Friday, April 20, 2012

A Meeting I Did Not Attend

The window was completely blown out.  The desk was upside down and the legs were splintered.  The small round conference table was blown up against the wall smashing two of the chairs around it.Paper was everywhere. The walls were peppered with shards and bits of glass from the windows. There were bloody hand prints on the walls next to the office, they led down the hallway.

I was looking at the room because I was the Agency's Emergency Coordinator.  A job nobody had wanted, but one I was relieved of the next day so people better situated to help, could take over. But that morning I was there looking for two employees that were unaccounted for.  We found one safe later and the other had been already transferred to a hospital.  A fireman and I search every room until another ranking fireman ran me out and sent him on to another task.

The room I described had special significance for me.  Up until 8 a.m. that morning  I was scheduled to be in a meeting at that room at that table at 9:00 that morning.  But the test company representative had made an agreement with the head of the division the night before and had gone home early.  So both the division head and I were at the main office doing other things when the bomb went off.  Five minutes latter we were downtown counting employees at the designate out of office emergency meeting place and making sure our people got medical help.  Then I was headed into the building to find the two not accounted for.

That was on April 19, 1995.

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