Authority and Responsibility; How One Man is Haunted by the Events of 9/11/01



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On September 11th 2001, Vaughn Allex was working the ticket counter for American Airlines at Dulles International Airport.   He personally checked two of the hijackers on flight 77. Little did he know that 189 people were going to die onboard that flight because of the hidden plans of these men.  Allex followed procedure and carried on checking people in, including school groups, retired people and many families including those two men. Those two men were among the five hijackers who crashed that flight into the United States military headquarters in Arlington Virginia known as the Pentagon.

Allex did not know what he had done until the next day, officials handed him the manifest for the flight and that is when he realized that he was the one who checked in the terrorists on flight 77. Once everyone became clear of the situation many stopped talking to him as he began to take blame for what happened on September 11th. Even a simple mention  of 9/11 still haunts him.  Now 15 years after this horrific day, Allex is a part of  story corps which is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview their families and friends.  Talking about it publicly is part of his long healing process.  To learn more, including how to interview someone in your life visit,-he-checked-hijackers-onto-flight-77-its-haunted-him-ever-since/

Vaughn Allex needs to let go of his guilt.He followed procedures and was just doing his job, I understand that its human nature to feel guilty and to feel responsible but carrying that guilt and pressure just caused him to have depressed and more personal health issues. What happened on September 11th was horrific but it happened and now its a part of our U.S history.

Allex says he’s never been able to fully move past the memory. He says it remains with him always in some form or another. But with time, he has managed to start talking about it.

“I feel like in some ways I’ve — I really have come out of a shadow over the last 15 years,” he says, “and I’m — I’m back in the light now.”

If you or someone you know is affected by survivor’s guilt after a traumatic life event your are encouraged to seek help.

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