Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stories of New Growth

Ten years ago, tragedy torched the heart of NYC and sent shock waves rippling around the country and the world.  But, life is resilient, and from that devastation sprung thousands if not millions of stories of new growth and hope.

My favorite story is about Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial firm that occupied four floors in the Twin Towers and lost all of its employees who were in the office that day, 658 of the 960 total employees.  The CEO and Chairman, Howard Lutnick was late to the office that morning because he had taken his son to his first day of kindergarten.

New York (AP) article states:
"My goal after 9/11 was to take care of the families of the people we lost, and that was the most important thing," Lutnick said. That translated into a big financial commitment — 25 percent of Cantor's profits for five years were set aside to be distributed to the families, which in the end amounted to $180 million. Their health care costs were to be covered for 10 years. And the company marked every Sept. 11 as a day for charity, a day when every dollar made would be given to good causes. 
With a new sense of purpose, Lutnick and the remaining employees of Cantor Fitzgerald have rebuilt the company and it is stronger than ever with a total of 1500 employees.   Tomorrow Cantor Fitzgerald will recognize the day by donating all of it's profit to charity as they have every year since the tragedy and as for Lutnick himself, he will spend the morning putting his kids on the bus to school, as he does every day in a small personal rite that reminds him of his own luck in surviving.


  1. A member of my college class of '75, John Schwartz, died with his Cantor colleagues that day. May his soul rest in peace.

  2. I would hope that knowing that his colleagues have worked so hard to support the family he left behind would help his soul rest in peace. It makes my soul more peaceful just knowing about their efforts.