At Logan, the pain of 9/11 runs deep
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

By Mac Daniel
Boston Globe Staff

At Logan, the pain of 9/11 runs deep By Mac Daniel, Globe Staff | August 30, 2006

Five years later, some airline and airport employees at Logan International Airport said they can't talk about the events of Sept. 11, 2001 -- when two of the hijacked planes took off from Boston and were piloted into the World Trade Center.

About 30 Massport and airline employees, many of whom knew crew members on the flights, gathered at Logan yesterday to discuss how hard it has been for them to move on.

After losing colleagues, friends, and family in the attacks and feeling enormous guilt and anger for being a launching pad for the terrorists, employees said they fear losing their feelings about the attacks, a battle one Logan worker said was "the tug between remembering and the need to move on."

"You don't want to lose that piece of it that's a piece of you by shutting it off," said another employee.

Others said colleagues have buried their feelings about the attacks, seeking solace in their co-workers and their jobs, which many see as more important than therapy.

Consultant Tom Murphy , who led the session, said the emotional needs of people in the aviation industry have been largely ignored since the attacks.

The airline industry has lost an estimated 170,000 employees since 2001, Murphy said, while the threat of terrorist attacks continues.

Murphy's informal talks are "the voice of aviation that we never had after 9/11," said American Airlines flight attendant Debbie Roland , who flew from Washington, D.C., yesterday to support her Boston colleagues.

"I think it's critical," said Dana Morrow , 33, a supervisor for United Airlines from Rye, N.H. "I've kept suppressing it."

Morrow, who was working at Logan during the attacks, said her emotions came to a head last weekend when she visited Ground Zero and instantly began to cry.

Sitting next to her yesterday was Eloise Riley , supervisor of airport operations for United and a resident of Winthrop.

"You have to lean into the pain," she said, "because you're never going to get rid of it. You carry it with you."

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