Saturday, September 11, 2021
From the Ashes, Angels Emerge
As Flight Attendants, we have all internalized the grief of that fateful day in different ways. In the days after 9/11, our APFA trauma-trained Representatives helped our grieving Flight Attendants. Understanding the need for a large-scale trauma support response APFA National EAP Representative Susie Wallace was one of the first JFK Flight Attendants to volunteer to help care for our grieving and fearful Flight Attendants. Today the trauma team, now known as the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), has grown to a team of 200 volunteer peer support Flight Attendants who are well trained in trauma work and capable of handling large-scale events. Out of the ashes of tragedy, compassion and a willingness to help one another grows.
APFA National EAP Representative Bill Ibarra only now realizes the impact it has had on his life. Bill, a survivor of USAir fight 1493, all to well, knows about trauma. His thoughts went immediately to the two first-class Flight Attendants and the brutality of their killing. His heart revealed the deep sense of family he has for his coworkers. He channels those feelings into helping others as a part of the CIRT team.
As we memorialize that tragic event, let us commit to honoring each other. We share a special kinship and should avoid focusing on what divides us. The lives we live as a result of our profession give us the insight to recognize the humanity in each other.
On the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, we salute the crews of that day. The APFA EAP Department honors the lives of the crew members lost on that dark day. Their contributions to our profession and the sacrifices they made helped keep us all safe. Their courage and dignity in the face of great difficulty will always be remembered. Their legacy lives on in our hearts and the highest intentions of our work as Flight Attendants.
Sharon Dunn, APFA National EAP Representative
On behalf of our National EAP Reps and the CIRT team
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