September 11, 1997. September 11, 2001. 

September 11, 1997. I woke up, dressed for work. Walked into a bedroom much like the one pictured above. Sat down at the desk, and started my first day of work at Bob Abbate Marketing. It was day one of what has now become eight thousand three hundred ninety five days. That’s 23 years of building Bob Abbate Marketing. 23 years of doing what I love, with colleagues I love (“The Bamily”), for clients that inspire us to do our best each and every day. I am truly blessed.

September 11, 2001. I woke up, dressed for work. Drove to a business conference at Longshore in Westport, CT. I remember every detail of that morning. Stew Leonard Jr. was addressing the audience of local business folks. My pager went off. I blew it off. It went off again. Damn, not now. Then I noticed that others in the audience started standing up and walking out to the lobby area to respond to their pager messages. As I entered the lobby area, a TV there showed an image I will never forget. One of the World Trade Center towers was on fire. 19 years. Seems like yesterday.

So, every September 11th is bittersweet. Every year I try to strike the proper balance of commemoration and celebration. So, every year I start my day at Connecticut’s 9/11 Memorial. In Westport. And every year we find a way to celebrate the great firm that BAM has become, a firm that builds great brands, services great clients, and employs great people.

And so it will be today. We will remember the accomplishments of the last 23 years. And we will commemorate those lost on this day, 19 years ago. Bittersweet indeed. And so it goes.