A noble effort and a noble cause

Let's resolve to forge ahead, come what may, in endeavors that we know to be noble. Just like the heroes of September 11 did.

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Let's resolve to forge ahead, come what may, in endeavors that we know to be noble. Just like the heroes of September 11 did.

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Patrick McLaughlin is Chief Editor of Cabling Installation & Maninenance.
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In this space in our October issue, I did not focus on, and in fact did not even mention, the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. It was really a snap decision on my part. The editorial that ran in October was already written by the 11th, although I could have replaced it at that point. But whatever had been said in that space would have been written a day or two after the attacks, to be read by you nearly a full month after the fact. I was shaken by that infamous day's events to say the least, and wondered with serious concern what else was in store for this country and its citizens in the days and weeks ahead.

Then the weekend following the 11th, President Bush told the country to go back to business as usual-or as close to usual as it ever would be again. So, that's what we did. I decided that it would be business as usual in the pages of our October issue. Here at PennWell, the company that publishes Cabling Installation & Maintenance and other business-to-business magazines, an executive decision was made to go ahead with the annual Cabling Installation Expo. Held in conjunction with BICSI's Cabling Workshop, the Expo kicked off on September 18. Slowly but steadily, this entire nation has picked itself up and returned to the everyday practices that have kept it a world superpower for so long.

But of course, thousands of Americans did not, and will not, return to their jobs, their lives, their families. That reality hit my employer, PennWell, on a scale infinitely more significant than deciding whether or not to host a cabling exposition in mid-September. Several contributors to the PennWell publication Fire Engineering, and to its conference, The Fire Department Instructors Conference, perished while performing rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on September 11. These individuals were professional firefighters who cared so much about their profession that they educated colleagues, through the print publication and the annual conference, so that the country might be a safer place for victims of fire. Little did they know on the morning of September 11 that they had extinguished their last blaze, written their last article, instructed their last seminar.

PennWell has chosen to respond to this tragic loss by establishing the Fire Engineering Courage and Valor Foundation, the income from which will be awarded to a firefighter (or the firefighter's family) who has exhibited courage and valor during a rescue operation in the preceding year. The annual award will be given in honor of all firefighters who gave their lives on September 11. A full explanation of the foundation and its goals is on page 77 of this month's issue.

A few days after September 11 was not the right time for me to fill this space with my thoughts about what our nation is going through. Now is the right time. Many of you have family members in the service who are at the forefront of the military effort. Others are physically close to Ground Zero and look every day at a New York City skyline changed forever. And of course, some of you lost people close to you on that tragic day. But this country has responded, my employer has responded to its own loss, and no doubt you have responded to however the terrorist attacks have affected you.

At this time of year, it is common for us to look back at the past 12 months and make resolutions for the year ahead. This year, let's resolve to forge ahead, come what may, in endeavors that we know to be noble. Just like the heroes of September 11 did.

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