Dallas-Ft. Worth Remembers 9/11

Billie Cooper

Hyatt Regency at DFW

N. Richland Hills TX

It was break time for the convention being held at DFW Hyatt Regency. Groups of attendees were gathering to chat, all was well in our world. Suddenly things changed-drastically when a young man bounded down the steps to the lower level, pushing into the nearest group, talking in an excited voice.

At first the group seemed to think he was joking when he said a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. Reality hit when another person came down to tell the conventioneers about a second plane hitting the other tower. I don't recall the name of the convention, but many of the attendees were from the New York area. There was a rush to leave the Hyatt which is located at DFW Airport. However, all planes had been grounded and the airport shut down. When people called their offices in New York to get direction as to what to do, they were told to rent cars, buses, even go together and buy an RV. There were four of us registration assistants working the convention, courtesy of Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau. Since there were still a few people staying to try to finish the convention, three of us stayed to help. When we came out of the hotel to head home, our cars were about the only ones in the parking garage. The outside lots along the exit route were empty, car rental lots were empty also. That scenario brought it home to me that something drastic had taken place.

Ordinarily DFW Airport and the surrounding area is a bustling, busy place. It was truly an eerie feeling to see it empty. I didn't know how many lives were lost and how our lives were changed forever until I arrived home. What a sad day for America.

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