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I doubt that anyone in the US has a problem remembering where they were on 9/11.  It was my son’s first day of pre-K.  We were living in Virginia Beach at the time, and I was taken aback when a dozen or more Air Force Jets sprung out of nowhere and flew fast and furious out of my site.  I realized later they were called to protect all of the domestic flights en route.

Like millions of others I sat frozen watching the events of 9/11 take place.  A disturbing call came a few hours later, my brother had not heard from his wife who, at the time, was working in the American Express Tower.  He was freaking out, understandably, and was loading up the car and heading for the city.  He was about three hours into his drive when the call came, that she was safe.  We all breathed a sigh of relief, and came to realize we were one of the few families that had a ‘miracle’ outcome.

As a travel professional, my life has changed dramatically over the last 10 years.  From being searched, stopped, questioned, and more.  At times I get frustrated and impatient with all of the extra screening, but I know that it is always for my own good, and I remember to thank the agents no matter what.

As the sun sets on 9/11/11 I see the world has healed, but it pains me to know the world still fears, hates, and doesn’t see we really are all very much alike.  Travel, to me is a bridge, a bridge to healing, because when we travel we see that people in Paris, Hong-Kong, Croatia, Egypt and more; are a lot like you and me. Religion never comes into play. The people I meet want the best for their family, they want to have enough to live a rich life, they want to work, and be counted!

I hope in my lifetime that when 9/11/21 rolls around the entire world is living as one, to take a line from John Lennon’s Imagine.  For now, I salute all of the hero’s from 9/11 and the many men and women in the military that have gone forth to protect our country.  Thank you.

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