Sometimes a flight is just a flight. Aeroplane cruising at 40.000 feet going from A to B. Passengers from all over the world travelling with different stories, different experiences, different goals and different objectives. Family. Business. Leisure. A hunt for life-changing experiences. A longing for ones family. The reunion of loved ones held at distance for long periods of time due to work, due to unforeseen circumstances like ash-clouds. There are millions of different stories cruising the air space any given minute of the day, all year round.
KL1153 from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was no different this morning than other mornings. It being Sunday, the cabin was not even half full offering plenty of room to stretch your legs. A rare feeling onboard a Cityhopper like the Fokker 70/100 which always makes me envy the sardines in the colloquial tin. The sky was clear after an amazing sunrise. Smooth weather conditions made flight deck switch off the fasten seatbelt-sign after just a minute, still climbing steeply. That’s how I like it. But it being the day it was, its very particular date made me think a little extra about my constant flying and how lucky I am always arriving at the correct destination. How fragile life sometimes seem, how fragile this our existence on borrowed time makes everything.
I dare say no one in the Westerns world alive today will ever forget what they were doing and where they were when they together with the rest of the world was hit by the news of the terrorist acts on New York City and the Pentagon on 9/11 2001. I find it hard to grasp that it is already ten years ago.
Myself, I was just on my way out of a singing lesson. Just a few weeks in to my first year at music college, not even twenty years old, I gathered together with my fellow undergrad friends in the common room where the teaching staff had set up a TV. We all sat watching as the second tower was hit. The news presenter not sure if she could believe what she had to say. I remember her eyes, seemingly asking herself as she red the latest news bulletin of the prompter, “…am I really reading this out loud? Is this really happening?” That’s what we all wondered. No one in the group of loud, exhibitionistic, out-going, bubbly first year vocal students said anything. We just sat and watched.
Today all my thoughts go to the families and friends of the people who died on that very day ten years ago. While cruising at 38.000 feet I cannot but think of the love for family and friends that must have filled the hearts of those who died. Fear. Shock. Chaos. All those too. But mostly love. Thinking of husbands, wives, partners, children, parents, girlfriends, boyfriends.
The passengers onboard the now famous flights did not arrive at their expected destination. Their families were all painfully reminded of that on Sunday. But I did touch down safely that morning. And yesterday morning too. Luckily so will most of us. And when we cruise around high, high up in the air, don’t forget how lucky we are if we have someone waiting for us somewhere.
On any given day it is important to remember what creates the world we want to live in. Not fear, not hatred. But understanding, compassion, love. If we can find these feelings in our hearts, even on a day like 9/11, a lot of the battle is won. Lets remember how we must try for a better world together. Today. Tomorrow. Every day.