My motto here at “A Few Clowns Short” is lighten-up.
A 9/11 remembrance.
Damn the motto for this post. Nothing to lighten-up about given the enormous sadness that filled that September week and lingered like a dirty film on the days that followed.
The heroes were a bright spot. The coming together of strangers seeking to help others provided hope to keep many going.
The tragedy reminded us that an awful dark side exists in enough people that we need to be aware.
Forgetting about it doesn’t mean it didn’t happened.
I don’t have some hero story of my own, but I found myself working with someone who was pulled into the tragedy. Her name is Lisa Jefferson. It forever changed her life.
The week previous to that Tuesday, I had interviewed for a job at GTE Airfone (name was changed to Verizon Airfone months later) and I was still waiting get an offer.
We live near the flight paths for both O'Hare and Midway airports. It’s very common to see and hear airliners flying in and out. Those September days following 9/11 had a noticeable empty sky above us.
The small act of kindness we were able to provide that day was helping Johnny, our daughter’s friend who was stuck at O’Hare airport. We picked him up and gave him a place to stay for a few days.
I flew a flag. I talked with family. I watched the news. I cried. We all cried.
I took that job offer from Airfone. It was a great job. Airfone (yes it’s spelled with a ‘f’) was the company offering a public phone in the seatback of a few airlines. United Airlines was one of our biggest customers/partners. Flight UA 93 was the hijacked plane that did not hit the terrorist’s target.
The passengers and crew learned after contacting the Airfone operator that other planes were hijacked that morning. A group of passengers decided not to allow the terrorists to use their flight. The flight ended in a fiery crash in a Pennsylvania.
While at Airfone, I worked with Lisa Jefferson and her husband who also worked there. She was a calm and peaceful lady. I don’t pretend to know her well, but all my interactions with her tell me she is a wonderful kind person. She passed along Todd Beamer's last words, "Let's roll".
Someday 9/11 will be another history lesson like Dec. 7, 1941. If we are lucky some will learn from it. The National Geographic Channel has a site dedicated to it’s remembrance.
I want to leave this post with a better word than it began.