Below is one of my stories when I worked
with The Port Authority of NY and NJ Aviation Department from March 1998
until my retirement in September 2009 to celebrate the PANYNJ
As an aviation person who worked for Pan
American World Airways, Triangle Aviation and The PANYNJ, I am humbled
and honored to share my memories and this story. I enjoyed working with
Bob Kelly, Bill DeCota, Sue Baer, Joanne Paternoster and Lysa Scully and
all my former colleagues in the aviation department but my special story
below is related to what happened on September 10, 2001 and after the
tragic events of 9-11.
On September 10, 2001 I was leaving 1 WTC
when I ran into William (Bill) Fallon of Port Commerce who asked me to
meet with him on September 11 to discuss an upcoming visit by an
Egyptian delegation from the Suez Canal since I had offered Bill some
suggestions for his upcoming meeting. As I was leaving work on September
10, I told Bill that I will be in Washington DC on September 11
meeting with the US DOT on behalf of the Aviation Department for the
handling of disabled passengers at PANYNJ airports and that I could meet
with him on September 12 when I get back from DC.
When I got back from DC late on September
11 on board an Amtrak train that carried many first responders and
medical teams, I was only thinking about my PANYNJ colleagues and tried
to reach as many as I could but it took me over a week to learn who made
it out of the buildings and who did not.
William Fallon did not make it out of the
building and I will never forget that.
Each time prior to the pandemic when I
visited downtown and the WTC sites, I always stopped by Bill Fallon's
name to pay my respect and say a prayer for Bill, his family and all
those who died that day. What made me think of writing this email is the
recent events in the Suez Canal with a container ship that is blocking
the canal and my brief conversation with Bill Fallon about the
importance of shipping lanes and coordination between the Suez Canal
where over 20,000 ships cross the canal annually and the use of New York
seaports managed by the Port Commerce. I never met Bill’s family, I
attended many memorials with PANYNJ colleagues over the years and and as
long time member of the 9-11 Memorial Museum, I told that story to many
including family and friends.
The PANYNJ is a great agency to work with
and when 9-11 happened, I was lost for a week trying to reach out to my
team and wondering if I still had a job. We got paid on time and we
restarted services and rebuilt our files, contracts and contacts. I am
proud of The Port Authority of NY and NJ and wish the best to all in the
bi-state agency including the Aviation Department and Port Commerce.
Stay safe and I look forward to visit my former colleagues at 4WTC and
at the airports and all those who have since retired when the pandemic
is behind us.”