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Raleigh Church Holds Service For Former Midway Employees

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RALEIGH — While the nation was watching the tragedy unfold, so were local employees of Midway Airlines, but they were dealt a second blow when they discovered their employer was closing its doors for good.

Members of a local church opened their doors and their hearts to the former employees at a church service Sunday morning.

The congregation arrived at Northview Community Church to greet family -- the 1,700 people of the Midway family. When the airline decided to close on Wednesday, the employees never made it to work. Instead, they watched continous coverage of terrorist hijackings and subsequent destruction of four jets, the World Trade Center, and the severe damage to the Pentagon, and grieved for lost jobs and lost lives.

"We never got a chance to say goodbye to one another. That's what we're here for," former Midway employee Georgia Lowry said.

"We need this as much to grieve for the other flight crews as our jobs. We knew as soon as we heard this that the industry would never be the same," said Beverly Hahn, and subsequent events bear that out: In the wake of the attacks, Continental, Northwest, and American Airlines have announced plans to cancel 20 percent of their scheduled flights. Continental also said it will lay off 12,000 workers.