Everyone remembers where they were on that fateful day of 11 September 2011.On the tenth-year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy Flightglobal’s looking at its legacy, asking for your recollections of where you were and what you think its changed for the aviation industry.The Flightglobal team will be providing their own perspectives throughout the week so keep an eye out on Flightglobal.
AirSpace - more than just hot air
I was working at a hospital that day and we were getting calls from employees families about the attack on the WTC. At one point, someone said one of the towers had collapsed. I immediately said that wasn't possible and went upstairs to watch the TV in the family lounge. Unfortunately, it was true and in short order the other tower fell as well. For me, the worst part was seeing the helpless people jump to their death rather than burn.
I had visited the WTC just a couple of months before and was aware of how many people the towers held. It is a miracle that in spite of the nearly 3k who perished that day that the toll wasn't 10 times worse.
The news just got worse as the day wore on. An attack on the Pentagon, an expected attack on the Capital, the shutdown of our airspace. The President was shuttled all over the country before finally returning to Washington. I remember seeing approximately a dozen helicopters flying towards the White House as a security measure, the President was in one of them.
But there were also rays of hope coming through the sadness. The story of Flight 93 and the passengers who fought back. There was much bravery on display that day at all of the attack sites and the country quickly mobilised to deal with the tragedy. Firefighters from all over the country made there way to Ground Zero to help in the recovery efforts. Citizens lined up to give blood. The tremendous outpouring of support from around the world was also very helpful, especially phychologically.
I grew up as a child of the Cold War. Though it was in the background, we all knew it was possible that the world could end at any moment. I never thought it would end, but it did. I now live in the war against Islamic Extremists. It's a hard war and it doesn't stop at borders. But it too will end one day and I'm confident that Freedom will prevail.