DSA President Reflecting on 9/11

  • Post category:Deaf History

Alfred Sonnenstrahl, DSA President:

Today is September 11, 2020.

Guess where I was 19 years ago, today?

I was in Minneapolis for the DSA Conference.

Since I used to work in Minneapolis-St Paul for several years, I flew out there one day earlier, September 10th, to visit my friends.  I stayed at a friend’s house overnight and had a breakfast with them and worked on my computer next morning.

An alert message popped up on my screen, saying that a plane crashed into one tower.  I thought it was an accident like one that hit Empire State Building years ago. I continued working on my computer.  Another alert about the second plane popped up.  I then watched a TV in time to see two towers being flattened.  Dazed, I drove to the hotel for the conference.  I passed the airport and saw many planes being grounded.

At the hotel, everyone appeared dazed.  Hotel set up TVs all over.

Instead of expected attendance of 2,000, about 1,000 came.  Most of them were from the midwest area.  Very few came from either the east or the west.

I asked some for their experiences traveling to the conference.  I will share three stories.

One, a person flew from Washington, DC.  Landed.  Went to car rental booth to get a reserved rental.  They could not find her name.  She showed them the reservation papers.  They then explained her plane had to land in Detroit because of what had happened in New York City.  Stunned, she drove in a rental back home.

Two, a deaf couple had to land in Marquette, Michigan, a small town in Upper Peninsula.  They met another deaf couple.  They had a sign language interpreter with them for two or three full days before flying into Minneapolis.

Three, a deaf couple in Massachusetts drove to the airport to check in.  Learned their plane was cancelled.  Decided to drive all the way to Minneapolis without any stopovers.

If you have some stories to share, please send them to: dsagoogle@gmail.com

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