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Do you really want your pilot talking about September 11 in flight?

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I sure as hell don't.

I'm already afraid enough to fly. Call me superstitious, but it was bad enough the day I was watching the news of an aircrash on CNN from an airport gate waiting to get on a plane. But I most certainly don't need the FAA reminding me, in the middle of my flight, of terrorists crashing airplanes.

What are these people thinking?

Newsflash: We all watched 3,000 people plunge to their deaths, live. Then we watched the slow-mo replay another thousand times. While worrying, for weeks on end, that we were all going to die.

I think we get it.  Dare I say, it's not the kind of thing you "forget."

But don't let that stop the FAA, which came up with a new way to remind you that YOU MIGHT JUST DIE AT ANY MOMENT.

To commemorate that day, the FAA's Washington Metroplex Team has named two arrival sequences to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to honor those who died that day and those who have served our country from that day forward. Each arrival sequence is part of our new NextGen descents, which use satellite-based information to make more efficient arrivals and departures at airports. The sequences contain a series of five-letter waypoints – points in the sky through which an aircraft must fly to remain on course – and together, they spell out messages of support and remembrance for 9/11.

Aircraft flying the Freedom route to National from the northwest pass through waypoints named “WEEEE,” “WLLLL,” “NEVVR,” “FORGT” and “SEP11.” Those flying the Troops route from the southwest pass through waypoints named “USAAY,” “WEEDU,” “SUPRT,” “OOURR” and “TRUPS.” Depending on the runway configuration, aircraft might also pass through waypoints named “STAND” and “TOGETHER” or “LETZZ,” “RLLLL,” “VCTRY” and “HEROO."
The men and women of America's airways were also deeply affected by the events of September 11, and airline pilots and crews have responded strongly to these new waypoints. Recently, for example, on a morning flight from Detroit to Reagan National, a Delta Air Lines pilot came over the Public Address system and began sharing the story of the new arrival procedure with his passengers. As the flight crew began their precision descent into the capital area, the pilot read aloud the names of the waypoints they would be passing through prior to arrival: HONNR, BRVRY, COURG; MORLL PLDGE: WEEEE WLLLL NEVER FORGT SEP11, ALWYZ FRDMM.

"As he was reading them," reported one passenger, "the people were all quiet, and we all stopped talking or reading or whatever else we were doing. Everyone just listened. We could hear the pilot starting to get choked up as he talked about how proud he was to read those points off as we entered DC."
Why, as a nation, do we keep doing this to ourselves?

Do we honestly think that people will forget the day they watched 3000 people murdered live on national television?  Seriously?

And why must we perpetuate the fallacy that you're not a patriotic Americans unless, every year on September 11, we find (and participate in) new and creative ways to collectively rip the scab off of the wound again and again and again, never letting people heal, never letting people move on from what was a horrifying traumatic moment for a lot of us?  How does any of this truly benefit us as a nation? How does it truly honor the dead?

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