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CNN TALKBACK LIVE
Remembering September 11
Aired March 11, 2002
ARTHEL NEVILLE, HOST: Hello everyone and welcome to TALKBACK LIVE. I'm Arthel Neville.
It's a different world today than the one we knew before September 11. On that Tuesday morning, we learned something about evil, something about heroes and a lot about ourselves. It was a day not one of us is likely to forget.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You started heading down this way towards what was then just the burning building, right?
ROSE ARCE, CNN PRODUCER: Yes. Well, there was this tall building at the end of this with this gaping hole in it and flames shooting out one side of it.
ROBERTSON: It's an event everyone knows about now. Butthen, you had known about it, what, 15 seconds when you are moving off down here. What are you thinking?
ARCE: I was just in a state of shock. I kept trying in my head to figure out exactly what had happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it was right about here that I was able to flag down a motorist and I was sort of just racing downtown.
ROBERTSON: When were traveling down here, I was sitting in Kabul...
NEVILLE (voice-over): It was the day the World Trade Center came down, the Pentagon burned and America rediscovered its heroes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My anger did come in when I first visited ground zero and it looked like the end of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the end we are human beings and what we remember is the people that we lost and those they left behind.
NEVILLE: And we are honored to have with us some of those relatives who were left behind. Please meet Sally Regenhard. Her son, Christian, was a Brooklyn firefighter trapped in the collapse of the World Trade Center. His body along with those of his engine company have yet to be recovered. Also, Monica Gabrielli, her husband worked on the 103rd floor of Tower 2; and Donn Marshall, his wife, Shelley (ph), was killed at the Pentagon. First of all, thank you so much for being here to share your stories with us this afternoon.
You know, we are all recalling memories on this day. But Miss Regenhard, I'd like to start with you. Your memory is most profound. It's the memory of the day a mother lost her son. Can you help us understand what this day means to you?
SALLY REGENHARD, MOTHER OF WTC VICTIM: Well, you know, many people have asked me how I feel today? Isn't it terrible, and don't I feel so sad today? And I have to tell people every day since September 11 has been sad, has been devastating. I have felt the same way and I can't picture a time when I'm going to feel differently.
NEVILLE: When was the last time you spoke to Christian and what did you guys say to each other?
REGENHARD: I spoke to him a few days before the event. The last thing we discussed is that I wanted to buy him a laptop for his writing. My son was, in addition to being a firefighter, he was an artist and a writer. And the last words I said to him was Christian, I want to buy this for you on one condition: that you will have your work published. And he said to me, Mom, that's how I'm going to make my money. That was the last thing I ever heard from him.
NEVILLE: Miss Gabrielli, your husband's friend made it out alive and you were able to get some information from him as to what happened to your husband. Can you share that with us right now?
MONICA GABRIELLI, WIDOW OF WTC VICTIM: Apparently, they left the 103rd floor. I don't know how, whether they took an elevator, the stairs, and they were waiting for the express elevators on 78 when the second plane hit. He was injured at that time and didn't make it out.
NEVILLE: What has your life been like since September 11? I know you have a 23-year-old daughter, is that correct?
GABRIELLI: Correct. It's been very difficult. I think the veil of the shock that we have all been working with is slowly lifting and little pieces of the reality is setting in. And it's just very hard. Instead of getting easier, it seems it's getting hard to deal with this loss and to find the answers that we are looking for and just, you know, the answers to the whys.
NEVILLE: Is it getting more difficult because there's such an emotional roller coaster that happens? There are feelings of anger, feelings of -- help me understand.
GABRIELLI: Yes, there are a lot of emotions at play every day. Great deal of sadness, sometimes anger, just an overwhelming, just an exhaustion I think we all have, just grief and trying to get up each day and put one foot in front of the other to do what we need to do, whether it's go to work or take care of our children or look for some answers as to why this happened and if we can possibly change some laws or regulations so this doesn't happen again and people don't have to suffer like we are.
NEVILLE: Do you remember the last words you shared with your husband?
GABRIELLI: Yes. I saw him that morning on his way to work and basically just said have a nice day. And that was the last time I saw him.
