Friday, September 10, 2021
A Message from Your APFA LGA Base President and Vice President
On September 11, 2001, just a few days shy of getting off probation as a new hire, I had just signed in for a trip at LGA airport when the news drew my attention in the operations area. Those in the lounge, including a pilot, kept trying to make sense of what we saw on television, initially thought to be a commuter jet to have struck one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center. The unimaginable unfolded during the next couple of minutes, hours, days, and fast-forward, twenty years later. I grew up on a very picturesque street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The twin towers were the first thing I saw when I left my home to go anywhere, school, grocery store, or to play handball with my friends against a Kanish Factory across the street. The magnitude of loss and lack of understanding after 9/11 changed many of us. Since this horrific attack, our industry has faced one challenge after another, both social and economic.
I look back now and cannot help but relive the sense of helplessness and sorrow on yet another anniversary of this day. I grab onto the heroic and selfless courage flight attendants showed, making last phone calls and many more acts that put us before them. They cemented the true definition of heroism, and that is how I will forever remember each one of them, along with all the first responders and people who represented the best of our nation. — Christian Santana
The morning of September 11th, 2001, I was having coffee in a hotel lobby while waiting for a van to take myself and a group of Flight Attendants to our second day of CQ. I was watching the news report of an aircraft, possibly a small aircraft, that had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I witnessed the second plane hit the tower and I knew that our world had forever changed. I was at the training center when the Twin Towers fell and I watched with a sense of helplessness and fear, but also pride as my American Airlines family mobilized to take care of not only the crews who were stranded but also those of us who needed answers about our world. I finished my training after staying a third day in DFW then made my way home on a Greyhound bus, this was the only way many of us could make it home quickly and American arranged it for those of us who wanted to head home.
The anniversary of 9/11 is something that I have always quietly observed, without much fanfare. Many times, I have chosen to fly just to show myself that I am not afraid. That 9/11 is just a date in the calendar. This year however holds special meaning, it’s a milestone for those of us who were witnesses to history, who were there. And it’s a chance to remind those for whom this is something that they have only read about in the history books that this was and is real. I believe we owe it them and those brave crew members who were the true First Responders to reflect and remember our role in this turning point in our industry and our country. — Penelope King
Christian M. Santana
APFA LGA Base President
APFA LGA Base Vice President
Proud to Represent New York-LGA
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