Eagle Eye

CLEAN THE LITTERBOX NOTEFor me and I’m sure many others, February 12, 2009 was one of those moments in your life where you’ll always say “I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing … at the moment I heard of the crash.”

My wife Laurie and I have always had an unwritten rule that we don’t swear in front of our kids and hold to that today, even with them in their twenties. Six years ago tonight I was watching the movie “Eagle Eye” with my then 16-year old son Alex. My pager went off for about the sixth time that day and I immediately let out an involuntary “Ho—ly Sh**!”

Sensing that something obviously wasn’t right, Alex asked me: “What’s wrong Dad?”

I said, “I can’t believe it, but… I’m going to a plane crash.” That was Thursday night about 10:30pm. I didn’t see him again until 7pm Saturday night. In the meantime, my wife Laurie, quite reluctantly, had flown to Wisconsin to see her sister and I didn’t see her for nearly a week.

This typed and [hand edited] note hangs on the bulletin board of my office at our Erie County Emergency Services Training & Operations Center:

“On behalf of the families of Continental Flight 3407, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of the agencies who have worked so hard, and in such a professional way during our time of need. The respect you have given to us, our families, and especially the respect [and dignity] you are giving to our loved ones, who were aboard Continental Fllght 3407, is valued and appreciated by all of us.”

That’s what this job, this life is about.

Here’s a reminder to all those who were a part of, or touched by this tragedy to Clean the Litterbox!

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