On September 11, 2001, the employees of Nueces Electric Cooperative vividly remember where they were and what they were doing the morning America was attacked and forever changed. For a few weeks, the employees had planned a "Team Chili" where each employee would bring an ingredient or a side for a chili lunch.
Instead of comments on the aroma and delicious corn bread, conversations leaned towards memories of trips to New York, family members who lived in the area, and eyes glued to the break room TV watching the events of the day unfold with reports of heroism and death tolls.
For 14 years, the Co-op has continued the tradition of 9-11 Team Chili. It is a special day of reflection and employee comradery.
The recipe has stayed the same but it seems the chili never turns out quite the same each year. After all, it is the seasoning of life which has carried on this tradition. Different people put the ingredients together. Some like it hot, some like it mild. Some like beans, others don't. The green chili's maybe left in or omitted all together.
But it doesn't matter. The chili will always be delicious and it will continue to be a way we can come together as a Co-op family to honor and commemorate 9-11.