CHICAGO – For weeks now top management and human relations departments at United Airlines Employees Credit Union and American Airlines Federal Credit Union of Dallas, have pondered-quietly for sure-just how to respond in the most sensitive way possible to Sept. 11 observances. "This is something we really don't want to talk about in advance but we will make our plans known" is how often staffers responded to media questions about how the two CUs would observe Sept. 11 in light of the losses suffered by employees and members of the two CUs. United Airlines Employees CU and American Airlines FCU of Dallas are both single sponsor credit unions. Not only are their members employees of the respective airlines, but the staff of both credit unions are considered employees of the respective airlines. Last month, the two airline CUs, in separate disclosures, described how they would be handling the day including placing flowers in all of their branches and giving, as United put it, making "private time available" during the day to employees who need it. Both CUs emphasized their observances would follow policies laid out by their corporate sponsors but would be "simple yet meaningful." "We are planning a tree planting ceremony and a memorial plaque at the headquarters in honor of employee members who were lost," said a United spokesman. The airline lost two planes on Sept. 11, one crashing into the World Trade Center and the other in the Pennsylvania field. Flowers, plants and ribbons will be placed on counters in individual United branches and employees of both CUs will be wearing commemorative ribbons. The $3.7 billion United Airlines Employees CU with 165,000 members and 220 employees has 16 U.S. branches. American Airlines FCU, also at $3.7 billion in assets, has 39 branches, 400 employees and 205,000 members. The UAECU spokesman said the airline would be operating on a reduced schedule that day "since traffic is expected to be down." American Airlines said it also it would be observing "moments of silence" on Sept 11 as employees cope with the tragedy. American Airlines FCU said also it would be posting a plaque at its offices recognizing those airline employees who lost their lives and depicting the "Out of the Storm" painting the CU commissioned last summer showing two eagles soaring above storm clouds. The painting, said the CU, underscores the nation's triumph in the face of adversity. Copies of "Out of the Storm" have been given to other CUs directly impacted by Sept. 11 including United Airlines ECU and at the Pentagon. A copy of the painting in a weather tight frame is also at the World Trade Center Visitor platform. Still another copy hangs in the White House in the office of a former American Airlines employee. Copies also have been given to members of Congress and to CUNA officers. [email protected]

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