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My 9/11 Take

Palms, sticky with sweat, are gripping the cheap polyester seat. I can feel the pulse in my neck quickening, and my blood pressure rising to a potentially dangerous level. Fear is pinning me in place, as my heart desperately tries to rip its way through the confinement of my ribcage. The adrenaline coursing through my veins is like an icy stabbing in my mind as well as my entire body. The airplane’s engine has increased from a low methodic thrumming to a vicious monster running in tempo with the racing beast in my chest. At this point, the question in my head is ‘Will I ever see my family again?’

It’s September 11, 2001. I have boarded this plane thinking all is well. After my endless business trip the familiarity of my bed, and town, are beckoning to my shot consciousness. Little did I know that some of my fellow passengers had very un-similar intentions to my own, or for the fact that this date, and plane, would go down in infamy. The pilots’ bloody departure was made known when amongst the struggle a spare elbow or foot accidentally nudged the button to the speakers revealing strangled English and a lot of rustling. We now know what is happening.

Panic is seizing the passengers like a fast moving fog covering the vast landscape of a mountain. I can vaguely see the more reasonable strangers trying, and failing, to keep order. Which among panicky people, who now know that there end is near, is not a simple feat. The knowledge of certain death is not something that any one person takes lightly. For it was true, these too fast hearts will be the still ones next to mine under the rubble of our fiery tombs.

The calm that embraced my limbs and mind was unexplained, and seeped in slowly. The slow breathing of the person next to me made me realize that he too was experiencing the same. His name was Todd, from Newark, New Jersey. As the minutes ticked by I learned many things about Todd. For one, that he was the “Go to Guy”, that one person that however hard somebody tries not to like, they just can’t. That person that everybody goes to with his or her problems. I witnessed his attempt, and failure, to call his wife, and listened half-heartedly to him talk to a 9-1-1 operator for seven minutes. I even saw the lights in his eyes burn brighter as he came to the realization that we had to do something. I didn’t want to. Nor did I want him to go through with his courageous plan to stop the evil people that were about to end all of the lives that were on our flight; flight 93.

However, I knew that it must be done. By now, the blank faces of the strangers around me are shrieking that two planes have hit the Twin Towers in New York, and one has hit the Pentagon. Yes, fear is still ripping at my very being sending jolts of realization and pain straight through my heart, but those suicide bombers must be stopped. I swam through the muddy waters of fear and doubt to find my poker face. Failure was evident, but we must try to save our country’s capital and, if possible, ourselves.

The last known words spoken from any one person before those ordinary people charged the cockpit came from Todd, the stranger from Newark, New Jersey. He states simply, “LET’S ROLL!”





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Kegger5000 said...
Feb. 1, 2012 at 8:41 am
I really loved this it made me feel like a was the main character and in the plane. I hope to see more.
 
johnnyl98 said...
Jan. 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm
Wow! That was an incredible story that really took me onto that plane and made me feel like I was there and you had great word choice to go along with an amazing story.
 
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