I can hardly believe it’s been 20 years. I will never get over the 9-11 attacks and while I do not think of it everyday, I do find myself thinking about it, on occasion: whenever I see the New York City skyline, or when I see United Airlines or whenever I see a photo of the Pentagon.
Around 1995/96 I went back to visit some good friends who moved to Morristown, New Jersey. They took me to visit New York City and we had lunch in the courtyard of the Twin Towers. It was a wonderful day and I even bought a key chain with the twin towers on it.
A good friend of mine, Leslie was a flight attendant for United Airlines. 2 weeks after 9-11, the Pastor of our church asked her to go up front to tell her story – in tears, she told us that she had been scheduled to work on Flight 93 from New Jersey – to San Francisco – she had agreed to trade days with a co-worker who was meeting someone in San Francisco. She was devastated – it could have been her and most importantly she lost a friend. She knew of everyone who worked that flight. She sobbed as she told her story – She ended up being stranded on the East Coast for a couple of days until they resumed air travel.
Leslie went through some tough times after that – she took a leave of absence – No one can explain the why’s. It was hard on her marriage, her family. I still don’t think she is the same. She seems distant.
My youngest son, made the decision to join the military after 9-11. He signed up in 2003 as a senior and was on the delayed enlistment program. He left for bootcamp on 2/3/04.
I joined a online support group recommended to me by the Navy – called Navy Moms. While there I met the mother of Matthew Flocco – whose son, died at the Pentagon. Her posts effected me since I had just lost my oldest son, Michael in 2003. Although the two losses were different, we did share a commonality – we lost our children and we were grieving. I never met her in person – only through posts but I felt a kinship with her. I always think of her and Matthew on 9-11.
She was very active with Gold Star Moms and the 9-11 families. Michael P. Flocco, Sr. was a sheet metal mechanic and a member of Local #19. After his son Matthew’s tragic death on September 11, 2001 he steered his efforts to the rebuilding of the Pentagon.
Shelia passed away in Nov 2020 at the age of 66 and her husband, Mike Sr. passed in 2016 at the age of 68.