September 11, 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the devastating attacks that forever changed the course of American history. AFGE TSA Local 322 President Kim Kraynak-Lambert reflects on where she was that day and how the attacks have affected her life.
It was a beautiful day. I was still working for the airlines at that time and was at a station near some televisions. I remember hearing something about the World Trade Center and then going to watch the nearby television. I watched in horror as the plane crashed into the second tower.
Our airline was near the American Airlines and United Airlines ticket counters and I went to tell those agents what I just saw on television. It was like the sky was falling. I was to help passengers board a plane, so I went to the gate.
That’s when we got the news we were under attack. The Pittsburgh International Airport was shut down. Rather than get them aboard the plane, we told all the passengers to go to baggage claim, get their luggage and go home. The whole airport was like a ghost town. Later, I got on the employee bus to go to get my car out of the airline parking lot – everyone was silent, seemingly stunned. I picked up my son from school … on the car radio I heard about the plane going down in Pennsylvania. For two days it was eerie coming to work at the airport – it was so quiet.
I loved the airport environment and when I joined TSA I did so because I love my country and I wanted to serve. We believe in what we are doing.