Dear Flying Partners:
This month we will mark 15 years since the events of September 11, 2001. We honor our fallen Sisters and Brothers by keeping their memory alive. Our union encourages Flight Attendants around the globe to wear a black ribbon under your AFA pin and join us for a moment of silence and quiet reflection at 8:46 AM Eastern Time on Sunday, September 11th. This year, we also begin a new tradition of the AFA Honor Guard in uniform at our three national memorials. These Flight Attendants will be a reminder of the sacrifice of our Sisters and Brothers. Members of the AFA Honor Guard have worked diligently to advance our legislative agenda to Never Forget. To become eligible for membership, volunteer for our Never Forget initiatives throughout the year to serve in future.
On September 11th, 2016, AFA leaders, members and Honor Guard will be present in uniform at the 9/11 Memorial in New York, the Flight 93 Chapel, the Memorial in Shanksville, and other memorial events around the country. Please visit AFA’s online memorial page for a listing of remembrance and memorial events, share your tributes, and honor the 35 crewmembers and agents aboard those four fateful flights.
We will NEVER forget our flying partners who were among the first to alert us to danger and courageously fought back.
United 93: Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, CeeCee Lyles, Deborah Welsh, Capt. Jason Dahl, F/O Leroy Homer.
United 175: Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Amy King, Kathryn Laborie, Al Marchand, Michael Tarrou, Alicia Titus, Capt. Victor Saracini, F/O Michael Horrocks, CSR Marianne Mac Farlane, CSR Jesus Sanchez.
American 11: Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean Roger, Dianne Snyder, Madeline Sweeney, Capt. John Ogonowski, F/O Thomas McGuinness.
American 77: Michelle Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May, Capt. Charles Burlingame, F/O David Charlebois.
Many of us have our own personal experiences and memories from that day which will be imprinted in our minds forever. Some of these experiences and memories rekindle emotions that are difficult to deal with, but know that we have each other to rely on. As Flight Attendants we are part of a huge family of unique safety professionals that provide each other with comfort and support each and every day. AFA EAP is always available to assist members who may need to talk or obtain other resources.
Personal Strategies For Approaching The Anniversary Of September 11th From Your AFA-CWA EAP
As we approach the anniversary of September 11th, many of us will begin to plan how we’ll recognize this day. Anniversaries offer an opportunity to acknowledge our memories and experiences, to connect with others who share in them, and to pay tribute to our individual and collective journeys. They can also serve as personal and professional milestones of our healing and resiliency. For some, September 11th will be marked with private personal gestures such as observing a moment of silence, spending quiet time reflecting, or dedicating our flying to our profession. For others, it will be marked with collective activities such as ceremonies and memorial services.
There is no ‘right way’ or ‘better way’ to recognize the anniversary; but, there are some suggestions that may prove helpful as we approach the anniversary of September 11th.
- Observe the anniversary in a way that’s comfortable for you. Say no to events or activities that you sense may flood you with too many feelings. Find more gentle ways of honoring the anniversary.
- Don’t compare yourself to how others around you appear to be dealing with the September 11th anniversary.
- Acknowledge that we all heal at different rates, in different ways, and with different outcomes.
- Give yourself permission and time to be affected. Though uncomfortable, anticipate and plan for having a stress reaction as the anniversary approaches. Trust that if you have moments of difficulty, you’ll be able to pull yourself back together.
- Try not to isolate yourself. Pre-plan now to be with people if you know you have this tendency.
However, you choose to structure your day this September 11th or however it just naturally unfolds, please remember that your AFA EAP committee representatives welcome being a part of it. If you or a flying partner needs a confidential ear, please call us at 1-800-424-2406 or find your local EAP representatives’ contact information at our website.
Remember, we’re just a phone call away.