The News conducted a Web survey requesting comments on how Sept. 11, 2001, affected you personally and professionally. The following are readers’ thoughts:

1. What effect did Sept. 11 have on you personally?

“Though I live in California now, I used to live in New Jersey. The World Trade Center towers could be seen from my backyard. I was also a volunteer firefighter there. So, that fateful morning was very emotional for me. One year later, I still get choked up when I watch it on television or read about it. It's very painful. I hope our country never forgets.”
Joe Barbarotta, Sales Manager, Haldeman Inc., Los Angeles, CA

“I remembered watching Pearl Harbor during the holiday season, and realized each generation will have it's struggle, a time that we are unprepared for the next thing in our lives, the loss of innocent life, on a mass scale or a single life, the unity it brings forth, in one's beliefs and country. I think of my sons, and it scares me, but I'll go on with my faith, and that out of all bad comes the good, and a lot of good has come since.”
Karen Gery, Operations Manager, Gery Heating & Cooling, Pittsburgh, PA

“The events of Sept. 11 made me step back and take a much harder look at just how lucky Americans are to have freedom in everyday life activities.”
Mark Willingham, Service Technician, Aircond Corporation, Columbia, SC

“I lost no friend or relative. I didn't know any of the people who perished. But I cannot watch the replays of that murderous event without being driven to tears. I recently flew to Minnesota for the Wirsbo training and I must tell you that I looked very hard at each of the passengers that boarded the plane that I was traveling on. Specifically, I was looking for people that fit the profile of the murderers that crashed those planes. I will NEVER forget that day, and I will NEVER forget the faces of the evil people that committed this horrendous act.

“I was watching live coverage of the first attack when the second plane went in. Caught on tape. I think about the children that will not see their mothers or fathers ever again. I think about the husbands and wives that had their life partners taken away before it was time. I think about the Mom's and Dad's that had to bury their children. I think about the folks on the flight that went down in Pennsylvania, fighting to save their lives and the lives of countless others that would have perished.

“And most recently, I think about the people that would place the blame on America. The people who say that we should try to understand this act of mass murder. No sane person will EVER understand mass murder. We will never understand Hitler and we will NEVER understand Bin Laden and his ilk.

“Personally? I, like so many other Americans, have drawn a line in the sand. I have had enough, we know who has been conspiring and plotting to kill us. I will not play the PC game and condone the searching of ‘anyone as long as they are not of Middle Eastern decent.’ My homeland and way of life was attacked. War was declared on them by Islamic zealots. What is to stop one of these freaks from driving a car bomb into a school? What is to stop the same murderous crazies from walking into a crowded shopping mall and blowing themselves up?

“Oh, I got really ‘affected’ on September 11, 2001!”
Mark Hunt, Owner, Comfortable Home Technologies, Ballston Lake, NY

“I experienced deep sadness for the family and friends of those who lost their lives, in addition, of course, to those who perished by the cowardly acts of terrorism.”
David E. Rothacker, Bedford, OH

“I am still unemployed and I'm having a hard time getting work.”
Fotios Galanis, Electromechanical Tech HVACR, Brookfield, WI

2. What effect did it have on your company?

“Beyond each employee's personal feelings about Sept. 11, I don't think there was a ‘company- wide’ effect, except for a general feeling of malaise which passed after a few weeks.”
Joe Barbarotta, Sales Manager, Haldeman Inc., Los Angeles, CA

“Life held many crises after 9/11, my husband having cancer and a broken leg, new office, personal problems, but we have had the best year in sales than we have ever had in 28 years.”
Karen Gery, Operations Manager, Gery Heating & Cooling, Pittsburgh, PA

“The events of Sept. 11 caused a substantial effect on loss of customer base [and also] loss of revenue due to a slowing economy.”
Mark Willingham, Service Technician, Aircond Corporation, Columbia, SC

“I lost some of my workforce when a few of my guys were activated with the National Guard. Inconvenient at the worst, but mostly no effect.”
Mark Hunt, Owner, Comfortable Home Technologies, Ballston Lake, NY

“Business declined, but it was also due in part to an already declining economy.”
David E. Rothacker, Bedford, OH

3. What do you believe was the impact on the HVACR industry in general?

“Personally, I don't buy the statement that Sept.11 had a negative effect on the economy. I think the economy was already in the midst of a downturn. If anything, I have seen a greater resolve on the part of people in all businesses and industries to do everything they can to make sure it's going to be ‘business as usual.’ That's one of the great strengths of America and why we will never be defeated.”
Joe Barbarotta, Sales Manager, Haldeman Inc., Los Angeles, CA

“In general, I think that the industry has taken a very bad recession due to Sept. 11.”
Mark Willingham, Service Technician, Aircond Corporation, Columbia, SC

“Well, I lost a few of my men when they were called up to duty, as I am sure a lot of other companies did as well.”
Mark Hunt, Owner, Comfortable Home Technologies, Ballston Lake, NY

“Even with warmer temperatures in the North, spending is off.”
David E. Rothacker, Bedford, OH

“Employers were too afraid of further attacks on the U.S. and, in response, many decided not to expand their workforce.”
Fotios Galanis, Electromechanical Tech HVACR, Brookfield, WI

Publication date: 09/09/2002