ISC East. New York. 9/11.

So the ISC East show in New York began today. Early on the foot traffic was a bit light (rainy weather could have contributed to this), but later in the day things picked up.

Some of the new product demos that stood out to me were NAPCO's iSee Video as well as Honeywell's Total Connect. Both got me to thinking about what the market might be for basic video surveillance without including alarms; or as Ken Weinstein, Senior VP program marketing, security and custom electronics, Honeywell, said, "There could be a market for people who want video before they'd consider an alarm."

I'll have more about the products I saw at the show in a future article/post, but for now I thought I'd share a little about my experience today in New York City. With today being the 6th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I didn't know quite what to expect with a security show in NYC on 9/11. Would it be "just another day," or would it feel over-hyped or somewhere in between? I had no idea.

Admittedly, as I got up and started the day, it seemed "pretty normal." Sure, I was thinking about 9/11, but as the day went along I found much of what was going on the show floor to be business as usual. Other than stopping for a moment of silence at lunch during an NBFAA meeting, there were few 9/11 reminders.

But in the late evening, that soon started to change as I found myself, along with a few other members of the security industry and press, walking toward Ground Zero, looking up at the Twin Tower light beams in the distance. For someone like me who hasn't been to NYC since 9/11, this was starting to feel like a big deal. For the first time today, I was feeling the magnitude of that gloomy anniversary.
When we arrived at Ground Zero, we walked around to what seemed like a makeshift memorial. I started reading some of the writings, but soon decided that I could only handle so much. It really was hard at times to make it through a few sentences without getting teary eyed.

Anyway, one thing that impacted me while looking at all the different tributes placed at this site was the sense of unity. I saw a sign showing the U.S. and Canadian flags together, saying "Side-by-Side." I also saw a page of 8.5"x11" paper with the following typed on it: "26 Russians were killed on 9/11. We will never forget."

But what I'll probably remember most was the parked fire engine in the nearby street. I could hear a firefighter talking on a microphone to a group of people in the street. He was describing to them a particularly tense moment on 9/11 when a fellow firefighter was telling him to "Run!" Apparently one of the towers was about to collapse. As this firefighter told his story, he stopped every now and then, overcome with emotion. At one point, after another long pause spent trying to regain his composure, he remarked. "I'm sorry. That's part of the story too."

-Greg

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