At this time every year I reflect on the events that forever shaped our Great Nation along with the rest of the world. Like many people, I look back at where I was that fateful day when I heard what was unfolding in New York City, Washington, D.C. and the field in Pennsylvania. The thoughts that humans could do such horrible acts against someone was hard to wrap my mind around. Knowing scores of innocent men, women and children were dying as we sat cramped into my dorm room at the University of Maine watching, in silence.
Being from Maine it hit closer to home. Not because I knew someone who had lost a loved one in the attacks, but rather knowing the people responsible for these events passed through our state on their way to Boston to catch the flights they would eventually take over and unleash a hell we hadn’t experienced on our own soil.
As a plane geek, the events of this day would forever change our hobby. We now are subjected to constant scrutiny for being plane spotters, some of us often being harassed and being thought of as terrorists. But, in the wake of 9/11, we are also becoming a form of national defense. Imagine that, a bunch of geeks who are fascinated by the size, power and awesomeness of machines who seem to defy gravity while soaring gracefully across the world helping to keep America safe. There are groups in major US cities who are part of watch groups at airports who report suspicious activity while enjoying watching a Boeing 777 land.
The events have changes how we travel. While they cause us headaches sometimes, they are meant to keep us safe. They protect us from the evil that people are plotting against us on a daily basis. Everytime I walk through a TSA checkpoint and get frisked, it doesn’t bother me as I know it is just a part of the world we live in. Things change and we must adapt to these changes.
On this day we remember those who lost their lives. The fire fighters, police men and women, EMTs and paramedics in New York City. We remember the flight crews and passengers on United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93. The men and women working in and around the World Trade Center in New York City, the men and women working at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and those brave men and women who lost their lives fighting terrorism and protecting the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America.
While this was America’s darkest hour, it was also America’s finest hour. I’m proud to be an American and proud of what this great nation stands for. To those who died in the attacks, may you rest in peace. We will never forget the events of that fateful day, not will we forget you. To those who fight to protect this great nation, thank you.
God Bless America.