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A Letter from Our CEO on Remembering 9-11, 20 Years Later

A Letter from our CEO on remembering 9-11

Every year on 9/11, Berkshire Grey CEO Tom Wagner shares a letter internally with the entire team. This year for the 20th anniversary we asked if we could share his letter with a larger audience. Here is Tom’s letter. 


Tomorrow is 9/11. 

Please take time to pause for a moment and reflect.

On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four commercial airplanes and successfully deployed three of them as weapons — two of them against the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the third against the Pentagon.  The fourth, Flight 93, was bound for the capital and was instead brought down in Pennsylvania by the heroic acts of the passengers and crew on board, all of whom were killed.

As a result of these terrorist attacks, approximately 3,000 people were killed and many more were wounded.  

It is a day that we should not forget as time passes. We should not forget the lives lost and lives taken, nor should we forget the many acts of heroism that occurred as we struggled through the event (and after).  

I will leave it to you to decide exactly what the remembrance means to you. However, I would suggest that the event evoke some response within you. It is not just a note on a calendar; it is an event to recall, an event to think about, and an event to feel.  

For me, I think about the events of the day and those impacted directly, including victims, first responders, and everyone who helped on that day and in the aftermath. I also give thanks that we continue to live in a country where fundamental rights are protected and supported, where the prospects for my children are generally positive in the same fashion that my prospects were generally positive, and where we as a company can have the luxury of working very hard to create positive economic impact with technology rather than fighting for (what we consider to be) basic rights. We can probably agree that, as a country, we have a few items we need to work on and can improve.  However, irrespective of any such items, 9/11 was an attack on all of us and a day I will not forget. I’m glad I live in the United States, proud of our country, and thankful for all that we have.

There are obviously better articulations of the events of 9/11 and better articulations of what the event might mean to you. If you are so inclined, I would encourage you to take a few moments and seek these out. Please also take some time to remember.

Thank you.

— Tom

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