NEVILLE: Mr. Marshall, your wife Shelley (ph) worked at the Pentagon. And that day, the two of you took separate cars to work. Your work is nearby and there's a day-care center where your kids were, a couple of yards away. Paint that picture for me that day and what went through your mind when you heard about the crash? I understand your thoughts went first to your children and then thought you would find your wife as well. Tell me about that, please.
DONN MARSHALL, WIFE DIED IN PENTAGON: Well, my wife -- we took separate cars because my wife was getting ready to move. Her office was packing up and was going to move to another wing of the Pentagon in two days. So I was a little, actually, aggravated at that because I didn't -- she was coming home late that night and I like to spend time with her.
We dropped the kids off at the day-care that morning and the day- care was about 500 yards from the point of impact actually. So when I heard, my first -- I was concerned for both my wife and my kids but I went to the kids first because I knew that if Shelley was OK, she would be there, she would be with the kids. And I got there probably within 10 minutes of the plane hitting the Pentagon, found the kids and that was probably the happiest moment of my life. And right, turning on a dime, it was the worst moment of my life because I knew that Shelley should have been there.
NEVILLE: How do you view life now as compared to, say,September 10th? I want to ask each of you this question, whoever would like to answer it first.
REGENHARD: I'd like to say that since September 11, since shortly after September 11, and certainly from that day on, I realized that what happened to the World Trade Center was something that never should have happened. On a larger level, the penetration and the violation of our national security, the weakening of our CIA and FBI and so on, really all combined to make a condition that allowed these people to do what they did.
On a local viewpoint, what happened to the World Trade Center, the collapse of those buildings, is something that never should have happened. And I, along with Monica and many hundreds and thousands of other relatives of the victims, have combined to create the Campaign For Skyscraper Safety. And that is an organization of relatives of victims. We have petitioned successfully the federal government to immediately embark upon a thorough, independent investigation of all the conditions that combined to cause the collapse of the World Trade Center. So my life...
NEVILLE: So, Miss Regenhard, I understand -- and pardon me, but I'm getting the sense that you have taken a proactive stance on this. And I want to continue that discussion with you in a moment. And, Miss Gabrielli and Mr. Marshall, I would like to get your thoughts as well after this break. TALKBACK LIVE will continue in a moment.
NEVILLE: And welcome back. We are talking to three people whose lives were profoundly affected by the September 11 attacks, a mother who lost a son and two people who lost spouses. And, Miss Gabrielli, I would like to ask you now how has your life changed since September 11? Do you view life differently, is more to the point?
GABRIELLI: Oh, absolutely. You certainly have a better understanding of what is more important. A lot of the zest for life was taken out of us. We feel like we've been ripped will be a day that this won't be as horrible as it is today and as it has been. And, I don't know, you appreciate the ones that are around a little bit more than you did before.
NEVILLE: Miss Gabrielli, I'm standing here with Stacey (ph), who is from Illinois. And she would like to share some thoughts with you directly.
STACEY: I understand your devastation. The day after that happened would have been the anniversary of my son getting killed. He was coming home from school. I woke up that morning and I saw it on the TV right away and it was just disbelief. I understand your grief. There's nothing and no amount of time that takes that away. It's been two years, but I still feel the deep loss of my son because he was my heart. And to see all those people die at one time, there's nothing that I could say to you, but I'm sorry and that my prayers and many other peoples' prayers in my city have went out for you and your families.
GABRIELLI: Thank you very much. We appreciate it.
NEVILLE: Thank you. Mr. Marshall, how have you looked at life now? Is it a different scope for you?
MARSHALL: Time is more precious, yes. Time is more precious. nd before I go any further, I want to say thank you to the American people. The support that we have received, not just me, but all the families I'm sure would agree, is just unbelievable. Within, for example, within two weeks of the 11th, I received a check in the mail, $175 from three elementary school children in Whittier, California who had a lemonade stand outside their house for two hours to raise money for me and my kids. That's the kind of thing that I have experienced and it's touched me profoundly.
Another thing that's touched me is a foundation -- I set up a charitable foundation in my wife's name within a few weeks of the 11th and working on that has been a real help to me, very therapeutic. We are throwing tea parties at nursing homes with high school kids and hosting children story hours at public libraries, things that Shelley liked to do. So, it's helping me to stay in touch with her and to keep her spirit alive and to introduce her to a whole range of people who didn't know her before.
