REMEMBERING SEPTEMBER 11 — Picking Up the Pieces
Stone didn’t live to see his professional dream realized, but it has been fulfilled. On July 1, Odyssey Press moved into a larger, true manufacturing facility in Gonic, NH. The company plans to dedicate a flag pole in Stone’s memory.
At local Dover High School, a scholarship fund has been started in his name. Criteria includes character, a good work ethic inside and outside school, and a good sense of humor—all Stone trademarks.
Still, Parker did not relish the thought of the one-year anniversary. “A lot of positive acts came out of (September 11) that showed there is a lot of humanity left in the United States and the world,” he says. “The price we paid to find that out was very dear.”
The first shift, about 50 employees, was going about business as usual at The Fitch Group (130 Cedar St.), a general commercial printer that also does financial printing and research reports. Their building was 100 yards away from the South Tower, separated by only a parking lot.
John Fitch, president of the company, was running late and commuting on the Gowanus Expressway. While talking to someone at his office, the second plane struck.
“The office didn’t seem too disturbed (after the first plane hit),” Fitch relates, then believing a small plane had hit the tower. “After the second plane hit, someone had presence of mind to evacuate the building.”
With the skeletal remains of the World Trade Center looming in the background, bindery gear sits covered in debris and soot from the fallen buildings neighboring financial printer The Fitch Group.
The Fitch Group, which had offices on the 11th and 12th floors, as well as the basement, was able to account for all of its employees, but collateral damage was considerable. The north side of the building was “blown out,” according to Fitch. A blanket of ash was everywhere. Steel beams from the crumbled towers impaled the roof. The company was able to rescue computer hard drives containing critical customer information, and some personal belongings were retrieved.