I had every intention to do something productive today, but decided to read instead. I love to read and don’t do it as often as I would like. Rich’s cold has gotten worse, so he slept most of the day and I didn’t want to disturb him by talking on video. OK, that’s a half-truth…I just didn’t have the ambition to be creative, and didn’t want to wake him.
We had a dinner we needed to attend tonight at the college we attended. One of our friends was talking to seniors about his career being an air traffic controller. He talked about 9/11 and how that changed the way that he looks at life. How he talked briefly to the plane that went into the Pentagon and didn’t really remember doing so until he went online today and found a voice recording of the controllers talking to the plane. He had told us on a previous occasion that when the plane that eventually crashed in Somerset, PA went off of their grid, he was able to find a way to relocate it, and that when they were given the directive, they got every airplane in US airspace to land within an hour after the order. That’s an amazing feat, and one he’s exceptionally proud of. The thing that’s really sad, is the college seniors were only five or six years old when 9/11 happened, and don’t have the memory of the days and weeks that followed. We all remember precisely where we were when it started and the horror that followed. These kids are lucky that they don’t have those memories, but in some ways, it’s unfortunate, because it made us better people, better citizens and neighbors in the aftermath. I can’t imagine what any of the first responders that survived have lived with, or frankly, the air traffic controllers, that could do nothing to stop what happened that day. They could only sit back and watch it transpire on their screens. I give him so much credit for being able to go back to work the next day. My college roommate was a flight attendant, and 9/11 was the last day she put on her uniform. Her husband decided the risk wasn’t worth it.
I was so glad our friend talked about his experience and how proud he was that they got every plane out of the air in an hour. I think that’s how he got through 9/11 and the aftermath, by focusing on what he could control and not on what he couldn’t.