Friday, September 11, 2009


Sam brought home a book called Fly Away.  He picked it because he liked the pictures of airplanes on the cover.  I just assumed it was about things that happen in the airport.  It was not, it was about a little boy and his father who were homeless and lived in the airport.  Our school district will not play the President's speech without having a fit, but they have a book about a homeless boy who lives in the airport.  It seems odd to me.  But that is not the point of this post.

The premise of the story is that the little boy and his dad move around to all of these different areas of the airport, so they aren't noticed.  It details a typical day of trying to not get caught.  On the weekends the father goes to work, so another family watches the little boy.  The kids try and earn money by collecting carts and helping people with their luggage.  At the end of the book, the dad buys the other family dinner as payment for watching his son.  Then they go sleep at a gate some where.

When I was a kid, I remember there being homeless people in the airport.  In Los Angeles, they were every where.  The security guards spent a lot of time shooing them away, but they kept on coming.  The terminals were always packed with people.  It was a fun activity to go to the airport to watch the planes take off and have lunch.

These things do not happen any more.  Post 9/11, homeless people can not live in airports, which is unfortunate for the boy and his father.  Post 9/11, people can not make a day of watching planes and having lunch.  Now, we have to submit to a strip search, take our shoes off and carry our liquids in zip top bags, no larger than a quart.  In the US we can fly with knitting needles, but in Europe they are considered weapons.  NOW, who would use a proper knitting needle as a weapon?  They might break, and that would be bad, or worse get blood on ones project.

It was hard to live in Connecticut and not be impacted by it.  Everyone knew someone.  Bob had been in the towers a couple of months before for a trade show.  He could have been there or in the area that day.  While not likely, not out of the question.  We have friends who lost family members.  We have friends who had family members survive because they were sick that day.  We knew people that lost jobs in the aftermath.

Many people died on this day 8 years ago.  Some men made a choice that impacted the lives of almost everyone in the world.    May God be with those who lost their loved ones due to the choices of a few.

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