Tulsa International Airport workers said 9/11 forced the nation to rethink security measures, influencing air travel forever.
Bryan Crook said memories keep flooding back to him. What he saw at TIA 20 years is something you simply can’t unsee.
“I got a call from one of our staff saying what are we going to do to secure the gates,” said Crook? “I said what? What’re you talking about we’re under attack? He said a terrorist just flew a plane into the world trade center.”
Crook said he just had to find a tv.
“Seeing that fire that was going on. And you know the paper and stuff floating in the air, and we were actually standing there when the second plane hit the next tower,” said Crook.
That very moment that sent shock waves across the country sent chills down Crook’s spine.
“People were crying. People were scared,” Crook said. “I still get tears in my eyes over it. It’s something I’ll never forget. I never will.”
Crook was a locksmith at Tulsa International Airport at the time.
“It was a complete shock to be an airport employee and to see what we love and enjoy being used and twisted to be used as a weapon,” said Crook.
Planes were grounded nationwide and cars were moved away from the airport.
“We didn’t know what was coming next,” Crook said. “Is this the first wave of something?”
For three days there were no flights in this nation. Glass barricades were put up just outside the terminal.
“So that if somebody was to pull up a vehicle it would help deflect the blast away from the terminal,” said Crook.
Security was in full force and every door at TIA was rekeyed.
“I’ve never been to a place where there was a war, but that’s kind of what it felt like is we were prepared for war,” said Crook.
Crook said Americans will never stop picking up the pieces of the past.
“I thank God that none of my family was in New York. None of my family was in the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. None of my family was at the pentagon,” said Crook.
Crook is now the director of customer experience and says keeping passengers safe is his top priority.
TSA said it has adopted a layered safety approach through the use of extensive training and technology