Bused home from Salt Lake City

A requirement of this leadership role in our National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors federation required my attendance and participation at our annual conference; held in a different top-notch convention locale every year.

We were alerted to the initial strike during our morning briefing. This tradition took place in our suite with some 35 of us from various regions in the state of Minnesota. We were suddenly faced with unknown changes this (momentarily) single event would have on our roles as industry leaders and representatives, and the welfare of our Manhattan and New York colleagues.

Our attendance at the pre-arranged performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was pushed-up and combined with other groups. We felt grateful to be alive, overcome in experiencing communal gathering and prayer, in-synch with their vocalized passion.

A difficult decision was made to end the Conference before the campaign and convention began. We were scared and saddened, concerned for the welfare of our country as we were temporarily united, and desperately seeking ways back to our loved ones in various parts of the country. Some of our group drove back home in the vehicles they arrived in, offering rides to others traveling the same direction. The ever-prepared and wealthier acquired new vehicles.

My contingent booked travel on a Greyhound bus, tolerating scheduled route stops along the way. Under these extra-ordinary circumstances, I had adjacent seats available to me for work area and sleep, offering conversation privacy when cellphone service was available with geographic and demand constraints.

To appease various groups, our government created Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and restarted a 20-year losing war in Afghanistan, finally taking a pause as of this late-September 2021 writing. I came-away with an improved understanding of preparedness, awareness, vulnerability, the diametrical regard of Americans, religious extremism, inter-Governmental agency self-imposed communication limitations, altered view of a 'world power', and most importantly with heartfelt gratitude of family to come home to.

Much about this topic, its effects have been immortalized, and significant actions taken. Really though -- what have we learned?

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