From Heartache to Hope

From Blog – Tom Murray
March 16, 2017 - 11:10pm
This post is dedicated to the five people that lost their lives and the many that were affected by the events at the Fort Lauderdale airport on January 6, 2017. January 6th began like so many other travel days for me. After keynoting an event the night before, I woke up, packed my belongings from the hotel where I was staying, grabbed breakfast with some new friends I had met while at the event, and later that morning caught an Uber ride to the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Flying virtually every week, I have my routine down, and could probably find my way through a number of airports with my eyes closed and my headphones on. Simply put, the day started like so many others, but in a few short hours it would quickly become a day that I’d never forget. After traveling to the airport with a group of three others from the event, we worked our way through security, grabbed a coffee, and discussed our trips home for a few moments. A few handshakes later, I was off to my gate in terminal 2, as out of our group, my flight was the first one out and I was set to travel back home to Philadelphia, with a brief layover in Atlanta. I boarded like I’d done hundreds of times prior, checked in on social media from the Fort Lauderdale airport, and it was wheels up soon thereafter. About an hour later, as my plane descended into Atlanta, my phone began to buzz – seemingly nonstop. I actually thought that someone was calling the moment I gained reception. I pulled the phone out of my pocket, and saw that it wasn’t ringing, but was messages coming through – 27 messages to be exact. “Are you still there?” was the one I saw first. “Are you okay? Please respond.” was next. My heart stopped. It was obvious something had happened during my short flight from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta. I quickly began searching on my phone and the breaking headlines sent chills down my spine. “Shooter at the Fort Lauderdale airport.” “Breaking: Unknown number of dead and wounded in Fort Lauderdale.” “Authorities searching for a possible second shooter in Fort Lauderdale.” I had a hard time holding back the tears. As we landed, word on our plane started to spread about the shooting that had just occurred – in Terminal 2, the same Delta terminal we had just left. Although I was never remotely in harm’s way, I will admit, I was shaken to the core. This


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