This month many of us have reflected on the tragic events that took place 17 years ago on September 11, 2001.  For many, it was a day of fear and uncertainty as terror attacks were carried out across many cities in our great nation.

A few weeks ago, we held our annual UAMMI board retreat, which happened to fall on September 11.  As a result, during our activities we invited people to share where they were when they first heard the news and how it affected them.  Some were very close to the actual events and it was amazing to hear their stories of bravery and fortitude as they watched it unfold.  Most were far away from the events but were still deeply affected by them. Those at Boeing felt particularly sad to learn that Boeing airplanes were used in all of the attacks. “How could such a beautifully engineered marvel be used for so much destruction?”, they wondered.

Although the discussion was solemn, there was also talk about the great hope that many felt when they saw the military take to the air and sea to defend our country.  As those thoughts were shared, I reflected on how so many critical pieces of our country’s defense are made right here in Utah.  From the early missiles of Hercules and Thiokol, the F-35 composite structures of Northrup Grumman, to the composite rocket launchers made by NAMMO Composite Solutions and Advanced Composites, I felt a sense of pride for what is taking place here.

With the extensive advanced materials and manufacturing industry that we have in Utah, it is good to remember that many of these products are not just another part or device. They are parts that will be used to fortify our military and keep our country safe. I’m pleased to know that many of them are made with pride by good folks here in Utah who feel the same way.