Twenty years have passed since the terrorist attacks that struck the United States on 11 September 2001, which took the lives of 2,977 victims and changed the world indelibly in the years since.
Julia Graham, Airmic’s CEO, shared her thoughts and recollections of 9/11, as America and the world remembers those terrible events in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.
“Twenty years on from 9/11, this anniversary stores up very personal memories for me, as I’m sure it does for many others,” Julia said.
“Most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing that day, as well as the shock and emotions felt at seeing the tragic events in New York and Washington, DC unfold on television screens,” she continued.
Julia described her memories of that day, speaking with New York colleagues caught up in the devastating attack on the World Trade Center.
“I stood with my Global CEO as the second tower was hit and colleagues on calls with contacts in the Towers suddenly had lines go silent,” Julia said.
“We hosted a series of briefings with colleagues who ran our New York, USA, and Global response - the experiences relayed by our New York team especially, will remain me for ever.”
The transformative events of 9/11 have had a lasting legacy, not just in personal terms, but also for the work of risk managers and insurance professionals, she explained.
“When we take the time to remember 9/11 and the people whose lives were taken or transformed that day, as risk professionals we will be reminded of and reflect again on the lessons learned. Across industry sectors, 9/11 transformed how we prepare for and respond to unimaginable threats and events,” Julia said.
“Thinking and practice on resilience has come a long way since 2001. We know that we must remain alert and agile at all times, continuously scan the horizon, and be rehearsed and prepared as risk professionals for “impossible” events - and to meet and counter the changing risk environment,” she added.
This article is an adapted version of an original interview with Strategic RISK, available here.