Ten years ago today, I could come and go freely between the forward galley and the flight deck. I could deliver meals by myself and even let the pilots out of the flight deck to use the restroom without assistance. And the flight deck door would remain open all of the way until we reached the runway for takeoff. The doors were not made of Kevlar. Let's just say that things were different. Very different.
I've just finished listening to a whole slew of new audio tapes made available to the public over this last week. You'll find them here via the New York Times. I know life is very busy for all of us. But I'd like you to spend 30 minutes listening. These are my people. My life. I've spent 16 years being a flight attendant. I love my job more than you'll ever know. There's just nothing like that feeling of being a flight attendant. I'd like you to pay special attention to these sections of the tapes: (1) 8:19...Betty Ong flight attendant. Listen to how calm she is. She knows nothing of the magnitude of the situation. This could be me and my voice. (2) 9:28 Flight 93...listening to the struggle and screaming is just about more than I could handle. I could be in that aircraft. (3) 10:32 Shoot down Order Given. Gosh, these words awake something deep inside.
I drove my honey to the Portland airport this morning to begin his 2-day trip to Chicago. He said to me, "I wish I wasn't going on this trip.....I'd rather be home with you right now.....I hope nothing happens while I'm gone." The main roadway into the airport is lined with hundreds of US flags in the grass strip next to the road. They begin a 1/2 mile from the terminal. I wrote about my day 10 years ago in this post. I wish my honey wasn't gone, either. It would be a very good weekend for him to be home with me.