NEVILLE: Cara (ph), what are your thoughts?
CARA: I would like to ask Mr. Marshall how he's addressed this topic with his children and how he feels we should deal with this issue for the youth of America?
MARSHALL: Well, the day after we were told that Shelley was gone, my agency sent a grief counselor to talk to us and the first thing we asked him was what do we say to the kids? And he told us to basically be honest.
So that day, I took my son out and told him that Mommy had gone to heaven, that God needed another angel. And he was OK with that, partially because Shelley read to him a lot and one of the books that she read to him was a book called "Heaven" by Maria Shriver and it talked all about what happens when you die. So she had prepared him.
NEVILLE: And, Mr. Marshall, you have a 3-year-old son and your daughter is two years old. Have you had a chance to deal with this loss yourself, because you have been trying to take care of your kids so much?
MARSHALL: Right. That's been -- that's the next hurdle. I have got to the point where my kids will talk freely about Shelley. They are not worried about upsetting me. And I think my son was a little cautious at first. But now we talk about how Mommy's cooking is better than Daddy's and things like that. So we can laugh about her and we can talk about her and that's good. I have got them -- we're on the right road. Now I have to work on me. And I think I have distracted myself for a long time but now it's time for me to start to address my situation.
NEVILLE: Would it have made it easier at all if this were an accident, say, a car crash and not at the hands of evil?
MARSHALL: Absolutely. I think every day -- part of the problem is that every day, we are reminded of September 11. If it was a car crash, we could to some degree move on. But with the best of intentions, the media and the American people raise the issue of September 11 every day. And believe me, I don't want you all to forget. It's -- we are caught in a catch-22. Iwant people to remember Shelley and remember what happened, but at the same time it makes it that much harder for to us heal, I think.
NEVILLE: Miss Gabrielli, have you heard from your husband's friends and your friends? What are they saying to you to try to make life more comfortable for you?
GABRIELLI: It's interesting. I think through this tragedy, a new family was founded in the victims and the families of the victims, et cetera, because they understand without having to say too much what we are feeling. People that are not immediately attached to this, although they understand the horror, don't understand what we are going through. And I have gotten quite a few put things in perspective and try to move on and get your life together, and it's very difficult. It's -- just the enormity of the situation, it's very hard to move forward. And there are days that I don't think any day will ever be anything close to normal again.
NEVILLE: Miss Regenhard, what about you? I know you have a new family, if you will, with the organization that you formed. But what about some of your friends outside of that organization? Have they come to your aid?
REGENHARD: In addition to my organization, I really, as Monica mentioned, have formed very close relationships with the other victims organizations and we really are clenching to one another because we have a shared grief. If the person was -- regardless if the person was a rescue worker or a civilian, young or old, it's the same grief and we have the same determination to find out why the World Trade Center collapsed and how it collapsed. And we are all united that we, that's the only thing that we can do is to find out what happened and to safeguard people in the future. So many, many of us are united in that goal.
NEVILLE: Absolutely. And that is something that I would imagine helps you wake up in the morning, because you feel like you are doing something to make a difference.
REGENHARD: You are right. You are very right. You know what? It's really the only thing that's keeping me surviving. I, you know, as the gentlemen mentioned, I really have neglected working on myself, working with my grief because this has taken precedence. It's very important to put all our energies into this now.
In the future, in the near future, I will have to focus on myself, on my grief, on my recovery. But we had a wonderful experience. Monica accompanied me along with 50 other family members of the victims to Washington, D.C. last Wednesday, the 6th. And it was very gratifying to meet with the science committee of the House of Representatives and to see democracy in action. And to see those wonderful Congressmen make a commitment to us and to the American public that they will investigate the reasons why the World Trade Center collapsed and they will work to keep people safe in skyscrapers for the future. And, you know what? That helps us so much.
NEVILLE: Absolutely. Absolutely. I definitely want to hear more of your thoughts after the break. But do I have to take a break at the moment. And we'll continue this discussion in a minute.
