Written September 11, 2014, Dallas, Texas
There was a noticeable hush at Love Field just before 9 a.m. this morning. It was apparent even at the curbside check-in counter.
The hush gave way to silence as we entered the terminal and encountered the cadre of police officers and uniformed TSA personnel standing at attention around the perimeter.
A blue-shirted employee whispered to us that a 9-11 memorial service was being held this morning, but that we could proceed to the gate area if we so desired. Looking around, no one was moving. Nor was anyone speaking. The color guard moved in formal cadence into place in the center of the hall, proudly bearing their burdens; they stood somberly facing the gathering.
It was impossible not to remember the events of that morning 13 years ago. A few words were spoken, but somehow the words seem unimportant. What does stand out as important is that for a few moments this morning at a location far from the awful event itself, there was a unity in remembrance, a realization that life is fragile, that bad things happen, and that Americans must all stand together for good.
For a few moments at Love Field in Dallas, Texas, USA, all was well in the silence.
When the reservations were made a month ago, the significance of the date didn’t register. And, in the days leading up to our planned departure on a morning flight, the date was also forgotten.
It was only when we saw the flags at half staff that the realization took hold.
It was a bit difficult not to choke up just a little to the strains of Amazing Grace. Everyone was invited to join in singing America the Beautiful. Few, however, did so. Retaining a sense of composure was not easy.
The honor guard retreated.
TSA screeners resumed their duties.
Police returned to their posts.
And all the travelers proceeded to their gates, ready to fly off into the present.
That experience prompted this year’s thoughts about 9-11.