The Cosmopolitan Review 5/19

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 5/25/2011, 4:23 p.m.

As my long-time readers know, every now and then we have to step back and reflect for a moment on the social issues of the day. Controversy continues to follow the death of Osama bin Laden-was the United States, under the watchful eye of the Obama administration, correct in taking bin Laden out?

Upon hearing the news of his death, my first reaction was to think of what it must have been like for the Navy SEALs-how intense it must have been entering into the enemy's territory. They couldn't have known what to expect once they entered the compound. Imagine the amount of courage, bravery and true grit it must have taken to go head-to-head with the man who has led the terrorists in terrorizing the world. Do any of us really know what it's like to barge into a house where the people inside may be strapped with mega-artillery? I'm shivering at the thought.

My next thought was of 9/11. I clearly remember the day-I was working at Ogilvy & Mather as a strategic planner. The duty of the strategic planning department is to be the communication link between the consumer and the creative department.

You see, Ogilvy believes in truth in advertising. Their aim is to create ads that resonate with the consumer, which is achieved by learning about the consumers' relationship with the product-that was my job. This is how brands are created. A brand is something that, if you walk into a store to buy it and the store is sold out, you don't buy an alternative-you walk out and go to another store that has the exact product (the brand) you are looking for. There are no substitutes. The brand is part of your life, your everyday existence. Know any products like that in your home?

Anyway, we somehow heard the news that the World Trade Center had been hit. We immediately ran to the television. There we sat in silence as we watched the towers collapse. At that moment, the world changed forever. For the rest of the week, like everyone else, I sat glued to the TV.

There are four things I remember most from that time. I remember the people who were jumping out of the windows of the Twin Towers to escape the flames and the people running for their lives up Centre Street with a big, voluminous cloud of white smoke ready to engulf them at any moment if they didn't run fast enough.

I remember a gentleman reporting that, as he led a group of people down the stairs, they passed a group of firemen running up the stairs. They had barely made it to the ground floor and out the door when the building suddenly collapsed; there was no way the firemen made it out alive.

Finally, I remember something that brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it: a young woman's last phone call to her mother. All she had a chance to say was, "Mom, take care of the kids." That was it. There are many sad stories-I'm sure we all know a few.