Do you remember where you were when you first heard of or saw the destruction of a symbol of America’s Wealth, the World Trade Center Twin Towers? In 2001, I worked at the busiest airport in the country, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, for American Airlines. That September 11th was a beautiful morning, bright and sunny. The twins, Roque and Reyna, started kindergarten and we were getting ready to walk to school, when I saw the second airplane hit the towers live on television. I was in a state of shock, unsure how to react. I walked my children to school, unsure of their safety. When I returned to the house I woke my husband. We called my brother-in-law and his wife. She worked across the street from the Towers at a retail store. Luckily they were safe at home.
Only three weeks earlier, I stood in front of the Twin Towers for the very first time. My first visit to New York City. Fred, my husband, and I were so excited when we saw the Towers from our airplane window. A feeling of pride I would never have the honor of experiencing again.
I continued my day, arriving at work at 11:15 a.m. to start my shift, unsure what we would be doing since all flights were suspended. We were on high alert and briefed of threats against the city and the airport. A day later I would assist with the dispatch of an aircraft filled with people from American Airlines who volunteered to go to New York to help the families of the victims. I cried as I watched that flight leave, unsure they would arrive safely, and unclear what could help or comfort the families of those who died or were among the missing.
In the end the attack on our country did not end with the Towers, the Pentagon was successfully attached, and the flying bomb believed to be intended for the White House crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including 246 civilians and 19 hijackers.
This day I remember the uncounted victims of attacks, those in mourning, their children, those suffering from illness because of their call to aid those in need that day at ground zero…millions are affected daily by the devastation and loss that occurred on that sunny Tuesday morning. May you find peace and comfort today and every day.
What do you remember about September 11, 2001?
Because I got by with a little help from my girlfriends, I want to help you get help from your girlfriends. As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.
Carmen M. Perez, Travel Planner
Your Florida Travel Expert and Girlfriends’ Getaway Specialist
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