Seven years ago yesterday, our lives changed forever. I don’t need to be the one to you tell you that. You experience it, maybe every day. Perhaps it’s looking up at a blue sky like yesterday’s, like 7 years ago, and saying a prayer for those who died. Perhaps it’s knowing there’s a place called Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Perhaps it’s wondering whether we will ever have our lives return to the way they were before 9/11/01.
I took some time yesterday to reflect on how life is different for me and I have to say one of the biggest changes is in air travel. I have taken 7 trips via plane this year, so far, I still have one to go. (I’m making up for lost time. I often had to turn down invitations when I was working as weekend anchor.) Each time, the rules seem a little different.
Unless I am going on a long trip — longer than 4 days — I don’t check my bag. It’s just easier for me. Sometimes it means that I have to gate check my bag — when they put a tag on it and put it under the plane, but you get it back on the tarmac rather than wait in baggage claim. When I don’t check my bag, though, I pack very differently.
Anyone who’s been near an airport recently knows that any liquids that you want to carry-on have to go in a one-quart resealable bag. What I have discovered in this year of traveling is that what is considered a liquid varies greatly. I always put my shampoo, conditioner and mouthwash in there (except for the one time on the way home from Indianapolis when I forgot I had put mouthwash in my purse and the TSA agent pulled it out, looked at it, put it back and sent me on my way.) But what about toothpaste? Mascara? Hair gel? Lip gloss? In some cases I have put these in the bag, other times I have not. I wish there was a place I could find that lists exactly what is considered a liquid when traveling by plane. So far, I have not been able to find such a list.
Looking back at 7 years, I know this is a minor hassle compared to what some people have endured. I do not trivailize their pain, their suffering, their loss. I just ask, “Are we safer?”