floated above browning, thinning trees. An hour and
15 minutes by Metroliner to the north, the sky looked the same over Manhattan.
An hour and 45 minutes to the south, similar conditions prevailed in DC.
The workday was only starting at Information Today, Inc. (ITI). Cars
arrived in the parking lot. Computers chimed as they powered up. The coffee
brewed. A busy day lay ahead. Then my cellphone rang with news of a "terrible
accident" in New York. And thus an otherwise normal day suddenly became
one that I will always remember exactly where I was, the color of the sky,
and that lilting chime of Windows, Millennium Edition, opening up on my
All of us at ITI join the world in expressing our empathy for the injured,
our grief over the countless dead, our sympathy to the families and friends
of those who like us only went to work that day, our outrage at the human
indecency we witnessed, our applause for the heroes who have labored in
New York and Washington, our support of the country's leaders, and our
resolve to weather whatever it is we need to bear in the days, weeks, months,
and years ahead.
All things that we thought were so important only a week before have
been jogged back into what is perhaps only their proper perspective. Yet
now, more than ever, the information community has a job to do—indeed many
It is you who will now be called to the front lines to help in rebuilding
the communications infrastructure of Wall Street, develop and enhance the
free world's intelligence knowledge base, work on security and encryption
technologies, and handle your own organization's new information requirements.
It has been many years since we have been drawn together in a common
cause. Let us take as our example the nonpartisan model that Congress has
given us. Let us put away what are clearly now our insignificant squabbles
over issues that pale in comparison to the common challenge that we now
We at ITI plan to do everything in our power to focus our coverage of
the information landscape on the priorities that you will soon be facing.
When does life get back to normal? As some speculate, perhaps never.
But as shock, horror, fear, and terror pass through grief, anger, and remorse
for what we might havedone, let us all emerge resolved to do whatever needs
to be done now.
Dick Kaser is Information Today, Inc.'s vice president of content.
His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.