Remembering 9-11: Chris Morris

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Salisbury native Chris Morris had been a flight attendant with United Express for one month when he worked a flight from Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. to Newark.
He took off at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001.
The plane had been in the air for about 30 minutes when the pilot announced he could not land because two planes had hit the World Trade Center. They headed back to Dulles.
Morris looked out the window to his right and could see the Twin Towers smoking. As they approached Dulles, the pilots told him they could see the Pentagon on fire.
Later, Morris would learn about United Airlines Flight 93, hijacked by a fourth group of terrorists and eventually crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Morris’ friend and coworker, Sandy Bradshaw of Greensboro, died on that flight.
“It was just disbelief,” said Morris, now 42. “It was kind of like something made for TV.”
Back at Dulles, Morris walked into the terminal to see people running to flee the airport. He spent the rest of the day at a flight crew apartment in Washington, where he and others watched TV and tried to comprehend events unfolding before their eyes.
“To be honest, not a day goes by that you don’t think about it,” he said. “It’s still in the back of your mind.”
Morris said he’s not afraid to fly and doesn’t think terrorists will ever take over jetliners again.
“Passengers will not let it happen. They will clobber that person,” he said. “Flight attendants are more aware of things. You stay on your toes, you’re more cautious, always watching.”
The heroes a decade ago were the first responders, said Morris, who has a 9/11 memorial button on his fight crew lanyard.
“I wear it all the time,” he said.