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October 1, 2001

2 Min Read
Editorial: Finding a new normal

1001i9a.gifOn Monday, Sept. 10 we were in the midst of production of this issue of IMM. We were editing and writing stories, receiving photos, checking ads, and eyeing our printer's deadline on the calendar: Sept. 18. It's a routine the staff of IMM has been through almost 100 times before. 

The next day, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, that routine was shattered, and we stopped. The whole world stopped. Concentration vanished and perspective shifted. Our minds could not connect and grasp what our eyes were seeing. The World Trade Center was gone; the Pentagon severely damaged. More than 6000 lives were lost in an unfathomable, unparalleled criminal act. 

Our attention, concern, grief, and despair became focused on the victims in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Our hearts went out, and continue to go out, to the thousands of people here and around the world who lost friends and family in the attacks. Our sympathy was extended to Mike Raftus, one of IMM's salespeople, who is well known to many in the molding industry. He lost his cousin who was on the first plane to hit the World Trade Center. Our thoughts and best wishes were also extended to Modern Plastics magazine, which is based in offices just blocks from the Twin Towers. 

With each day we discovered other connections—distant and immediate—with people who survived or perished in the attacks. We learned of the loss of friends of friends, relatives of coworkers, spouses and partners of cousins and brothers and sisters. We learned of heroes and villains, and resurrected in each other a new sense of patriotism, pride, and unity that until Sept. 11 seemed to be waning. 

And, as is often the case with tragedies such as this one, after a time we were forced to look around and realize that although we had stopped to grieve, the world had gone on spinning. Molders still had orders to fill, moldmakers still had steel to cut, and we still had a magazine to publish. And so, slowly and reluctantly we returned to our routines, performing the familiar chores that somehow now feel different, more tenuous, less certain, and at times less significant. 

We've heard the calls for a return to normal, to exercise the well-known American resiliency and optimism, but the "normal" we knew expired on Sept. 11, and it is likely never to return. We carve out for ourselves now the new normal, with heavy hearts and a new and unwelcome fear. We are buoyed and encouraged, however, by the renewed sense of unity and closeness we feel with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers. Perhaps this hopeful unity will become a permanent part of our new lives. 

The Staff of Injection Molding Magazine 

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