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Remembering 9-11 (Part 2 - My 9-11)
Every crew member has a story to tell about their 9-11 experience. Some were enroute, some on a layover, some ready to take off, some ready to land, and others were on days off or vacation. No matter where we were, we will always remember those moments when we found out.
I happened to be on a layover in Hong Kong preparing to fly back home on September 12th.
I found out when my flying partner called me and woke me up—a no-no in international flying. (The rule is to leave a note under the door.)
It was 9:00 P.M. in Hong Kong. I had been out shopping all day in the heat and humidity. I must have been asleep for about 20 minutes when the phone rang. I was angry when I was abruptly awakened.
My flying partner told me in a frightened voice to turn on the TV. I responded that I had just fallen asleep and couldn’t believe she had called me. But she kept repeating to turn on the TV, that an airplane just went into the twin towers in New York.
The room was so dark I could not find the lamp switch, so I made my way into the bathroom, turned on the light, and went back into my room. I found the lamp switch and the TV remote. Like everyone else, I was in disbelief when I saw the plane going into the building over and over again.
I called my flying partner back and apologized for my behavior, just as the second plane—our plane—went into the other tower. It still gives me chills just thinking about it!
The magnitude of that day is immeasurable. I need not say more.
We stayed in Hong Kong for three more days and returned on Saturday the 15th. When we landed, no one met us. I did not go to Inflight; I just went home. I really can’t remember getting to the parking lot and my car. As I drove home, I saw blockades and U.S. flags everywhere.
I’m sure most of America was walking around not totally aware of their surroundings—engulfed in a feeling of disbelief. How could this have happened?