NEVILLE: And you have been looking at live pictures from
Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the spot where United Flight 93
crashed after passengers apparently attacked their hijackers
and, in effect, perhaps prevented an even greater tragedy.
Although we don't have a guest connected to that event, our
hearts are with those people as well.
Back to our guests here, Mr. Marshall, Mrs. Gabrielli, Miss
Regenhard. There's a lot of talk about memorials and ways to
remember September 11. How do you think this day should be
remembered? Miss Gabrielli, I'll start with you.
GABRIELLI: That's so difficult. You know, I said earlier, you
know, there's a part of us that don't want this to ever be
forgotten, yet by being in the media constantly, it just
brings it back to the surface again and we relieve those hours
of September 11 all over.
NEVILLE: Would you prefer not seeing these pictures over and
GABRIELLI: I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I'm drawn to
the TV when I see them. I watched the whole thing unfold from
my office, panic stricken that I couldn't reach my husband. I
think it just reminds you of that day and it's just so
horrible. And I think Sally and I prefer to do something
positive, and that's why we are working on this campaign to
make sure that this doesn't happen again, that people in
skyscrapers are safe.
My daughter goes to work in a skyscraper. She doesn't have to
worry that if there's an emergency that she can get out. And
it's just something like this is prevented from happening. I
mean, we need to change the legislation and the building codes
and we can't do that without answers as to why the towers came
NEVILLE: Mr. Marshall, how do you think September 11 should be
MARSHALL: I won't be able to remember it the way I want to. I
would like to go back and retrace my steps that day. But I
don't think I'll be allowed to. I was, after I picked up the
kids at the day care, I called Shelley's parents and dropped
them off with her parents and then went back to the Pentagon
to see if I could find her. And I walked all the way around
the Pentagon and took a long time trying to get inside the
security perimeter and actually had to sort of sneak in, and
became a stretcher bearer. And I was waiting to go in.
I was about 100, 150 feet from the door to her corridor,
waiting for the word to go in and that was as close as I got
to her that day. And I would like to be able to do that again,
just to feel close, by myself.
NEVILLE: What about Americans, the rest of us, who just want
to somehow share with you and your thoughts and your sorrow
and maybe help you get through it, how do you think the rest
of us -- what should we do to remember this day? Is it in the
form of a memorial, a monument, what do you think?
MARSHALL: Do something good. Something good has to come out of
this. That's one of the reasons I started the Shelley Marshall
Foundation. I wanted something good to come out of this. We
can't let it hang there, this black mark. But -- I don't mean
for you to take this the wrong way, the rest of America can do
what it wants and I know they will do a wonderful job of
honoring our family members. And I have the option of turning
the TV off if I want to or not going to the parade. And, you
know, I do appreciate everything that everyone has done. It's
just hard sometimes to -- it's a private thing.
NEVILLE: To relive it.
MARSHALL: Well, it's something that the ladies and I
understand and no one else really can.
NEVILLE: Right. Miss Regenhard, unfortunately, I only have
about 20 seconds left, but I would like to ask you quickly if
you could tell me quickly what you think we should do to
remember September 11?
REGENHARD: Well, I agree that I would like everyone not to
forget what happened. I would ask everyone to pray for us,
that we have the strength to go on. And I would like everyone
to support our need to find out why the World Trade Center
collapsed and to contact their elected officials and affirm
the fact that we need to be safe in the buildings where we
live and where we work. And I want to thank everyone for all
their good wishes. We appreciate everything.
NEVILLE: And thank you very much. Sally Regenhard, Monica
Gabrielli, and Don Marshall, I appreciate this has not been
easy to talk about. We appreciate you sharing your stories
with us here today.
And up next, we are going to meet some people who don't have a
choice about whether to fly -- it's their job.
NEVILLE: And welcome back. I'm Arthel Neville. How many of you
haven't flown since that dreadful day in September? A CNN "USA
Today" Gallup Poll shows 33 percent of us are still afraid to
Well, for pilots and flight attendants flying is how they put
food on their tables so they fly everyday. But because the
skies are not necessarily friendly anymore, the way our next
guests approach their jobs is very, very different.
