Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Remembering ... My Way
I was in the air on the way to Chicago for our fall conference. Our flight left at 8:50 & we landed in Atlanta around 10:00a & I had to find a way to my Sister-In-Laws house, where I stayed for the next 3 days.
It's one of those days that play back in my mind like a power point presentation.
Click ... First class upgrade, yeah!
Click ... Seat mate - Yousef (yes, he was actually from Palestine)
Click ... Flight attendent telling Yousef that he didn't need a newspaper with a lady sitting next to him.
Click ... He's headed to Puerto - Bacardi headquarters. He's a VP with them.
Click ... Really nice guy. How did we get on the subject of Tree Surgeons?
Click ... Oh no, we are in a holding pattern, we will most likely miss our next flights.
Click ... If we do, we can at least grab breakfast.
Click ... Finally land but stop on runway for a long time.
Click ... At the gate but doors not opened.
Click ... Pilot "Everyone, there has been an incident, exit the plane & then immediately exit the airport."
Click ... Yousef & I look at each other confused ... "What the heck is he talking about?"
Click ... Exit plane & notice everyone gathered around TV in concourse restaurant.
Click ... Oh my God, the towers are burning!
Click ... Had forgotten to bring new cell phone. Head to Crown Room Club to get in touch w/Justin.
Click ... All circuits are busy. Call work 800 #, get Assistant to patch me over to Justin.
Click ... Justin answers & I start to talk then get disconnected.
Click ... Repeat patch. Justin - "Thank God you are alright! You need to get out of there."
Click ... Me - Looking at a TV in the lounge area "Oh my God, one of the towers just fell!!!!!"
Click ... Justin "GET OUT OF THAT AIRPORT NOW!!!!"
Click ... Me "All the rental cars are gone. I can take Marta, please call V to meet me at Sandy Springs."
Click ... Tram not running. Eerie feeling walking to exit. Had never looked closely at the marble statues.
Click ... On Marta. CDC employees get on, they had been ordered to evacuate. That really scared me!
Click ... Waiting on V. Call my boss from the pay phone. He was in Milwaukee.
Click ... V picks me up.
Click ... The 60" TV in their house never shut off for the next 3 days.
Click ... Driving to Southern GA to meet up w/Justin ... No planes in the air. Not right for Atlanta!
Click ... Meeting up w/Justin in Southern GA.
Click ... Relief to be coming home!
The whole experience seems very surreal. Especially when I think that I was in NY just the week before & happened to have stayed at the Marriott that sat between those towers. After dinner one night, we actually went up to the Windows on the World for an after dinner drink & walked around looking into several of the conference rooms just to see the views, which were spectacular at night.
Yousef & I met up a few times for lunch & I still keep in touch w/him, although he & his family have since moved out of the country.