Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Different 9/11 Story

The greatest security filing cabinets in the world.

I'm going to tell you a story about 9/11 that you haven't heard. It's not about lives lost, or anything emotional unless you count pride as an emotion. It's a story about my dad, and the design he created that survived the attack on the Pentagon.

My dad in an engineer who designs locks, safes, vaults, and government security furniture. So picture this:

It's September 11, 2001 and a plane has just crashed into the Pentagon building. Smoke and fire ensue. Panic erupts. And a cascade of papers confetti the grounds as classified documents scatter from desks, offices, and file cabinets; papers that were never meant to be seen by people outside the Pentagon's walls.

A group quickly began gathering the scraps of debris littering the grounds. They sorted information and catalogued documents as they collected the papers spilled from security drawers.

But not all the cabinets were split open in the attack. The security filing cabinets my dad designed and built withstood a plane crashing into the building. They sustained damage; there were dings and dents galore. But the locks and frame held. The top secret papers inside were still secured. The filing cabinet held together so well, in fact, that they finally had to use the jaws of life to open them.

There are so many smaller stories surrounding the tragic events of that day. I like to think of this one because it provides a sense of pride in my dad's creations rather than the overwhelming sadness that is inevitable when we remember September 11th. It's just one more story.


  1. That is supremely cool, Juliann.

    And symbolic, I think. We were all filing cabinets under pressure that day.

    1. Thanks, Kristan. It's much better when he tells the story. Naturally, his products have to undergo all sorts of testing such as being dropped from several stories, being blown up, etc.. But this was a true test and his designs passed with flying colors.