Boeing holds a memorial for three who died in attack

  • Thursday, September 13, 2001 9:00pm
  • Business

Associated Press

Boeing Co. workers throughout the world observed a moment of silence Thursday afternoon for the victims of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

The observance coincided with a memorial service for three of their colleagues who were traveling on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon.

The employees, all with Boeing’s space and communications businesses headquartered in Southern California, were Dong Lee, 48; Ruben Ornedo, 39; and Chandler Keller, 29, Boeing spokeswoman Barbara Murphy confirmed.

For employees working at Boeing’s commercial airplane offices, news of their deaths was the latest in a series of blows.

First, they heard there was a terrorist attack. Then they heard jetliners were used. Finally, they heard the worst: Two Boeing 757s and two Boeing 767s, the very airplanes they make, had been used in a brutal attack that may have killed thousands of Americans.

At Boeing’s massive factory in Everett where 767s are assembled, Ralph Ruiz said employees were quiet at first, then angry.

"We build this product, and we feel it’s a great product, but when it’s in the wrong hands, like anything else, it can be used against you," Ruiz said. "There’s a lot of anger, and really we don’t know who to put the anger to."

Like much of the country, Ruiz said employees at Boeing also were stunned to learn that terrorists had been able to circumvent U.S. military intelligence and airport security checks.

"They took our safety blanket away," he said.

Charles Grieser, who began working at Boeing on the 767 mock-up in 1978, said he couldn’t stop thinking about the children whose parents were killed in the blast.

"What about all the children that were in day care yesterday — nobody to come pick them up?" he asked. "You drop off your kids at day care and they expect you to come and get them."

Boeing spokesman Peter Conte said the company was focusing its efforts on helping government officials investigate the attacks by providing all information it could about the airplanes. Boeing will work with other aviation companies to improve safety, but Conte said there is little an airplane maker can do to prevent such an attack.

"Any airplane could have been used in this capacity," he said.

Ruiz said workers’ anger was tempered by mourning for the victims and their families. But he said their pride in building airplanes had not dwindled.

"We build a good product, and it does a good thing," Ruiz said. "And it’s not an airplane (that did this). It’s the people who are kind of warped."

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Business

Gillian Montgomery weighs a bag of bird seed at Wild Birds Unlimited on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Bird and cat lovers flock to this Everett bird supply store

Bring on the birds! Locally owned Wild Birds Unlimited store can help turn your backyard into a “seedy” restaurant.

Brielle Holmes, 3, points to a stuffed animal that she likes at Wishes toy store on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023 in Alderwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Local toy store chain got its start as kiosk at Everett Mall

Wishes now operates eight stores, including three in Snohomish County. Its Alderwood mall store is a roomy 7,000 square feet.

Manager Rika Rafael, left, visual merchandiser April Votolato, center, and assistant manager and events coordinator Jaidhara Sleighter stand at the entrance of East West Books & Gifts’ new location Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, in downtown Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘We were meant to be here’: East West Books Gifts reopens in Edmonds

Located in Seattle before the pandemic, the new store offers books and other resources on meditation, spirituality and yoga.

Members and supporters of the Snohomish and Island County Labor Council gather on Oct. 10 at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center in Everett. The the Affiliate Labor Champion Award was given to the International Association of Machinists 751. Wes Heard, center, accepted the award on behalf of IAM 751. Photo credit: Snohomish and Island County Labor Council.
Snohomish & Island County Labor Council honors labor leaders

The labor council’s annual Champions Dinner recognized two local labor leaders and a machinists union last month.

Two students walk along a path through campus Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. The college’s youth-reengagement program has lost its funding, and around 150 students are now without the money they need to attend classes. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Fewer students enroll at state’s public colleges, study says

Enrollment has picked up since the pandemic, but the lag threatens the state’s quest for education equity.

Michelle Roth is a registered nurse in the Providence Emergency Department on Sunday, January 23, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Health career job fair to be held Thursday in Everett

More than 14 health care related employers will attend the Snohomish County/Workforce Snohomish event.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
State gets $1 million grant to boost small-business exports

Washington’s Department of Commerce will use the federal grant to help small companies increase their export business.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Grant to help fund health care program at Edmonds College

  1. The $220,000 grant from Career Connect Washington aims to improve the college’s patient care technician program.

Trader Joe’s customers walk in and out of the store on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Trader Joe’s to move store to Everett Mall, application says

Trader Joe’s could move from its current address — with a tight squeeze of a parking lot — to the former Sears location at Everett Mall.

Starbucks workers and allies participate in a strike and picket organized by Starbucks Workers United during the company's Red Cup Day Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at a location near Pike Place Market in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Starbucks workers in Everett, Marysville join national strike

Hundreds of Starbucks union workers at 15 locations across Washington joined the one-day strike.

Summit Everett, a rock climbing gym, in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. Summit will move into the former Grand Avenue Marketplace space, a retail location that has been vacant for five years. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett climbing gym to close, move to new downtown site

Summit Everett, a Rucker Avenue anchor, will open a new facility next year one block west on Grand Avenue.

A whiteboard inside Richie del Puerto's auto tech classroom at Sno-Isle Technical Skills Center on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Explore apprenticeship programs at free Everett job fair Nov. 16

The Sno-Tech Skills Center job fair features 30 apprenticeship programs from construction to health care.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.