Friday, September 11, 2009
September 11th will live in every American’s heart. A beautiful, sunny autumn morning; which turned into one of the darkest days our nation will ever know. Our safe nest is now a memory.
On September 11, 2001 I was in Dallas on a business trip. I remember watching the Today show in the hotel room, as I got ready for a day packed full of meetings. The shock of watching a plane go into the tower was surreal. I scurried to the breakfast area and joined a crowd watching as the next plane slammed into the other tower. Among total strangers, I watched horrific history being made. We sobbed.
Throughout the day, CNN was kept on at the office. I knew my first phone call had to be to my 19 year old son, who had just enlisted in the United States Air Force two years earlier. Mom Tears rolled as my son told me he was packed and ready to go.
Gulp. Pride. Gulp.
Around 11am on September 13th, the U.S. Department of Transportation allowed national airspace to reopen. I was at the gate, waiting to board a plane back to DC. Two Middle-Eastern men sat down at the gate. One by one, passengers went to the desk, whispering to the attendants. I sat with a co-worker and we spoke quietly that all we wanted was to go home. We boarded the plane. The two Middle-Eastern men boarded the plane. I heard crying in the seats around me. At least 60% of the passengers removed their carry-on bags and exited the plane. Security boarded and showed the two men off the plane. From my window seat, I watched every piece of luggage unloaded and taken back into the airport for security. Moments later, police entered the plane with dogs and we were told to remain seated (at this point the plane was about empty). Luggage was reloaded, the police and their dogs exited. The pilot came over the intercom and announced he made the decision to have the two men escorted off the plane and if anyone is uncomfortable with this choice, they could speak with him personally. He asked that we buckle our seatbelts and let’s go home. I called my mom to let her know I was on one of the first planes taking off out of DFW and most definitely the safest plane leaving the airport.
Flying has never been the same since that day.
The word, FEAR has all new meaning.
Terror was something we used to watch in a movie.
Too many Americans were killed on 9/11. We must never forget.
Too many American soldiers have lost their life in this war. We must never forget.
Our children will never know the world as a safe place, as we did as children. We must never forget.
As a nation we must lift our prayers for all who have lost loved ones in the Towers, at the Pentagon, on the Pennsylvania field, along with our Service Members both the fallen heroes and the loved ones far away from home fighting this war.
We Must Never Forget.