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Former flight attendant and firefighter reflect on how 9/11 impacted their lives

People across the Chattahoochee Valley, of all walks of life, are reflecting on the events that unfolded 20 years ago, during 9/11.
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 7:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - People across the Chattahoochee Valley, of all walks of life, are reflecting on the events that unfolded 20 years ago, during 9/11.

Deborah Lowry, a flight attendant at the time, said she was in the sky when the first plane crashed into the tower, while, Chris Rebidue, a firefighter told News Leader 9 he still mourns for the brothers and sisters he lost that fateful day.

20 years later, Deborah Lowry, a former American Airlines flight attendant, told News Leader 9 the pain from 9/11 still lingers with her today. Lowery says, when the first plane struck the twin towers in New York, she was in the sky, in route to Los Angeles. According to her, that’s when an FBI agent onboard her flight approached her requesting to use a phone.

“Everyone was stunned. You could hear a pin drop, because we were watching airplanes just like ours, crashing into buildings, and that could have been us,” said Lowry. “I’ve never seen such a look of terror in someone’s face.”

According to Lowry, shortly after, the captain informed the crew and passengers they would need to get out of the sky immediately. They landed in Memphis, Tennessee and were there for the next three days.

Meanwhile, Chris Rebidue was a fire fighter in Columbus at the time of 9/11. According to Rebidue, the pain and disbelief from the day, is something that also sticks with him.

“How does that happen? I mean… it’s very frustrating. It’s not a day that we can celebrate at all. It’s not a day of celebration at all,” said Rebidue. “For me, I lay in bed sometimes and I think about my brothers running up the building and all the people running out the building with all the soot and every thing and just about zero visibility and they don’t know what they’re running into.”

Lowery and Rebidue’s message to the rest of the country about 9/11 is simple.

“I think that most Americans have forgotten what they did to us that day,” said Rebidue.

“We need to stop being complacent. We need to be on guard, because this can happen again,” said Lowry.

Deborah Lowry went on to tell News Leader 9, shortly after returning home to her husband and their home in Charlotte, grief struck once more - her husband died a few weeks later. She believes stress from seeing the attacks played a factor.

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