Friday, February 19, 2010

Response to Yesterday's Attack Offers Another Reason to Have Pride in Austin

On this day, I cannot imagine writing a blog other than about the attack made yesterday on an Austin office building on Hwy 183, which is a building that I pass by every morning and evening when I drive to our Austin office. It came as a complete shock to my wife and I yesterday as we were preparing to drive to work. Now I am not writing this blog because I wish to give the perpetrator of this violent act any more media attention than he already has received, so I will not mention his name or his motivation here. Instead, I want to take a few moments to share how I was reminded of what an amazing city we have in Austin. I am proud to call Austin my home and my place of business.

Yesterday morning at 9:56am, a four-seater plane dove at full speed into the Echelon I building in Northwest Austin, a location that houses offices for the Internal Revenue Service. Two bodies have been recovered from the crash site, with one assumed to be the man who intentionally committed the criminal act. While there were a couple of other serious injuries, most of the 200 employees who were inside the building as the plane struck managed to escape without significant problems.

I am sure that more stories of bravery and kindness will emerge over the next couple of days, but one of the first heroes to be recognized is Robin Dehaven. He was on his way to work when he saw the plane strike the building. He pulled over and ran to see what he could do to help.
Robin's efforts possibly saved lives, as he helped four women and a man down from a second story room that was filled with smoke.

The residents of Austin, and Texans in general, are ready to help out one another in times of crisis. We take pride in our city and the work that we do here. Therefore, I have no legal stories or advice to offer today. I just want to say "thank you" to Mr. Dehaven and the many others of you who approached the aftermath of these events with strength and a devotion to our great town.

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