Today, KTM Solutions focuses on mechanical engineering, with specialties in lift devices and analysis services. But our roots are in aerospace engineering, as our founders have their background in Fortune 500 aerospace companies. That's where Paul Kumler, PE, was working at the time of the September 11th attacks in 2001.
With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this year, Paul, one of KTM's founders, wrote a piece reflecting on his memories of 9/11 and the days that followed, when he worked as part of a team to redesign flight deck doors, increasing aircraft safety and security in order to prevent future use of commercial aircraft as weapons.
Memorial events and first-responder parades brought memories of 9/11/2001 to the forefronts of many people’s minds last month. When those memories came to mind for him, Paul says, “it was just like it happened yesterday.”
Unity in Crisis
One of the points frequently brought up in memories of September, 2001, is the unity that many in the United States shared in the attacks’ aftermath. As Paul put it in his reflections, “all of us became New Yorkers on September 12.”
He and the engineers he worked with joined together to develop a more secure flight deck door and cockpit quickly and safely. More broadly, despite political debate and uncertainty about the future, Americans came together in caring about their shared home, with many people looking for ways they could help in New York City or in their own communities.
Twenty years later, we find ourselves in the middle of another crisis, facing a pandemic that hit as Americans were already grappling with ever growing polarization.
How can we find unity here and now? As businesses, how can we contribute to a healthy society?
As in 2001 (and always), it begins with caring about one another. So far in the pandemic, businesses have had to learn to adjust—to remote or hybrid work environments, to supply chain shortages and delays, to changing health recommendations. But hopefully beyond that, as after 9/11, we’ve all learned to prioritize health and wellbeing and to value the people around us. Whether employees, customers, vendors, or anyone else, healthy relationships are the most important goal.
As we remember past harms and deal with current ones, let’s continue to build stronger relationships, and move forward together.