The early morning discussion was to center around what to place on pages 12, 14, and 16. Before managing editor Chris King could relay the list of possibilities, his office phone rang. It was service/maintenance and troubleshooting editor Barbara Checket-Hanks on the other line.

"Oh, yeah? … Really? … Wow! … Gotta go."

King had a perplexed look on his face as he hung up the receiver.

"A plane just crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York," he passed along.

It was the beginning of a very, very dark day in the United States. The day was Sept. 11, 2001.

Within minutes, more calls and e-mailed reports from other News editors came flowing in. Before I could say "What's going on here?", many Business News Publishing employees had jammed into the 10th floor conference room, eyes glued to the television set. The pictures from New York City and Washington, DC, as well as outside Pittsburgh, were horrific.

My thoughts quickly turned to news and legislation editor Greg Mazurkiewicz, who had flown into Washington, DC, two days prior. He was in the nation's capital for two reasons: to visit area contractors and to report on the Department of Energy's scheduled September 13 hearings regarding the proposed 12 SEER air conditioning and heat pump standard.

Thank goodness, before the day was over, Mazurkiewicz contacted us. (You can read all about Greg's memorable September 11 below.)

In truth, it was a day all Americans will never, ever forget. Nor should they. The terrorist attacks in Manhattan and on the Pentagon affected everyone's life, including every member of the hvacr community.

On page 1, we provide as much information as we could muster — in the short span of time before this week's pages had to get to the printer — about how this act of terrorism affected hvacr industry events, conferences, and contractors' lives.

Sadly, Norma Khan, manager of member services for the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association (PHCC), was a confirmed passenger on the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. Ms. Khan, who was traveling to PHCC's annual convention in Reno, NV, resided in Reston, VA, with her 13-year-old son.

Just know that in the weeks ahead, The News — in print and on our website ( — will be providing more coverage of the aftermath and its effect on the hvacr industry. By all means, if you have information to pass along — a possible convention cancellation or a close tie-in to September 11's disaster — e-mail, mail, fax, or phone your information to The News. Please leave a contact number or e-mail address, just in case we need to contact you directly.

As a side note, the day the terrorists attacked is the same day The News observed its 75th birthday. On Sept. 11, 1926, the Electric Refrigeration News was born. Seventy five years later … well, the world has certainly changed.