Saturday, September 17, 2011

9/11...from a pilot's wife perspective...

To fly west, my friend, is a flight we all must take for a final check
Author unknown

So I realize this is a little late but we were out of town read: not near my computer. As the wife of a commercial airline pilot maybe I have a different view on this than others. But let me go back a little.

At the time 9/11 happened I was a senior in college, didn't know John, didn't know much about aviation. At the time it was tragic but truly didn't effect me much.

Interesting how something at the time didn't effect me but does now 10 years later.

I truly don't have a problem with John flying on 9/11 I figure the odds of anything happening again on that day are pretty slim, after all the news media won't leave it alone. Not (in any way to say) that we shouldn't ALWAYS remember but I really wonder if the "right way" to remember is to stare drooling at the tv all day watching the same footage over and over again. I don't think it's constructive as a country or for individuals. I believe (right or wrong) there should be 1 maybe 2 well done documentaries (let the history channel do them) on 9/11, much like there are on Pearl Harbor and D-Day. The news media beating it into the ground I don't believe does anyone, any good.

I have learned that the aviation industry is a small, small, world. I have since met a good friend who is a FA for AA, who knew some of the crew members who died. Which is why when I was catching up on my reading this article ticked me off. I have been reading all the newspapers and magazines that piled up while we were gone and in the Christian Science Monitor there is an article about a woman who's husband died on one of the AA flights. She had/has 5 kids (two she adopted after 9/11) she turned down 2 million from a 9/11 fund, and instead sued AA for untold (but more than 2 million) amounts of money. And in reading the article she still (apparently) gets upset when AA is mentioned. Having never lost a spouse in a tragedy like this I am unsure what I would do. However (as a pilot's wife) this made me livid. She wasn't the only one who lost her husband that day, what about the wives/families of the guys (and crews) flying the planes? Really she is going/went after AA? Under what grounds besides it was their plane? The FAA has specific training in case of terrorism on airplanes and what protocall pilots are supposed to follow. They followed those FAA rules, they have since been changed because of 9/11 much like everything else to do with aviation. How were the pilots to know this would be different from the hijackings in the 70's and 80's? More over (again) how is this AA fault? I am sorry and this may be horrible and mean but if I was married to one of the guys flying that plane, I would go to this lady's house and burn it down; well maybe not literally but you get the point. I take it (even though it wasn't my husband flying) as more of an insult to the pilot's (and crews) that they "didn't do their jobs." Maybe I'm just hypersensitive about it being married to a pilot, but it annoys the crap out of me that she turned down 2 million (which would have been more than enough to live on comfortable) just to sue AA to get MORE money.

As I mentioned earlier I don't have a problem with John flying on 9/11 it doesn't bother me anymore than him flying to Mexico! Actually it probably bothers me less, Mexico has some sketchy ATC, and of course everyone being killed. As a side note when John still worked at XJT they sent out an email saying that in order to not be robbed (in Mexico) they should wear black plastic watches....awesome!

Back to 9/11 I really hope no one was offended by anything I said, and in no way am I saying it shouldn't be remembered, it truly was a tragedy. I am saying however that maybe we (as a country, and individuals) didn't learn much from it. Maybe ask the Russians how well it worked for them when they invaded Afghanistan? They were really trying too, not saying our military isn't doing a superb job because they are (and my hats off to military families/spouses they are incredible people!). However, when the Russians went in they just tried to kill anything that moved, we do try to avoid killing innocent people, but how can we be successful if they weren't?

A country without a memory is a country of madmen.
George Santayana

History teaches everything including the future.

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.
George Bernard Shaw

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