Robert Thornton, President and CEO,IDEA
September 11 started as beautiful, bright and sunny Indian summer day. For many of us, it is an indelible memory, part of our collective unconscious, like the day JFK was assassinated or night Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon. We all remember where we were, glued to the TV as the second jet decimated the World Trade Center. Seeing the mighty Twin Towers tumbling to dust still evokes strong feelings and emotions. The world changed on that day.
For me, every year on 9/11, I’m reminded of my friend and colleague Dick Morgan of Con Edison Steam. He answered the call that day, driving directly to the Mayor’s Emergency Response Center at the WTC to help coordinate the emergency response for the utilities, even though he had officially “retired” some months before. He gave his life that day to the city, the citizens and especially the first responders for whom he cared deeply over the decades he dedicated to running the world’s largest district steam system in Manhattan. Dick believed in safety and preparation. He understood the complexities, challenges and intricacies of the massive utility infrastructure that underpins New York City. But mostly, he cared about people. He treated all in his path with dignity, respect and kindness. He mentored scores of people during his tenure at Con Ed, and all of us who had the privilege of knowing, or working with Dick Morgan, are the better for it. Underneath the 9/11 Memorial, there is a small tribute to our friend.
The world needs more Dick Morgan’s.