Every generation has its, “I’ll never forget what I was doing when…” event. Well into their 70’s, my parents could tell you exactly what they were doing on the day JFK was assassinated, to a level of detail that was, in itself, telling. For most of us, our “never forget” event is September 11, 2001. I wrote this account of the day, from my perspective, a few years ago, and republish it every year on the anniversary. Never forget.
In the late summer and early fall of 2001, I was traveling extensively for my job with R.S. Byrnes Associates. On September 10th, I left the office in the late afternoon and drove to the Piedmont Triad airport in Greensboro to catch a flight to Canton. In those days, it was often much less expensive to fly U.S. Airways from Greensboro than Charlotte, even if, as was the case on that day, the connecting flight to the final destination was through CLT. The 30 minute flight from Greensboro to Charlotte was uneventful, but the connection was very tight and I rushed from my gate to pick up a to-go sandwich before boarding the Dornier 328 turboprop for the two hour flight to Ohio. I was planning some leisurely reading during the flight and had brought the new Kathy Reichs novel, Fatal Voyage, to read en route. No sooner had we reached our cruising altitude, however, than the weather took a turn for the worse, and eating my sandwich and reading my book became difficult as the plane rocked in the turbulence. Somewhat ironically, Fatal Voyage was about a plane crash in the North Carolina mountains. Continue reading