September 11th. Plus Two.
Today, and in ensuing
days, we're going to be treated to yet more dramatic footage of
once majestic aircraft being used as tools of death and
destruction. The sleek, swift wings of American Freedom were turned
from tools of commerce and transportation into something
horrific, threatening and fearsome. It should not have been
that way... but the perversion of a Godly concept by a small group
of cowards and miscreants turned a symbol of our freedom into a
threat that is still being used to attack every aspect of what it
is to be an American.
Like many, people we knew and cared for were among those lost
that day and it pains us to have to remember them in the past
tense. It also hurts to watch something else we love be blamed
(in part) for their having left our senses all too soon.
Over and over again, media reports will force us to have to
watch proud aircraft be used to kill people and change our
Over and over again, aviation will be viewed as a reluctant
tool of fear and intimidation...
Over and over again, a part of our lives that is both necessary
and useful, will be diminished in the eyes of the world because of
the psychotic whims of a few bastards who's monstrously
distorted view of God was used to reinforce their insanity and
the fact that they had no respect for the value of the lives or
freedoms they were assaulting. It is a hard thing for aviators, the
world over, to view... again and again.
We can't escape this
imagery. It's everywhere... shown intermittably, over and over
But... let me offer one other set of images that literally
brought tears to my eyes two nights ago. While other channels on
the TV were already starting the visual death march toward 9/11,
another showed a small aircraft, a Learjet, taxiing out into the
night with a crew of Doctors on an urgent mission.
Over the course of a few hours, this beautiful aircraft served
as an indispensable angel of mercy to a transplant team that
traveled hundreds of miles to harvest a new heart for a critically
ill infant that was but a few months old and near death. A tiny
little infant lay strapped to a hospital bed, all manner of
tubes and instruments attached, looking to all the world like a
tiny doll... barely alive, sustained only by too many miracles of
technology to document. It was a heart-rending, brutal sight...
especially when viewed right after scenes of this child's parents
waiting fearfully in search of the miracle that would allow
their baby to live.
That miracle happened. And an airplane delivered it...
As God called one tiny soul home to him hundreds of miles away,
the opportunity arose for this child's life to be spared. Via the
Lear, a dedicated medical team was able to harvest the heart of a
donor child and speed it to an operating room hundreds of miles
away, in less than the medically mandated four hour limit for a
human heart in transport. That airplane gave this tiny child a
chance to live. The Lear was seen as an angel of mercy, the
aircraft a tool of good and caring, and a magical steed from which
to mount a righteous battle for the life of a tiny little baby that
hadn't had a chance to have much of an effect on anyone except for
the parents who fretted over every breath and every struggling
To them, that airplane became a deliverer of hope and promise...
and while the rest of the world was treated to images of what
airplanes might do in the hands of madmen; their view was of a
scene that is repeated in various forms hundreds of times a day...
with an airplane as a conduit of hope, commerce, joy, freedom and
That airplane played a small part in the saving of that lovely
child's life and I am pleased to say that the operation went well
and the child was reported to have a chance at a quasi-normal life.
Elsewhere, other airplanes are having such noble effects... some
just as critical and many more less so, but
none-the-less important, to a world that needs to stay mobile
All over the world other airplanes are saving lives, connecting
loved ones, watching over the globe and providing hope and safety
to those in need. That's the image I prefer to associate with
airplanes, and over the coming days, as the images of September
11th are yet again burned into our tortured souls, I urge you to
think past the horror and remember the...
- Aerial fire fighters
that are battling all over the planet to save our forests and
- to the medevac helos that are rushing the unfortunate to an
emergency care center,
- the GA and Commercial birds that are bringing families together
and loved ones home,
- the proud military birds that remain vigilant in the protection
of our freedoms,
- the traffic spotters that help us all get home a little faster
and little easier,
- that transport the businessmen who control thousands of jobs as
they seek new opportunities and continued employment for those who
depend on them,
- the sport pilots who play each day in the skies of over a
free America CLEARLY demonstrating what this country is REALLY all
- and all other manner of ways in which Wilbur and Orville's gift
to the world is not subverted from it's greater purpose--to
That's the way I think of airplanes... and I hope that each of
you will be able to get back to such thoughts once the morbid
hysteria of the moment passes and we can think again of what we
might do to bring sanity to a world that seems a bit crazier than
it used to be.
We have much work to do... and many solutions to find if we are
to bring some measure of sanity back to the world... and God
willing, aviators and airplanes will be a critical and visible part
of the solution... Remember that and be sure to share that message
with all those you know and care for. This is the message that
needs to be told... over and over again. -- Jim Campbell, ANN