The Burning Twin Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, September 11, 2001
Do you remember what were you doing on September 11, twelve years ago? Today is the twelve years anniversary of the most heinous and perverted crime in 21st century in the US- The terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center In New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Exactly twelve years ago, I was still working for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I remember clearly what I was doing and how I felt afterward that day. Depressed and frustrated that I can not do much of what happened that historic day.
That morning in September 11, 2001, The Office of New Drug Chemistry, Center of New Drugs had a joint meeting with representatives of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PHARMA) at the Hilton Hotel in Gaithersburg, MD. At about 9:20AM, we received an announcement that the meeting is canceled and we can go home, since the World Trade Center in New York was burning. All of the attendees went to the hotel lobby and the TV was announcing the news. I felt sick, depressed but helpless to see the burning WTC building((see photo above). Later, I learned that the Pentagon in Washington DC was also bombed and another plane crashed in the field somewhere in Southern Pennsylvania. Later I also found out that this United Airline plane was intended for the White House. Had it not been for the courageous heroics of several passengers, the White House would have suffered the same fate as the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The most heinous crime of the century produced thousands of burnt victims. Two drugs in my Division, Sulfamylon and Silvadene, approved for the treatment of burns were out of supply.
A chemistry manufacturing supplement has to be approved to manufacture more of these ointments in a new facility. This required a review by the chemist, an inspection of the facility by a field inspector, my approval as the chemistry team leader plus the paper work by the project manager. The drugs are needed immediately, so we have to do an expedited review of the manufacturing supplement. It took us only 12 hours to approve the new facility and the review of the chemistry, manufacturing and control submission. This review normally will take at least one month to three months depending on the availability of the field inspector and the schedule of the review chemist.
In December, 2001, the four members of my review team received a special cash award and recognition award from FDA management for our work on expediting review of two drugs, Sulfamylon and Silvadene.. Of my more than a dozen awards I had, this one was the most appreciated. I felt that I have done my job as a public servant and had helped the victims of the terrorist attack in a timely manner.
The photo above was the first picture I saw on television the morning of September 11, 2001. I will never forget that day as long as I live.
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If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!