Please meet Art Cornelius. He is a former commercial pilot for
a major airline; and a retired brigadier general from the Air
Force reserve, Captain Joe Gennaro is also a commercial pilot
with a major airline for 16 years. Also with us is Pat Friend,
international president of the Association of Flight
Attendants and Sharlene Bowen, a flight attendant for Delta
Welcome to all of you and being here this afternoon. Sharlene,
I'll start with you if I can. Before September 11, give me an
idea of what you were thinking, the way you were prepping for
your job on your way to work, you know. Maybe I might have a
high school band on board, I have back-to-back New York
flights. How am I going to handle it. Give me an idea of
before September 11. SHARLENE BOWEN, DELTA FLIGHT ATTENDANT:
Before September 11th you just went to work. With just the
general knowledge of gosh, when am I going to get home.
Thinking about my kids and how long I was going to be gone and
of course you want to do a good job while you are there.
But you really weren't that concerned. You were concerned
about your safety because that's the reason we are on the
airplane. The reason really flight attendants are there is for
the safety of the passengers and for the security.
NEVILLE: Now when you go to work what do you think about? Do
you have any reservations?
BOWEN: I really don't. I have basically turned it over to God
and I just have strong faith and I just feel like I'm safer in
the sky than I am coming down to CNN.
NEVILLE: Right. But just wondering, so with prayer as your
backbone, so you don't concern yourself when do you to work
saying, what is going to happen today, or not necessarily if a
tragedy is going to take place. But just kind of, will I have
passengers that I'm going to have to look out for? Do you have
any of those concerns?
BOWEN: Oh, sure. Everybody that is in our industry you have to
have those kind of concerns. I flew the very next week and I
went to work and of course that first trip back you can't help
but, you know, you are just watching every single move anybody
made. You are, of course, all the security that had been
heightened I was thrilled to see.
I feel like they are doing a wonderful job. I feel like that
you really couldn't ask for them to -- it takes a long time to
implement these major changes that are coming, you know, to
pass. And I just think that they did a great job. They jumped
right in there and they have made so many improvements and
changes and we were already highly trained in security, but
now I know that the focus is going to even be more so.
NEVILLE: Right. Captain Gennaro, if I can get a sense from
you, is there a different mind set amongst the pilots when you
are preparing for your job?
CAPT. JOE GENNARO, AIRLINE PILOT: Absolutely. There is no
question about that. Right now we are thinking is this going
to be a day like 9-11? Is somebody going come up and do
something crazy? And we definitely have that mindset that now
we have to harden the target. We know security has been
improved. We watch the security screeners. We see what's going
on. And they are doing a good job but it's still inadequate.
You are still going to have people getting through security,
people breaching the system.
These people are trained. They are motivated. And we need to
harden the targets. We need to make the cockpit inaccessible.
We need to give the pilots firearms to protect against the
sort of threat that happened on 9-11 and we need to implement
screening for bombs and things of that nature.
So yes it's in the back of our mind constantly. We are
thinking that what we would do next if someone does come up,
if the flight attendant calls us and somebody is doing
something crazy in the back. It's on our mind, no doubt about
NEVILLE: Going to work is no longer, you know, you are rolling
down the street listening to your CD. It's definitely a more
GENNARO: Yes. It's definitely more pressing matter. Before, I
mean, we were thinking the worst case scenario, someone asks
you to fly the plane to Cuba or something like that. But now,
obviously the rules of engagement changed 9/11, and if we are
going to protect against that sort of threat we need to take
it a little more seriously than we are doing now.
You know, we are screening against nail clippers, we are
screening against every household item, scissors and such. We
have all that in place and that's great, they are doing a good
job, but the fact of the matter is is that you can use
anything on an airplane as a weapon. There are things on an
airplane right now that could be used as a weapon and we need
to protect against the crime.
We need to harden that target so people can't get in the
cockpit. And if they are in the cockpit and/or they try to get
in the cockpit and breach it at that point we need to be using
lethal force. We need protection. We can't fight them with our
hands. We can't fight them with a taser gun. We need to have
firearms and the American people have spoken for that. It's
overwhelming support for firearms and now is the time to act.
NEVILLE: General, what do you think about firearms for pilots?
