I've been working on this piece for a while now. If it tends to ramble a bit, please forgive me, dear reader. When it comes to the 9/11 attacks, my heart and mind are full of such feelings and thoughts, it's hard to put it all down. So here is my feeble attempt to give tribute to the flight crews that perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks:
As we approach the anniversary of 9/11 - my mind wanders back to my childhood. My Step-Father was a World War II vet- stationed in Hawaii. I heard so many stories about that war. Horror stories, loss of human life, and many tales of the heroic efforts of the pilots stationed there.
I remember thinking (as a child) that surely now we have evolved beyond wars. After all- how primitive to send our younger and finest to kill each other! But how naive and idealistic I was! By the time I was a senior in High School, the Viet NamWar was a real reality check. I realized that my "idealism" was indeed not reality.
Something more than idealism was lost within me that September 11th. The innocent feeling of safety on board our aircrafts, and within our own beloved country- That feeling of safety and security was gone.
I can not begin to know the horror that went on in the Cockpits and Cabins of those aircraft. I can imagine, if I let myself. I choose not to. It would be too heartrending. I can no longer remember the exact number of crews and passengers that perished that day. But knowing the terrorists used aircraft and humans as "human bombs" to destroy buildings and human life was and is horrifying to think about. That nightmare stayed with me for a long time.
The church I attended held a memorial service after September 11th. I was honored to be chosen to light candles at that service, representing and in honor of the flight crews. I did it with tears streaming down my face. But just as a funeral gives a certain sort of closer, so did that Memorial service for me. I vowed not to forget them. And I came to grips with the "new" reality that had thrust itself on our industry.
Now I still light candles on their behalf each September 11th. They were our Sisters and Brothers within the realm of our industry. They were "US" !
Rest In Peace.