Never Forget: 9/11

Sept. 11, 2012: Law enforcement officers in Penn Station.

This morning was the first time in three years I was commuting into Manhattan on 9/11. Last year it fell on a weekend and I was off. The year before I was in Denver at BlogPaws.

I would be lying if I said my stomach wasn’t in knots this morning waiting for my New Jersey Transit train to take me into New York’s Penn Station. As I stood on the platform sipping my smoothie, I looked up and saw a plane soaring through the cloudless blue sky toward New York City. A chill went right up my back.

When my train stopped at Newark Liberty International Airport this morning, just like it does every morning I’m in New Jersey for work, I felt nauseous. I thought of the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who walked through the corridors of the airport 11 years ago today. Did they grab a cup of coffee, a newspaper to read or talked to a loved one before they boarded a flight that would never reach its destination?

It’s not just today I have that last thought — it’s every single time I fly out of Newark. And, since that’s the airport closest to me in New Jersey, it happens every time I travel on a plane. When BlogPaws, a social media conference for the pet industry, was in Denver, the dates were so close to Sept. 11, that I almost didn’t go, because I was nervous about flying.

Super Zoo, an industry trade show I would normally attend for my pet lifestyle website, starts today in Las Vegas, and while lack of money did play a role me not going, so did the fact that I would have had to fly out of Newark early this morning — on 9/11 — because I had to be at work yesterday. There’s no doubt in my head I would not have been able to get on that plane without tears seeping from my eyes as I walked a similar path both the victims and terrorists walked that exact same day 11 years ago.

Maybe this is why I never complain about airport security. Is it annoying to take my shoes off, shove all my liquids in a small zipper bag, go through an x-ray machine and arrive at the airport at least two hours early because of the extensive lines? Yes.

But, if those security measures will help prevent another family from loosing a loved one, because of a senseless terror attack, my few minutes of being inconvenienced is well worth it.

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