September 11th -- Never forget (part 3)

  • Published
  • By Katariina Hall
  • Defense Support Services
At the time of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, I was a flight attendant with Delta Air Lines, based out of New York City. That morning, I was at the John F. Kennedy Air Port in a meeting, which began at 8 a.m.

Our meeting got interrupted and we turned on the news at 9 a.m., right after the first airplane hit the towers. Most of us flight attendants lived in other cities and we were only on the commute back home by airplane.

For me, home was Columbus, GA. My husband who is a Soldier in the US Army, was stationed at Fort. Gordon, GA. We were unable to communicate via cell phones or public phones for more than two hours because communication on the telephone lines had crashed.

My family and friends in Germany were worried because they knew I was in New York that morning and they didn't know if I was in one of the airplanes that had crashed. After several hours, I was able to communicate to everybody via email that I was okay.

Weeks following, you could still see the smoke rising when we flew over the Twin Towers. In one briefing after the attacks, our captains were told at the first sight of a terrorist attack, to crash the plane -- before letting them hit buildings.

The 9/11 attacks affected me both long term and short term. First, I ended up going on furlough. By the time I was called back to fly, I had already gone back to school, gotten my degree, and started my family.

If the terrorist attacks would not have happened, I would probably have continued flying out of New York. Although it's a distant thought, I would love to go back as a flight attendant again. No terrorist will ever take my dreams away.