Tragedy hits home

By Shannon King
September 20, 2001

by Shannon King

staff writer

The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day in the Philadelphia area. Outside my back window, kids were playing in the field behind my house seemingly unaware of the horrific events that had unfolded hours before. This tragic act of terrorism hit in a city not as far away as most of us adults would like. I sat glued to the news as most people were, I’m sure, thanking the Lord that I didn’t know anyone who was remotely near Manhattan.

As many people do in the afternoons, a woman was walking around the field enjoying the afternoon sun. I heard her cell phone ring through my window and the woman’s cheerful voice greet the caller. A few minutes later her cheerful laughter turned into sobs of despair. I quickly grabbed my grandmother and told her what was going on. We ran outside to make sure the woman was ok. We quickly found out she had just learned that her close friend of 15 years, was piloting one of the United Airways planes that tragically crashed into the World Trade Center.

The man was from the Glen Mills area, about 20 minutes from Cabrini and five minutes from my house, and had two children, a daughter age 9 and a son just 4 years old. The woman had racked her brain, as I had, thinking of anyone she knew who might have been in New York. The pilot had never crossed her mind.

I always thought that things like this happened to bad people in countries far away. The United States is so advanced and has such high security that nothing like that could happen here. That realm of thinking was quickly diminished as I peered out my window later that night. Looking at the field of 9-year-old soccer players, I wondered how another little girl, probably playing just as carefree yesterday, is coping with the tragic and senseless loss of her father tonight.

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Shannon King

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