Time to Close Your Eyes

This past weekend my wife, youngest son and I headed up to Tallahassee for Parents’ Weekend. We were able to spend some quality time with my oldest son. We saw the FSU circus, played some poker [for paperclips], hung out with friends, and attended the Florida State / Wake Forest game.

But that’s not what this post is about.

What it IS about is what happened before the game.

And what happened is this: after the National Anthem was sung a B-1B Lancer did a fly-over. This isn’t the first time that I’ve been at an event where a plane did a flyover. It’s always a cool experience. Sometimes you hear the plane first, then look up to see it zooming overhead, and at other times you see it growing larger and then it’s gone with the sound trailing behind.

That’s not what happened this time.

We were seated about 3/4 of the way up on an end zone side. Everyone knew that the plane was going to fly over and so as the National Anthem ended, all eyes were searching the skies for the plane.

Suddenly it was there. It just seemed to appear. It looked huge! The crazy thing was that it seemed to be REAL LOW. I mean REALLY LOW. And it seemed to be moving WAY TOO SLOW.

Too low and too slow is NOT a good combination for a jet.

I looked over at my wife and said, “That plane looks awfully low.” I looked back and the plane was still heading our way. My mind flashed on about a dozen thoughts: “The twin towersa terrorist act a problem with the planea problem with the pilot…” The plane was still heading our way. How could such a huge plane be going so slow?

And then the thought hit me… “If there’s really a problem with the plane, there’s nothing that we can do.” We couldn’t run. Or get out of the way. Or hide. We wouldn’t have time to do anything other than close or eyes in the last seconds before impact.

As these thoughts went through my head, the plane passed over us and the rest of the folks above us in the stadium. Then the thunderous roar of the engines hit us and most people covered their ears. When the sound died down, you could hear a lot of people commenting on how low the plane was and how cool the flyover was.

And it was.

But I just couldn’t shake the thought of what it must have felt like to have been in the twin towers and see the planes coming.