Dear APFA Members,
Today, I had the privilege to join our LGA VP, along with Union leaders of AFA, APA and ALPA. We paid our respects at Ground Zero to honor the lives of our fallen crew members and all those who lost their lives or were touched by that horrific act 17 years ago.
I knew it would be an emotional and gut-wrenching day… but nothing had prepared me for the man who rolled up in his wheelchair, on oxygen, to place an American flag on Sara Low’s name on the memorial wall. I introduced myself and he told me his story. He said he was the honorary firefighter that recovered AA Flight Attendant, Sara Low’s remains. He spoke of finding a lapel and wings. He said he has been to this wall every year since 9/11, has placed a flag on her name, and that he thinks of her every day.
For those of you who don’t know, Sara was working AA flight 11, the first plane to hit the tower. This man, Michael Bellone wrote a book entitled Ground Zero and gave me a copy, signed and dedicated to Sara Low. He showed me the part where he recounted his story. I will donate this book to the APFA Archives. It is a treasure and that man is a living testament to humankind at its finest. He will never forget.
And although 9/11 is an extreme of what can happen to us as Flight Attendants in today’s world, it illustrates clearly why our profession is unlike any other. We are the face of American. We were the first First Responders on 9/11 and we face a multitude of other unique situations that expose us to illness and hazards.
Last night, upon arrival into my hotel in New York, I was given a heads up that the company had unveiled its new sick policy…on the eve of 9/11 no less. It struck me as very insensitive and truly in poor taste. 9/11 lives on for many of us, etched in our souls… the act changed our lives, our industry and our country forever. It was an unconscionable and unspeakable event.
Four airline crews showed up to work that day, not knowing they would face the worst terrorist acts on American soil in our history.
In Memory of our fallen crew members, We Will Never Forget!