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Michael Bennett is the former Senior Producer of the Travel Channels west coast operations and is currently a travel writer for Savoy and Black Enterprise Magazine. Michael is the host of Globetrotting on BET's BET on Jazz Network. For travel question write to


Like most tragic occurrences in our lives, we have a tendency to remember
exactly where we were when the event took place and September 11, was no
different. I received a call from my in-laws who live in Florida shortly
after the first plane struck the World Trade Center tower. I quickly rushed
to my television set and turned it on just in time to see the second plane
hit the other tower. My first reaction was oh my God, the people!. Then it
happened, the towers collapsed.

As news reports flowed in from Washington DC and the Pennsylvania
countryside, I went through a mental checklist of all my family members,
immediate or otherwise wondering where everybody was. Next I wondered if who
ever was planning these attacks had more planned. When the Department of
Transportation grounded all flights I felt a temporary respite from my angst
as I watched the Trade Centers and the Pentagon burn.

My next emotion was one of extreme anger at the cowards who would perpetrate
such an act against innocent people. I wanted our military to wipe those
terrorists off the face of the earth, a view I still hold today.

Over the next several days as our collective psyche started to come to grips
with what happen, I realized how lucky I was to be an American. It was
wonderful to see how our country rallied around the victims and their
families. How athletes, entertainers, government officials, private citizens
and private business came to the aid of those in need.

When we deployed our first troops to Afghanistan I wanted them to just burn
the country down. Of course once I came to my senses I realized there are
innocent men, women and children who suffered at the hands of the Taliban
long before September 11. I must admit, I wanted Osama Bin Laden's head on a
platter and I wanted it right then. My common sense told me that wasn't
going to happen. I spent eight years in the United States Air Force.
Conducting military campaigns as I've learned is extremely difficult,
especially against a foe that is mobile and does not cherish life.

Now, almost a year later Bin Laden is still not in custody or dead as far as
we know. My anger still has not subsided. I have complete confidence our
military leaders can handle the task at hand given the proper tools to do the
job I just have to be patient.

September 11 devastated the business I've made my living in for the past few
years. The travel industry has yet to recover. Contrary to most published
reports air travel has still not rebounded. You only have to look at the
long list of costing cutting measure taken by the airlines, the bankruptcy
filings and the relatively small crowds at the nation's airports. It may take
years for the industry to completely recover, but recover we shall. The
industry and our country will be back stronger than ever.

And for those who lost loved ones, I pray that they and their children are
able to heal and move on to lead productive lives.