My wife Carol and I were visiting our son and his family in the Memphis, Tenn., area and were about to check out of our motel as we were on our way to St. Louis, Mo., to attend a U.S. Air Force reunion.
The first we heard of the tragedy was that a small plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Soon after that we learned that it had been an airline aircraft.
I was in the motel parking lot loading our travel bags into our vehicle when I noticed some alarming jet aircraft traffic coming into but not leaving the nearby Memphis airport. Almost all of the arriving aircraft were FedEx jets! Memphis is the main airport for FedEx and there seemed to be a sense of urgency about the arrivals.
Yes, I am a pilot so I was concerned that something serious was going on.
When we arrived at our hotel in St. Louis we were surprised to see that so many of our reunion people were not yet there. Most of them come from all over the US by plane. That is when we learned the awful truth about what was happening. Flights everywhere were forbidden… We even had airline pilots who attended our reunion because they were stranded there after the flight ban was issued. I will never, ever forget those terrible days! Nor will I forgive.
David J. Knutson