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The First Flight

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Southwest President Colleen Barrett and Chairman Herb Kelleher talks about our first plane to depart Dallas after the 9/11 attacks.
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This comment isn't directed to anyone in particular. I watched this video and ALL of the videos posted on the Southwest blog and felt remarkably different after viewing them. I am now 23 years old, while young yes, young at heart, no. On September 11th, being the young and vibrant 18 year old that I was stepped onto a shiny new 777 United Airlines had just taken hold of. As one of the youngest flight attendants to join United I felt on top of my game, as well on top of the world. Sadly that all changed a moments after my Boston to Denver flight reached 38,000 feet. After being involved in that mornings choas, I learned that tragicaly my two best friends where each killed on a United jet. One was working on United flight 175 and another on Flight 93. While waiting what seemed to be an eternity at the New York JFK airport after being diverted out of Boston, my life began to crumble before me. At such a young age I was clueless as how to handle the situation before me, all I could think to do was cry uncontrollably and become extremely angry and bitter towards the world. I came from a tough family, everyone struggled to make it and it seemed I would be the first do that. The next year of my life became a painful and daily misery that never seemed to subside and as each day passed I felt more alone and more dead than the day before. One year after the attacks I flew back to New York on a southwest flight and was touched by your crew members, ground operations and flight attendants as to their professionalism, their kindness and their LUV for their fallen friends at United and American. While I remained silent on the airplane, preparing to face my fears of the most tragic day of my life, one of your flight attendants smiled at me, I never knew her name, but I had this feeling she knew what I was going through, she hugged me and said you are still young and you can still live your life. It wasn't until that moment that I realized I could. I am still very much grieving the loss of my friends and of my life that day, but I have recovered and have reached a positive goal. After I returned from the 1 year memorial service held in New York in honor of the ladies and gentlmen taken from us, I buckled down, went back to college and began my pursuit of my life long dream of being an airline pilot. 5 years later, I have completed college, and am now in the middle flight training at Flight Safety Academy in Vero Beach, Florida. While there are several people responsible for my success, and flying home back to Los Angeles where I am from, I rely on my friends at Southwest to get me to and from Orlando when neccesary while I complete my pilot training, but I do have to thank the kindness Southwest originates in its employees and in its very spirit. I LOVE to fly and I fear what I would have become had not one of your fine members took a small moment to be HUMAN and have compassion on what was then a very very lost and dark soul. Your airline is a beautiful place, I travel on you monthly and always have a chuckle at the always imaginitive and creative ways your employees find to make flying not quite as cattle herding as it can be and one day I hope to also embody that spirit and fly those cute 737's all around this wonderful but crazy country we call home. While it has now been 5 years, there isnt a day that goes that I dont look up and smile for my girls who are gone, but there is also not a day that goes by that I don't look forward and smile for the person I have become and for the person I FOUND that day on a southwest 737 roaring down the runway at Ontario's International Airport in California bound to face my ultimate, my biggest and my most life changing fear, the fear of acceptance, the fear of forgivness, and the fear of myself. Thank You for what you will have never known that you did, and Thank You for LUV. Sincerely, Your Friend, Jeremy Schoggins
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Losing loved ones is always difficult. I have lost many people already in my life and I am only 23. I think that was one of the reasons that I started gravitating toward buddhism. Losing people definitely leads a lot of people to soul search and try to find meaning. There is nothing that anyone can ever say that makes it easier and I am sorry for your loss. Orlando Tax Lawyer