Laura Kim, a deaf education teacher with the San Diego Unified School District, described her own harrowing experience last week in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
For many of us, last weekend was an opportunity to remember where we were when the terrible news came through. For Laura, though, the experience was even more frightening, as she struggled to understand the panic all around her in the Denver airport.
“While flying from Baltimore to San Diego,” she writes, “I arrived at my layover in Denver and noticed on the airport information monitors that every flight was canceled.
“I asked a gate agent through a handwritten note why all flights were grounded. She wrote back, ‘National security.’ Those words blew my mind, and I began to play out scenarios in my head.
“Was President George W. Bush assassinated? Did World War III start? Was it UFOs?
“When I asked for more information using hand gestures with the gate agent, she simply shrugged her shoulders. I started to feel a sense of panic.
“Watching fellow passengers, I could tell they were listening to loudspeaker messages explaining information to which I had no access. They looked worried, frantically calling on their flip phones and commiserating with strangers. It was a very lonely and terrifying moment for me, not knowing what was going on.”
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