4 planes crashed 10 years ago and changed all of our lives. We are reminded of the changes every time we go to an airport, a large social event like a pro football game, or walk around a major city center.
I was leaving home for work that day. Jenny had the Today show on and evidently the first plane had hit the tower. This was pretty early into the event and facts were a bit sketchy and the consensus seemed to be that there was a fire in the tower. I left for work. 30 – 45 minutes later as I am getting Gene Taylors opened up for the day, unlocking doors and such, Jenny calls and tells me to turn on the TVs. By this time the second plane had hit the tower and was captured by the TV cameras. Now we were all starting to come around to the thought that there was more to this story than accidental crashes.
I remember the day as being slow for business. Customers just didn’t feel like coming in. During the morning when a customer did come in, once they saw the TV coverage and understood what was happening, they quickly took care of their business and left for their own day. As a photographer I felt a very strong urge to gather all my gear into my truck and head out for New York. I could be there in a few days. Maybe I could help in my own small way. Document the aftermath. Assist everyone I could. I still feel that urge in a smaller way whenever the television shows clips and remembrances. To this day I get misty eyed when I remember my feelings of that awful day.
We Americans now put up with added security and intrusive questions at events. We are more aware of those around us and our surroundings. I am a large individual. Six four and a lot of hundred pounds. When I travel by air, my odds of getting pulled aside for “extra security screening” is almost a given. They say its random, but really, every flight? But I put up with it. I want them to feel safe with me. I want to tell them that I am the guy they want by the emergency exit door. I want them to put me in an aisle seat so if some lunatic trys anything I’ll just sit on him with my lots of hundred pounds and keep him ‘entertained’. And I know a lot of people like me out there. I would like to think I would be as brave as those on Flight 93. I would like to think that we could all live up to higher standards of decorum and bravery. And I try everyday. And I hope you do too.
Be nice. Be safe. Be strong.