On September 11th, 2001, terrorists from al-Qaeda hijacked four planes.The takeover and eventual crashing of the planes killed all the people in the planes, the hijackers, people in the buildings that were hit, and fire fighters who were trying to help out.We all know that it affected the people who died and their families, but it is harder to explain how it affects the everyday person who was not directly involved.
In October of 2001, after the attack, my father and I were flying via Southwest from Love Field airport in Dallas, Texas to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Kenner, Louisiana to visit my grandmother in Houma, Louisiana.I was two years old and wearing a long sleeved bright pink dress that happened to be one of my favorites.
The day began at eight o’clock in the morning, the average time for my rising.Prior to the morning it had been decided that my mother and younger sister, Katherine, would not be traveling with us because my baby sister, who was only six months old, had a cold.So that morning, I hopped out of bed and went downstairs to eat my typical breakfast, eggs and fruit.
Our flight left at two o’clock in the afternoon which meant we had to arrive at Love Field around twelve thirty.My dad hates being late so he always builds in extra time into our schedule which is often necessary when you have young children because anything can happen.
Since my mom was packing for me, I had time to burn.I turned on one of my favorite shows, Dora the Explorer.I was so obsessed with her that I ended up being her for Halloween that year.
We left my house in Plano, Texas fifteen minutes before noon and listened to my favorite CD on repeat that was a selection put together by my mom of my favorite songs, including: “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, “Barbie Girl” by Aqua, “Spice up your Life” by the Spice Girls, and “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys.My dad was probably having the time of his life on that thirty minute car ride.
When we arrived at the airport, we went straight to security since we were not checking any bags.
Transportation Security Administration had been picking random people to interview one-on- one since the 9/11 attack.They would randomly pick numbers.Then, they would count the people who went through security and whoever was that number to go through security had to be interrogated.My dad tells me now that he was not worried because he had nothing to hide and he was not bothered by the increase in security because he did not want an attack like that to affect any of his children.
When I went through security, I happened to be one of the chosen numbers.My dad said, “Ok, she doesn’t have much to say,” picked me up, and started walking towards the designated room.The Transportation Security Administration officer stopped him saying, “Oh, sir you cannot come with her to the interrogation. It has to be one-on-one.” My dad was infuriated, “YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE MY TWO YEAR OLD DAUGHTER AWAY FROM ME!”
After about thirty minutes of arguing, my dad finally allowed for the officer to interrogate me separately because otherwise we were not allowed to board our flight.The interrogation took no longer that two minutes, but it must have felt like an hour for my dad.