Eight years have passed since the terrorist attacks on our nation. Eight pilots were killed. As a result, 2,900 more lost their lives. I can still recall feelings of shock, grief, anger and resolve. Americans knew that our country and the whole world had changed.
That day also forever changed the perception of aviation and the issues within aviation. I remember the empty skies following the tragedy. Flying was no longer that important to me. In fact, I logged the least amount of time ever in the months that followed. General Aviation had been viewed in a positive light to that point but thereafter, all things associated with flying and light airplanes were viewed with suspicion. There were bigger issues at stake.
As a nation we sought to rebuild and move on. Eventually, we returned to many of our routines. We have maintained the freedom to fly but it has brought about new restrictions and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA was well intentioned but it has created a number of policies that hamper general aviation without improving security.
Today, I’m reminded of the tragedy, However, I also recall feelings of purpose and resolve during that time. As my friend Mr. Bibb said: “it cemented our common bond, rekindled our thirst for liberty, and found us marching shoulder to shoulder facing down evil with determined indignation”. We surely need more of that as we tackle the political and economic challenges ahead of us.