BRIG. GEN. ART CORNELIUS, RET. COMMERCIAL PILOT: Well, it's
all well and good to arm the crews but they are going to have
to be trained and of course there's talk of provision for
doing that. There are also there's ammunition available that
will not damage the structure of the aircraft significantly.
Won't pass through a bulkhead and injure someone on the other
side. The tools are all there and I think that's something
that definitely needs to be implemented.
On the other hand, there is residual fear and apprehension
among some cockpit and even cabin crews about coming back to
work. Many flight attendants at my former airline have not
come back to work. I think all the pilots, none identified,
have not come back, but other air carriers I understand there
are a few who have not come back.
There was a huge number of pilots that retired on the first of
February this year, many of them taking early retirement in
order to get out. So it has not been without its affect on
morale and the willingness of some of the pilots and certainly
the flight attendants to remain in the job.
NEVILLE: Patricia Friend, I haven't forgotten about you but I
have to take a break right now. We'll continue this discussion
in a moment. So stay right there and see you after the break.
NEVILLE: Welcome back. We are talking about the changes flight
crews have been making to keep us safer in the air. Pat
Friend, I would like to talk to you at this moment. What are
they doing to help flight attendants? Are there more training
classes? Self-defense classes?
PATRICIA FRIEND, ASSN. FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: We are working
toward improving the training. The security training that we
had before September 11 really assumed the kind of hijacker
with whom you could negotiate. We know that's no longer true.
So an entirely new security training program is being
developed. It will include personal defense training for
flight attendants. We hope there will be some additional
defensive capabilities introduced into the cabin, including
possibly non-lethal defense weapons and a better means of
communicating an emergency situation with the cockpit.
NEVILLE: Sharlene, I think Doug here has a question here for
DOUG: I want to know as passengers what you want us to do if
there's a person who has been unruly or maybe has had too much
to drink? Are we supposed to try to help you or are we
supposed to wrestle them to the ground or what do you want us
FRIEND: Well, if it's somebody that you feel like is
threatening me or our flight or whatever, I welcome your help.
If you feel like that, if you can tell that it's somebody that
is an unruly passenger because they have had too much to
drink, we are pretty much trained to take care of that. So, I
think that we can pretty much handle that, hopefully. If we
need your help though, we'll ask for it.vGENNARO: Can I jump in here
NEVILLE: Absolutely. Go ahead.vGENNARO: Patricia said a good thing here when she said they
are training to have self-defense classes and such for
terrorist because now the rules have changed. But think about
what she just said. The police use force one step greater than
what is being threatened with.
So if you have a drunk who is trying to swing at a cop, he is
not going to use lethal force, he is going to try to subdue
him. But police will tell you when someone wants to use lethal
force and their intent is to kill you, they will respond in
kind with lethal force. The rules have changed. If we have a
hijacker on board an airplane that is going to try to kill the
pilots, take over the cockpit, take over the aircraft and use
the airplane as a weapon of mass destruction, we need to be
able to respond with lethal force.
All this defense training, self-defense training, it's just
feel good stuff. You are not going to be able to, as a flight
attendant, to fight against 4 or 5 hijackers that are
motivated, trained and possibly armed. It is just not going to
happen. You are going to have to respond with lethal force in
order to protect that cockpit.
NEVILLE: I want to get to an e-mail quickly. But before you
guys put that up there hold on, because would I like you to
respond to that for me, Sharlene. How do you feel about that
having, OK, so if they put you through self-defense classes or
maybe give you taser guns is that enough for you to feel safe
in your job?
BOWEN: I feel like that when -- when passengers get on the
airplane things have changed so much. I have got instead of
just my crew having our eyes and ears an our help on board the
air plane, I have a whole airplane full of possible Tom
Beamers that are going to be right there, ready to roll, ready
to help me. And I just feel like the cockpit may be the place
for a weapon, and I don't have a problem with that at all. And
it would be nice to have it if I came into a situation like
NEVILLE: But like the general said, you can't just have guns
flying around at people who aren't trained to use them.
GENNARO: No, we are going to be trained by the FBI.
NEVILLE: Let me -- excuse me for a second -- let me go to this
e-mail that I promised to show you. Pop it up on the screen.
