The Kindness of Strangers. LAX.

Friday, November 1, 2013

This morning I was at LAX ready to head off to a shoot in Texas. As the whole world knows by now, there was a terrible shooting at LAX in terminal 3 - the same place my plane was leaving from.

We all know the awful things that happened today but I wanted to share some images that I took today that may show another side of things, and I want to tell you about the kindness of strangers.

I had a friend monitoring a police scanner and updating me on unfolding events via text message so I knew what to do and what was happening. In the beginning, right after the shooting, most of us were stranded in parking lots and had no idea how bad it had been. Or what the "real" story was. My friend C.L was a lifesaver. I am very thankful she did all this for me. On her birthday no less.

I tried calling my mom, husband, and a few close friends to let them know I was OK, but with approximately 10 helicopters hoovering overhead I'm not sure if they got all of what I was saying.

My assistant & I  stood along with hundreds of others with our suitcases by our sides, waiting and watching, to see what we should do next. People shared any info friends on the "outside" called them with. Some airlines were updating via twitter and that's where we all got the most current info. I have to say @LAX_official on twitter was THE best source of  up to the minute info we could find on general things we wanted to know.

About 3 hours in we thought things had been contained but then we'd hear sirens and see bomb squad vehicles racing into the area with lights flashing and sirens blaring - a bit unnerving to say the least.  Sometimes it would be more ambulances, which was even worse, because we knew there were either more injuries, or perhaps fatalities.

I spoke to an undercover law enforcement person who gave us the best advice "Do not listen to what anyone tells you. No one knows right now when the airport will be back to normal. Not even me".  We found that to be VERY true. 

People were walking in the streets on Sepulveda just outside of LAX - weird to see so many people pulling luggage in the middle of a normally busy road...

There was a young Indian woman with a newborn slung across her chest in a baby sling and a cart full of luggage trying to leave LAX and get to the Raddison Hotel nearby - she had to walk as there were no cabs or cars that could take her. I offered her help and advice on the easiest route and other people took it upon themselves to also step in & help her.

Loads of airport vans were put into service just outside the police barricades so the elderly, infirm, pregnant women and small children had somewhere to sit with air conditioning.

There was a young man - high school age perhaps walking down Sepulveda passing out free water to hot and thirsty people who were stranded or walking in the streets.

These are just a few of the things I saw that were people spreading kindness today. 

My flight has been rescheduled for tomorrow and I am finally home - 8 hours after I left this morning but I haven't turned on the TV or radio for news or images of today's events - I feel like I am just finally decompressing from what happened today but I know from what I have seen in others is that out of bad, comes good - so I choose to focus on that at the moment.

I saw today that the act of a selfish human being does NOT destroy the godness in others.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims of today's tragedy.

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