Fwd: A friend's return flight

From: jeff davis (jrd1415@yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Sep 20 2001 - 14:03:24 MDT


I can't vouch for the authenticity of the followin,
but I choose to believe it genuine, as it reinforces
my experience that people have a deep wellspring of
courage, common sense, and compassion.

Subject :
 A Friends Return Flight

 I wanted to share this with you....
The following is from a letter by a professional
friend and her return
flight to D.C. this week.

"I just wanted to drop you all a note and let you know
that I arrived safe and sound into Dulles Airport
tonight [9/15] at about 6:00. It was an interesting
flight. The airport in Denver was almost spooky, it
was so empty and quiet. No one was in line for the
security check point when I got there so that went
fairly quickly, just x-ray of my bags and then a
chemical test to be sure nothing explosive was on
them. Then I waited 2 hours to board the plane. What
happened after we boarded was interesting and thought
I would share it with you.

The pilot/captain came on the loudspeaker after the
doors were closed. His speech went like this:

First I want to thank you for being brave enough to
fly today. The doors are now closed and we have no
help from the outside for any problems that might
occur inside this plane. As you could tell when you
checked in, the government has made some changes to
increase security in the
airports. They have not, however, made any rules about
what happens after those doors close. Until they do
that, we have made our own rules and I want to share
them with you. Once those doors close, we only have
each other. The security has taken care of a threat
like guns with all of the increased scanning, etc.
Then we have the supposed bomb. If you have a bomb,
there is no need to tell me about it, or anyone else
on this plane; you are already in control. So, for
this flight, there are no bombs that exist on this

Now, the threats that are left are things like
plastics, wood, knives, and other weapons that can be
made or things like that which can be used as weapons.
Here is our plan and our rules. If someone or several
people stand up and say they are hijacking this plane,
I want you all to stand up together. Then take
whatever you have available to you and throw it at
them. Throw
it at their faces and heads so they will have to raise
their hands to protect themselves. The very best
protection you have against knives are the pillows and
blankets. Whoever is close to these people should then
try to get a blanket over their heads. Then they won't
be able to see. Once that is done, get them down and
keep them there. Do not let them up. I will then land
the plane at the closest place and we WILL take care
of them. After all, there are usually only a few of
them and we are 200+ strong! We will not allow them to
take over this plane. I find it interesting that the
US Constitution begins with the words "We, the
people"-that's who we are, THE people and we will not
be defeated.

With that, the passengers on the plane all began to
applaud, people had tears in their eyes, and we began
the trip toward the runway. The flight attendant then
began the safety speech. One of the things she said is
that we are all so busy and live our lives at such a
fast pace. She asked that everyone turn to their
neighbors on either side and introduce themselves,
tell each other something about your families and
children, show pictures, whatever. She said "for
today, we consider you family. We will treat you as
such and ask that you do the same with us."

Throughout the flight we learned that for the crew,
this was their first flight since Tuesday's tragedies.
It was a day that everyone leaned on each other and
together everyone was stronger than any one person
alone. It was quite an experience. You can imagine the
feeling when that plane touched down at Dulles and we
heard "welcome to Washington Dulles Airport, where the
local time is 5:40". Again, the cabin was filled with
applause. Last night I saw a program with college
students where one of them said that at their campus
there are no more hyphenated titles, i.e.,
African-American, etc., everyone is just an American.
No one will ever be able to take that pride away from
us. "


Best, Jeff Davis

    "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                            Ray Charles

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