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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The 9/11 Memorial at ALPA Headquarters

The events of 9/11/01 changed many landscapes on many levels: that of New York City, the political landscape, and in a small way, the landscape outside the Air Line Pilots Association headquarters. I was there to attend the union's Basic Safety School, and the first thing I saw was this:


September 11, 2001

ALPA's Remembrance Garden was dedicated on September 11, 2006,
to honor the memories of the victims of 9/11 and pay tribute to the crews
of United Flight 93, United Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 11,
and American Airlines Flight 77. Please take time to visit the garden,
located outside in the front court.

From a distance, it is a compact, enclosed, quiet space:

Walking up the entry path, you are silently greeted by two slabs of stone in a hushed reminder of the original World Trade Center. The stone comes from Shanksville, Pennsylvania: the site of the crash of United Flight 93 on that terrible day.

Large stones flank the intersection of the entry path and the inner circle. These have a piece of the World Trade Center itself.

As you make your way around the circle, you come across stone markers in each of the cardinal directions. At one entrance, a piece of the Pentagon lays in repose.

The entry path aligns in a way that at the right angle, the twin stones frame the name over the door.

Thirty-three crewmembers slipped the surly bonds of Earth that day: almost three dozen people who left for work that day, but didn't make it home. I list them in the order that their aircraft were lost:

American Airlines Flight 11

Captain John Ogonowski
First Officer Thomas McGuinness

Flight attendants
Barbara Arestegui
Jeffrey Collman
Sara Low
Karen Martin
Kathleen Nicosia
Betty Ong
Jean Roger
Dianne Snyder
Amy Sweeney

United Flight 175

Captain Victor Saracini
First Officer Michael Horrocks

Flight attendants
Robert Fangman
Amy Jarret
Amy King
Kathryn Laborie
Alfred Marchand
Michael Tarrou
Alicia Titus

American Airlines Flight 77

Captain Charles Burlingame
First Officer David Charlebois

Flight attendants
Michele Heidenberger
Jennifer Lewis
Kenneth Lewis
Renee May

United Flight 93

Captain Jason Dahl
First Officer LeRoy Homer, Jr.

Flight attendants
Lorraine Bay
Sandra Bradshaw
Wanda Green
CeeCee Lyles
Deborah Welsh

Postscript: When I entered the building, I found something else that I didn't know ALPA had: three Collier Trophies:

See you next Wednesday!

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The author is an airline pilot, flight instructor, and adjunct college professor teaching aviation ground schools. He holds an ATP certificate with a DHC-8 type rating, as well as CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, and IGI certificates, and is a Master-level participant in the FAA's WINGS program and a former FAASafety Team representative. He is on Facebook as Larry the Flying Guy, has a Larry the Flying Guy YouTube channel, and is on Twitter as @Lairspeed.

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