When Tragedy Strikes

You just never know when terrible things will happen. You can only hope that bad situations are kept from getting worse and that you’ll be around people who keep a cool head.

I experienced those things this weekend when I landed at Los Angeles International Airport right after the crazed shooting there that took the life of a TSA agent.

When our wheels touched down, my fellow passengers and I knew nothing of what was happening, but as we taxied, I pointed out to my husband all the helicopters flying in close proximity over the terminals. He spotted police cars zooming every which way. And then people on the tarmac. An announcement by our pilot told us what had just happened.

The pilot’s controlled demeanor was mirrored by the crew and passengers around me. I called my old newsroom, WTMJ-TV, and, as we passengers were evacuated from the plane and moved to a safe location, I gave the people back home a few updates throughout the day. Eventually, I ended up talking to more news outlets, radio and TV, in Spanish and English. I hope my reports both gave a sense of what we were experiencing and helped to calm the nerves of relatives who knew their loved ones had traveled on that same plane with me from Milwaukee.

I’d like to thank those that contacted me worrying for our welfare, but I’d more like to ask that we take a moment to contemplate what happened. Another horror in a stream of senseless violence. The TSA agent killed was a mere 39 years old. He was a husband and father of two. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

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