APFA Special Weekly Hotline
Friday September 9, 2011
Dear Flight Attendants,
Though it is difficult to believe, ten years have passed since the horrendous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This tragedy feels like a lifetime ago. As the season of this momentous anniversary nears, we should all take some time to remember those friends and dear colleagues we lost and reflect on the monumental changes that have come to our profession, our industry, our nation, and the world.
The moments that turned into hours and days following the attacks truly tested the collective resolve of America’s aviation professionals. On a day marked by unmatched bravery on the part of first responders, passengers, the military, and others, the work of the thousands of flight crews might be overlooked. The nation and much of the world was in a state of shock. It would have been reasonable for Flight Attendants to shut down air travel in the wake of the attacks until the complete story was known and safety was assured. Instead, we persevered. Even as we grieved the loss of our sisters and brothers we went to work and helped those passengers that were stranded across the country get home to their families.
Tragic as it was, September 11th also proved to be a proud day for our profession. So too were the weeks and years that followed the attacks. As the world struggled to comprehend the enormity of the crisis, Flight Attendants from all airlines and unions came together to honor the lives taken in those savage instants. United buy a shared feeling of commitment, representatives from each one of our groups made their way to Ground Zero with small tokens of remembrance. Then we came together to raise funds for the victims’ families and to construct the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine. Our unions built on long-standing cooperation and professional respect and emerged from the ordeal closer than ever.† Flight Attendants came together as never before – understanding, regardless of airline or uniform, that no one knew better who we were, what we did or what we had sacrificed than another member of our profession.
The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 vaulted our profession into the center of public awareness. We are no longer known for our roles as cabin service providers but acknowledged as critical safety personnel and emergency first responders. We are the last line of defense against acts of terrorism on airplanes and since September 11th our colleagues have thwarted would-be attacks on several occasions. We have grown as a profession and our coalition of unions is stronger than ever. We have proven to ourselves and the world that together we can handle even the most difficult obstacles. We continue to prove it every day, as our industry has struggled to recover from the attacks and the subsequent economic tumult. We have a unique and important role to play in making sure that the world never forgets.
On the morning of that fateful day, thousands of us donned our uniforms, kissed our loved ones, and went off to work. Thirty-three flight crew members and other members of our airline family never returned. Let us always remember those precious lives that were lost and keep those men and women and their families in our thoughts and prayers on this difficult anniversary:
American Airlines Flight 11 John Ogonowski, Thomas McGuinness, Barbara Arestequi, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean Roger, Dianne Snyder, Madeline Sweeney
United Airlines Flight 93 Jason Dahl, Leroy Homer, Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, CeeCee Lyles, Deborah Welsh
United Airlines Flight 175 Victor Saracini, Michael Horrocks, Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Amy King, Michael Tarrou, Kathryn Laborie, Alfred Marchand, Alicia Titus, Jesus Sanchez, Marianne MacFarlane
American Airlines Flight 77 Charles Burlingame, David Charlebois, Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May
On this anniversary of September 11th, we remember our Flying Partners, our families, and our friends as we reflect upon and dedicate this day to the memory of our Heroes.
In Unity and Solidarity,
Laura Glading, President
Association of Professional Flight Attendants
Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
“even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, And in our own despite, against our will, Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” – Aeschylus
Please visit www.APFA.org for a list of 9/11 Memorial Ceremonies being held around the country.