10 years ago today, I was on a Los Angeles bound plane that departed from JFK at 8:20 a.m. I remember looking out of my window at the the twin towers as we flew past them and lamenting my time management–I’d wanted to visit them during my 2 week visit, and I didn’t get around to it. Next time, I thought.
It’s 11:18 a.m. right now. At this exact moment 10 years ago, I was still seated on a plane that had been diverted to a tiny airport in Marquette, Michigan. The captain had announced that “due to a matter of national security, we have to land this aircraft. Don’t be alarmed, there are no technical problems and we have plenty of fuel, but we do have to land. We will give you more information as we receive it.” So we landed. We were all wondering what was going on…we could see another aircraft being deplaned across the tarmac, yet we were still onboard with no idea why we had to land in the first place.
We were on that plane for 2 hours. When we finally deplaned, we were all escorted to a large waiting area in the airport, where we sat down and were informed by the waiting FBI agents that we had suffered a terrorist attack and that the twin towers had fallen.
I remember the looks of shock and disbelief on all the faces around me. We were all questioned (contact info, did we see anything unusual) before we were able to see any footage–it was all the more surreal because something so horrifying and catastrophic happened before we even knew about it.
I was contemplating moving to the city at that time. That was the whole purpose of my trip…to look at neighborhoods, get a feel for the city, figure out how to make my life happen in New York. I couldn’t do it after that. When I finally got to LA three days later, and met my folks in the long term parking lot, we rushed to each other, held each other and cried.
10 years later, I’m finally here. I will honor those who lost their lives on this day in 2001 by living my life in this, our city, fully, fearlessly, honestly and courageously. May God continue to abundantly bless the families of the victims, and keep them safe, and may He hold those we lost in His care.