The Boston Globe reports:
“Flight attendant Cameron?’’ the voice from Dallas barks. “Are you going to sign in for your trip? Are you stuck in traffic?’’
Halle Cameron squints at the clock on her nightstand: 7 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001. American Airlines Flight 11 departs in 45 minutes from Logan International Airport, nonstop to Los Angeles.
She had finally earned the seniority to pull cross-country flights like this, after 10 years of short-hop connections and layovers in Des Moines. But she came home yesterday from playing in a golf tournament feeling shaky, maybe heatstroke, maybe more.
Dragging her to dinner, a flight attendant friend had urged her not to waste a sick day on such a good route, reminding her how she loved the beds at the Westin in Los Angeles.
So she packed her bags and set the alarm for 4. But when she couldn’t sleep, she called American’s automated line to withdraw from the flight. Or so she thought.
“I called in sick last night,’’ she says.
“Oh,’’ the voice from Dallas says, hesitating. “That was you.’’
A rare glitch. Now someone is scrambling at headquarters, someone else is scrambling in Boston. On standby at Logan, 24-year-old Jean Roger gathers her belongings and hustles to Gate 32.
THIS IS WHERE it began. Two flights, one airport. Everyone knows how it ended. Nearly 3,000 dead, families devastated, a crater in the earth.
Back home, Logan reinvents itself. Around the airfield, a 10-foot-high concrete barrier, prison-camp thick, with razor wire on top. Inside, a new security force, full-body scanners, hundreds of cameras, liquids in bags, beltless travelers in socks. And unseen, scars unwilling to fade.
They are the rarely noticed casualties of the terrorist attacks: the security guard, the ticket agent, the baggage handler on the ramp. They made it home that night, but with images they couldn’t shake, a pain uncomfortable to voice. They can’t believe it has been 10 years. They can’t believe it has only been 10 years. [Continue reading…]