Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/11

My thoughts to the families of all who were lost on board the aircraft, on the ground and all those who risked their lives to rescue people in the rubble. They are remembered every time an aircraft takes off and lands safely.

I was working late at the office (+8 EST) when my wife called to tell me an aircraft hit one of the World Trade Center towers. My first thought was it must be a small General Aviation aircraft. I frantically tried to get CNN breaking news but with no success. I tried to phone my cousin who lives in NYC but with no luck. Then my wife called again to tell me about the second aircraft and the collapse of both towers. I just could not believe what she said. On the way home I listened to the radio and one of the stations was carrying a live commentary of the unfolding horror.

That day touched us in several ways for my sister in law's cousin was in the WTC when it collapsed.

9/11 heralded a new era for aviation, a profession that i am passionate about, a loss of innocence. For me Aviation was a means of bringing people together, of bringing joy, happiness and peace to people. Sure we had our share of hijacking and security problems but never on that scale.

9/11 started a new era of rigorous security regimes, a totally different way of looking at Aviation. I have to admit, at the beginning I hated all these extra security measures, they tended to take the fun out of travelling. By time it became second nature to all of us in the profession. It became a reality as well as a necessity. I know a lot of people still complain about going through security and I realise a lot of mistakes were committed and a lot of lessons learnt were applied and things are being done better, more professionally and in a more friendly manner.

9/11 should not have happened, but it did. One painful and tragic lesson, a wake up call to all of us of the potential destruction that can be inflicted. Aviation professionals all over the world are working diligently to ensure that 9/11 never happens again.

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