"Wake every day with a WINGED HEART and give thanks for another day of LOVING." (Khalil Gibran)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Just Remembering...

...where I was on September the 11th, 2001.  What a horrible day it was.  I was on vacation and was at Chicago's Midway airport awaiting my flight to Cleveland, OH, to visit my family.  When the news first broke into the TV we were all watching while waiting, many of us thought they were talking about the first bombing at the tower a few years earlier.  It became apparent fairly quickly that wasn't the case.  Just before the second plane hit, they came over the PA system and announced all flights were being delayed. Then, BAM, the second plane hit in front of our eyes and we sat there horrified.  Soon after, the airport became a hub for grounded flights and a lot of people filed in through the gate where we were.  Several of the flight attendants and even a pilot or two were in tears as they knew employees who were on the two planes that crashed into the towers. It wasn't very long until the announcement was made that all flights were cancelled and we had to immediately evacuate the airport and couldn't reclaim our luggage at that time as it was urgent we just leave.

There was pandemonium that ensued after that.  I had to take the train from the airport into downtown in order to get a different train to my apartment.  They were evacuating downtown Chicago and it was hard to even get on the train as it was packed.  Then, every time an airplane went overhead, everyone held their breath until it passed and there were no explosions or anything like that.  Many airplanes were being diverted to Chicago to land and it felt like a scene from a horror movie...just waiting for the crash to happen.  I have to commend the transit system as they decided to forgo fees and were not charging anyone to board.  Of course, many people were panicking and the atmosphere was palpably thick with fear.  I couldn't wait to get home.

After getting home, I was glued to the TV screen.  Watching the towers crumble and knowing how many people lost their lives during the original crashes and now the collapse of the buildings, just shook me to the core.  Then the news about the Pentagon crash and the crash in Pennsylvania compounded the fear and terror.  I knew my family would be afraid for me, especially when it hit the news that one of the terror flights left out of Cleveland and that's where I was flying into.  I tried to call repeatedly but it took a good while to get through to let them know I was safe.  I kept get getting that "all circuits are busy" message.  I still wanted to get home to Ohio, but it took several days for that to happen.  Southwestern airlines refunded our fares in TWO days.  I couldn't believe how wonderful and efficient they were being under the circumstances.   I couldn't rent a car as there were none to be had, nor could I get a ticket on Amtrak.  It was because of everyone landing in Chicago and so many people needing to get home.  Three days later, I finally was able to get on a Greyhound bus and took the journey to Ohio.  

I will NEVER forget where I was that day and my experiences during this terrible national tragedy.  I pray for peace, tolerance, acceptance and love in our world.  May the zealots and radical fringe of any group be beaten down by those who fight to make it so.

Blessings and don't forget to hug those in your life and voice your feelings of love.  One never knows if you will have another chance.


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