Enjoy Fall. Winter is just around the corner!
Shortly following the events of 9/11 an American Flight Attendant, Valerie Thompson, formed a foundation dedicated to the memory of the professionals who crewed American Airlines Flights 11 and 77 and United Airlines Flights 93 and 175. She and her husband, Dean, continued their vision for six years joined by numerous members of the aviation community and others. On July 4th 2008 the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial was dedicated in Grapevine, Texas, just north of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
It is a bronze sculpture based on the design of Bryce Cameron Liston of Salt Lake City, Utah and sculpted by Dean Thompson. It is executed in the Grande style which is one and one half life size. The Memorial has five figures; two pilots, two flight attendants, and a child representing the traveling public. The figures are 14 feet high and with the base stand 18 feet. It is sited facing west on a compass rose. The figures stand on a single block of white Texas limestone. The names of the crew members of the 9/11 flights are engraved on slabs of granite surrounding the base.
The figures on the monument pay tribute to all flight crews — representing the valor, dedication, and awe-inspiring commitment that flight crews exhibit. These individuals place their lives on the line every flight and are never sure when they may be transformed from everyday citizens to heroes, catapulted into the pages of history. Here is a description of the monument from a sign posted nearby:
A stone column rises to support a large globe, symbolizing how the aviation industry spans the world. The impressive eagles, a national symbol of freedom, represent both airlines, American and United that lost flights that morning.
The Captain stands at the highest point, his copilot to his right, as it is on the airplane. The Captain is charged with the responsibility of protecting passengers, fellow crewmembers and the aircraft.
The First Officer is alert, his safety manual in hand, pointing to the western horizon, the intended destination of all four flights. Back-to-back placement of the Flight Attendants to the Cockpit Crew shows the teamwork of all flight crews, especially now — post 9/11.
The young girl with her teddy bear represents the traveling public. She is the family on their big vacation, the newlyweds on honeymoon, the grandmother on her very first flight, the weary businessman and unfortunately now… she is the soldier off to war.
The role best known by the general flying public is portrayed by the male Flight Attendant. He drapes a blanket around the small child. His duties show a commitment to passenger care and service.
Indicative of her role as a safety professional, the female Flight Attendant stands in the protected position: her hand held in the International sign for “stop”, shielding her passenger from harm.
Alongside the statue are stones from the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA as well as a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. It was very awe inspiring, and I got the goosies while standing there. I can only imagine what it must feel like to stand at Ground Zero.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse near Half Moon Bay
You can probably tell by the last few posts that my mind is several hundred miles from the Arizona desert. In particular I am thinking today of our trip to the northern coast of California that we took a couple of years ago. I can remember this day like it was yesterday. It was so cool that I had to wear a sweatshirt. In August!
I am thinking that two years is way too much time in between trips so…I’m lobbying for something up the Oregon coast. I read once about a guided tour hunting for fossils along a beach somewhere. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Do you know how some days you’re the windshield and others you’re the bug? Well, today I felt like the bug. I don’t know how fast the car that hit me was going, but they were definitely breaking the speed limit. SPLAT! That’s how my day went. As if that wasn’t bad enough, someone kept smacking me with the windshield wipers! But, tomorrow is another day, and thinking back to this trip makes me feel better.
A few observations I made today:
- It must be an election year. Everyone thinks they have something important to say (or know someone who does) and is convinced I want to hear it.
- When Neil Armstrong got frustrated because something didn’t work, did he say “They can send me to the moon, but they can’t make this simple thing work”?
- It must be an election year because I’m starting to hear all the same promises I heard 4 years ago.
- If something gets ruined in the wash it will be your favorite pair of shorts.
- If it only rains for 5 minutes a day it will be when you walk from your car to the office. And forgot your umbrella.
- A bad day on the water is better than a good day at work.
- It must be an election year.
“An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.” ~Bonnie Friedman
Or rather about Saturday night and the photo I posted yesterday… There are a few things I didn’t tell you:
- This was the eastern sky, not the western sky, so it was not the sunset we were looking at.
- It was a rainbow, but you can’t really tell because it was taken with my iPhone. Had I had a better lens available you could see it more clearly. When I saw it out the window I grabbed the closest thing to me. That’s one reason why there is so much noise in the photo and in the one below. I thought I didn’t have my zoom lens on my Nikon, but today I realized I had changed it last week. Would have been a much better picture – Doh!
- It was taken by my friend, Chris, who is taller than I am (most people are) while peering over my back wall. That is the Goodyear Farms Cemetery. Our neighbors are very quiet most of the time. 🙂
A moment later we marveled at the cloud next to it. It looked like a tiny funnel cloud. Then it turned pink as well. Maybe it was a double rainbow?
I didn’t post either one of these photos because I thought they were good as much as to share the awesome sky. The skies are not so pretty tonight. As I type right now we are getting yet ANOTHER dust storm. My husband just said “I can’t imagine we won’t get any rain tonight” which is usually the kiss of death. Argh!
UPDATE: I have been requested to make a public apology to a certain male figure in my house due to that piddly little event following the dust storm called a rain shower. If I were Mother Nature I would be embarrassed to even call it “rain”, but there you have it.
…there was rain. We only got a few sprinkles and that was it, but last night we did get to see the most beautiful sky at dusk that I have seen in a long, long time.
Ah….there is nothing quite as relaxing as spending a weekend with good friends. It’s even better if there is an ocean nearby! After arriving in the valley on Saturday, we drove through the canyon and enjoyed a nice Sunday brunch in Malibu. After we finished eating, we had a little time to walk along the beach. We really enjoyed our visit. Our friends were great hosts, and we are already looking forward to seeing them again soon.