Eight years ago today people had started their day at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and on a few planes. Some were commuting to work destinations and others were already at work. These were people that were working to feed their families, pay their bills, improve their lives. It is certain that, as you and I often do, they would pause in their work or travel to think of their loved ones and when they would see them next.

Among those thousands was an IT administrator that worked at a telecommunications company in one of the Trade Center towers. He had a support case with us that I and my colleagues had been working with him on. This was a case that we were never to resolve.

In 2001 I was working a “4x10” schedule of four 10 hour days, a Thursday through Sunday schedule. Tuesday morning was my weekend and so I was surprised to be woken by a family member calling and telling me to turn the TV on. I did that a few moments before the second plane hit.  That was where I was when it happened.

Following this we at Microsoft gave free support to anyone who was a victim or associated with them. To that end I spoke to various social workers, military personnel and businesses who were recovering their personal or business IT infrastructure over the following weeks. This was a minute fraction of the practical impact of the terrible personal tragedy that was multiplied thousands of times over in the lives of the survivors and families affected by the terrorist attack.

The practical portion of assisting people with their information technology was soon over but that personal impact remained and remains.

Let us take a moment of silence for the admin I was working with and the many others who were victims or affected by September 11th.