Stephen Kissling’s 9/11 Memory

On September 11, 2001 I was at work at my civilian job, helping keep an old reconnaissance asset serving in the US military. I read coverage of the unfolding events on the Internet news connection, meeting each new development with disbelief, then shock, then horror. By the time I went home that day, my country was at war, in intent if not in fact. The first and most immediate sign of it was the absence of aviation. Where I live, there is usually an endless stream of jetliners overhead, lined up to thread their way into the airports serving the metropolis to the south. On the evening of 9/11, the airplanes were gone. Not even the drone of Cessnas and Pipers tooling around the valley broke the evening quiet. But late that night, about 10:00, a lone fast-mover streaked across the sky. He was cutting across the empty skyways at right angles, something unheard of in normal times. Was is a Falcon? A Hornet? It didn’t matter. A U.S. serviceman was up there, letting those of us on the ground know that the sword was out of the scabbard and we were safe.

Stephen Kissling