Pondering Gate 32 in the Rain

Logan Airport, Gate 32, by Patrick Madrid

This one caught me by surprise. What struck me is that here we are, nearly ten years later, and this shot immediately made me think of 9/11, even though 9/11/01 was a gorgeous day of weather, and not a bit rainy. It reminds me that often, when I drive toward the city, I watch the planes looping around LaGuardia Airport and JFK, and I whisper up a prayer. And that sometimes I stand outside, and view the empty sky, and remember a day when it was emptier, still, except for the fighter plane that seemed so low, so very low. I could see the pilot. It is all so very vivid in my memory:

The weather in Boston the last few days was raw, rainy, and dreary. This is why, perhaps, as I waited a few hours in the American Airlines terminal at Boston Logan Airport for my (weather-delayed) flight home, my mind turned to somber things.

Pondering the fact that, at 7:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, American Flight 11 pulled back from gate 32 and commenced its journey into death, I realized that though I had flown in and out of that airport many times over the years, I hadn’t stopped to think of its historical importance as one of the starting points of the terror attacks on the United States that terrible morning.

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • SuzyQ

    I think we are all still quite affected. I was in Las Vegas last week, walking on the Strip near the new City Center, with its tall, gleaming buildings. The Vegas airport isn’t far from town, and planes approach pretty low over the Strip. As one approached in a particular landing pattern, the optical illusion had it on collision with the new highrise (in reality, it wasn’t even close – but the image was startling!). Dozens of us stopped in our tracks, agape, then gave a collective sigh of relief when it passed safely. The apprehension was palpable, though. I haven’t seen anything like that so far from 9/11. I believe we have a sense of inevitability about what’s coming next. The world has truly changed.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/user/KnightOwl2006#g/u Tempus_Fugit

    There’s no reason for terrorists to hit us again. The country is doing fine wrecking itself right now. I do not mean that glibly either. I’ve read enough history books to know what I’m watching right now.

  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    I knew 4 people who walked thru that gate on 9/11/01 – 3 indirectly and one very directly.

    She was the daughter of friends; her name was Heather Lee Smith. She was 31 years old at the time – she would have turned 40 this June. She had been at our house in CT for dinner about 6 weeks before. She had been scheduled to leave on 9/10/01 but decided – for reasons no one has ever been sure of – that she would just fly stand-by the morning of the 11th. So she got up very early, kissed her fiance good-bye, grabbed a cab and went to Logan Airport.

    It would be 6:00pm the evening of the 11th before American Airlines would confirm to her family that she was on that flight. Confirming what they already knew in their hearts.

    I’m glad to know that the airport has at least done something small to honor those who boarded that flight, with the flag at the end of the jetway. I also understand why there isn’t a plaque at the gate.

    Honoring them means remembering them in their lives, not as random victims walking thru a doorway to their fate. While their names will forever be entwined with the horrific events of that morning – it’s important to remember that they were more than victims of a terrorist attack. They were people who had jobs, families, people who loved and were loved.

  • AvantiBev

    Honoring them means recognizing they were killed in an act of JIHAD not just some non-denominational “terror”. Honoring them means recognizing that we are at war – a 1400 year old world war — with many fronts not only the two, Iraq and Afgahnistan, but from Catholic Philippines to Sudan to Nigeria to Egypt to Netherlands and Denmark.

    Let’s stop toleranting of the intolerable.