Akamai remembers death of co-founder on Sept. 11
At Akamai Technologies Inc. in Cambridge, Tuesday will begin the way every Sept. 11 since 2001 has begun, in a spirit of sorrow, pride and resolve. Employees here and at Akamai offices around the world will gather at the start of the work day to remember the company’s co-founder, Danny Lewin, one of the first victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
“It’s the anniversary we don’t look forward to,” said Akamai chief executive Paul Sagan. Still, the company never fails to commemorate it, with speeches and acts of community service.
Lewin, a former Israeli Army commando and graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, helped develop new mathematical formulas for speeding up Internet traffic. His work led to the creation of Akamai. It also helped to make possible today’s multimedia Web services, which stream movies and music to hundreds of millions of people around the world.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Lewin was killed on board American Airlines Flight 11 by one of the terrorists who commandeered the plane. The terrorists then flew the aircraft into the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Center. It was the first of four attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania that day.
Lewin’s death was a heartbreaking loss for those who knew him and a disaster for Akamai. But the company survived and thrived in the aftermath of the disaster. And company officials say they’ve made a priority of commemorating Lewin and his accomplishments.
“We remember Danny and talk to employees about Danny and tell stories from back in the day,” said Sagan. “We’re also going to name the park next to the headquarters in Danny’s memory tomorrow.”
In addition, Akamai employees are encouraged to participate in voluntary acts of community service during the work week. Employees at the Cambridge office will participate in a Red Cross blood drive and a clothing drive with the community group Year Up. They’ll also help out at the Greater Boston Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club in Cambridge.