It says, "Before 9/11 there were several news stories about
air-rage in the skies. How has that changed since that date at
the six-month? Is air rage still a problem?" And that is in
Stoney Creek, Ontario. Again, Sharlene, if you would answer
BOWEN: Well, we have had some problems on board with some
unruly passengers in my 22 years of flying. But for the most
part we have been, we have been trained. Things have changed
drastically since 9- 11. But personally I do not think that it
will ever happen again. I just don't think it will.
NEVILLE: But the question was about other passengers. Are they
less likely to be unruly? In fact I'll get a colleague of
BOWEN: Oh, yes very much less likely.
NEVILLE: I am going to get a colleague of your to help in on
that answer because we have Bruce from New Orleans who is a
flight attendant and you are standing by. Bruce, what are your
CALLER: Hi, Arthel, first off I would like to say my heartfelt
thanks to the American public for returning back to the skies,
for trying to get over their fear of flying...
NEVILLE: I'm sorry, Bruce we are having trouble. Sharlene
didn't understand your question. Can you repeat it please?
CALLER: First off, my comment is I want to say to the American public, my heart felt thanks for them returning to the skies.
I think that what is happening though, is we as Americans have
very short-term memory when it comes to safety issues,
especially with the airline industry. I think that our safety
needs to be even tightened more on the ground. And I think
that the panels that my union president, Pat Friend are taking
part in, I think they need to be heeded more by our government
and even stronger safety restrictions need to be brought on
board that are more FAA and government supported and mandated.
I think a first step is making flight attendants certified
like pilots are.
NEVILLE: Pat Friend, were you able to hear the comments from
FRIEND: Yes, I did. Of course I agree. Flight attendants have
essentially become the last line of defense to defend the
cockpit. We have fortified the cockpit. But it's only the
flight attendants between the cockpit and a terrorist. Putting
that responsibility on flight attendants is certainly an
additional burden, one that we willingly accept as long as we
have some means to defend ourselves and you, our passengers,
and yes, the time has come with these additional
responsibilities to recognize the professionalism and the
training required for flight attendants and issue FAA
qualifications and licenses.
NEVILLE: Actually, you know what? I'm so sorry to cut you off.
Because I know we can talk about this for a long time. I
really appreciate your comments. Unfortunately I'm out of
time. General Art Cornelius, Captain Joe Gennaro, Pat Friend
and Sharlene Bowen, thank you so much for joining us today and
we will come back another time and talk about this more.
Up next we'll show you powerful video from a September 11
documentary you just have to see. Stay right there.
NEVILLE: Welcome back to TALKBACK LIVE. I held Sharlene Bowen
over here with me because I wanted to mention that you have
set up a foundation which is benefiting the people of Gander
New Foundland, up in Canada, the Columbus Foundation and we'll
have more information on our Web site about that because they
helped the folks on Delta flight 15 who were diverted to that
area. And thank you so much for joining us again.
BOWEN: Thank you very much.
NEVILLE: Thank you. OK, now last night CBS aired a moving documentary detailing the horrors the victims and heroes of September 11 as the event unfolded minute by minute. It was the most watched show last night and we are going to show you one tiny part of it then get your comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "9/11")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I go in and hear screams and right to my right there was two people on fire burning. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was all over the place. Our main concern was we had 20 floors of people above. And we had to figure out a way to get them out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What the hell is going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw it collapse and ran.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody all right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is the way out of here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to get everybody out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pointing in my life wherever needed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After that, we had to figure out how to get out of where we were.
(END VIDEO CLIP)NEVILLE: And welcome back. We are looking at that compelling video. Chris, I'm going to let you talk to Kent from Utah. You saw it all unfold.
KENT: I saw the whole thing.
NEVILLE: Tell us your thoughts right now.
KENT: Well, I was impressed with the sensitivity with which they filmed it. They didn't glamorize any of the tragic things happening. I felt almost like choking from the dust as I watched it.
NEVILLE: And I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I apologize. We are out of time. I do apologize. I'm very sorry but that's our show for today. We could go on about this topic. God bless everyone who is dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy. Time now for Judy Woodruff and a look at what is INSIDE POLITICS. Thanks for joining us.
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