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9/11 How Soon We Forget

Last September UAL Corporation, the holding company whose primary subsidiary is United Airlines, proudly announced that Jane F. Garvey, former Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, was joining the UAL Board of Directors.

This is the same Jane Garvey who was responsible for aviation security in the lead up to 9/11. The same Jane Garvey who embarrassed herself in testimony before the 9/11 Commission with her lack of knowledge of her own security operations within the FAA.

United Airlines lost two planes and a number of employees on September 11, 2001, not to mention the passengers who lost their lives and those killed on the ground. Do you remember airline personnel wearing buttons on their uniforms with flight numbers saying, “We won’t forget?” I do, but apparently United’s management does not.

It’s bad enough that no one was ever held accountable for ignoring the warnings and allowing the vulnerabilities which enabled the terrorists to complete their sadistic mission on 9/11. It’s bad enough that the 9/11 Commission never addressed the issue of accountability and gave incompetents like Jane Garvey a pass after her convoluted testimony. But to have the audacity to appoint this bastion of aviation security as a member of the UAL Board of Directors is a direct affront to the victims of 9/11 and to the traveling public United is supposed to be serving. But, then again, when did the airlines ever demonstrate that they really care about their passengers’ safety and security? All they care about is their bottom line.

As the 9/11 wrongful death litigation boils down to its last few cases, the airlines, United included, continue to buy silence via sealed settlement agreements which conceal their culpability for that tragic event. As Don King would say, “Only in America!” We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. Where’s the public outrage? How soon we forget!

My fear

My fear is that in 20, 30 years, the incidents around september 11th, 2001 will all be uncovered -- and nobody cares, people just saying: "well, that was then -- this is now. Now, this could never happen...".

Yet this is the response to so many incidents of history.