all week a particular group of people
have been on my mind, and perhaps
yours too. They deserve a special
tribute. I have been racking my brain
trying to figure a way to salute them,
and then this morning Chadwick (of
www.shagmail.com) did it beautifully
in his newsletter. This is a departure
for him; typically he emits foul and
insulting rants, but in this case, I
could have not said it any better.
So I would like to share his letter
with you. I have copied it below,
and it's worth reading.
Keep the faith,
Dear Fellow Citizens of the World,
I would like to take a slight detour
from my usual format this week in
order to tell you a short, but
It is full of drama, suspense and
terror. And the great tragedy is
that the story is true.
Early Tuesday morning, September 11,
38 passengers boarded United Flight
93 in New Jersey for a scheduled
flight to California. It never got
there. Somewhere over Ohio radar
tracked the plane making a sharp turn
and head in the direction of Washington.
It didn't make it there either.
At about 10:06 a.m. Eastern Time Flight
93 crashed into an empty field
somewhere in Pennsylvania.
The reason for this bizarre and tragic
behavior was at first a mystery, but
as authorities began to patch together
bits and pieces of evidence from cockpit
radio transmissions and cell phone calls
made by passengers, a story of heart-
breaking self-sacrifice and desperation
began to emerge.
Shortly after take-off from Newark's
International Airport three or four
assailants got out of their seats, produced
knives and razor blades and attacked the
crew. Amid screams the passengers suddenly
realized that they were the victims of a
real, live hijacking, happening right in
front of them.
They were shocked and terrified, but
prepared to follow orders. In this
information age everyone has seen or read
about hijackings before. The passengers
expected their flight to be diverted, and
they expected themselves to be used as
political bargaining chips or perhaps to
be held for ransom. After wounding or
killing at least one crew member, the
hijackers herded the passengers into the
back of the plane with frantic commands.
Once the passengers were under control
the hijackers turned their attention to
forcing their way into the cockpit. It
was at this point that people began using
AirFones and cell phones to make hurried
and hushed calls to loved ones and tell
them what was happening.
Passenger Jeremy Glick, 31, telephoned his
wife, Liz. She conferenced the call to a
911 dispatcher, who told Glick about the
suicide attacks that had just occurred in
Grim realization dawned. They were not
hostages. They were all soon to be murder
With his family in his thoughts Glick made
what must have been the hardest and most
curageous decision of his life. If their
fate was to die, they should fight. His
last words to his wife were, "I hope you
have a good life. Take care of our daughter."
38-year-old Thomas Burnett also called his
wife. In a series of four cell phone calls,
Burnett had his wife, Deena, conference in
the FBI and calmly gathered information
about the other hijacked flights. According
to his wife Burnett said, "I know we're all
going to die -- there's three of us who are
going to do something about it." He then
said, "I love you, honey." and that was
the end of conversation.
Minutes after Burnett's final call, Flight
93 crashed in a field in southwestern
Pennsylvania. Apparently Glick, Burnett
and at least one other passenger, if not
more, wrested control of the aircraft from
the hijackers. Whether the plane crashed
during the struggle or because no one was
left on board who knew how to fly it, the
force of the impact was so great that
nothing of the fuselage was left intact.
Investigators believe the hijackers
intended to use the plane as a bomb,
just like the others, and attack a
significant target in Washington. But
because of the apparent actions of the
passengers it never reached its target.
Last week we saw thousands of heroic
stories in the face of the unspeakable
tragedies that occurred in New York and
Washington. But to the people wherever
this last plane was headed, whoever they
are, the passengers of Flight 93 are more
than heroes, they are guardian angels.
Date: Sun, Sep 16, 2001, 11:21pm (CDT+1)
To: addie kat
Subject: another one
My heart is heavy. As you know,
I am a veteran of the Gulf War.
I remember trying to motivate
some of the new privates who
would come to my unit. It is still
done today. I would stand on a
humvee, a hill or anything with
some height, and look around
intensely. After a few moments
some of the younger guys would
ask, "Sarge what are you doing?"
My reply "I am looking for a war."
I got what I was looking for.
It is those who have been to war
are the ones who want it least.
But I know the inevitable is going
to happen as it should. We are
talking about the true foundations
from which this country was born,
"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of
happiness, and that all men are
created equal. "The members of
our armed forces, even anyone
who holds office in the federal
government, take an oath when
they assume their duties. That
oath is to defend the Constitution
of the United States from enemies
foreign and domestic.
With this in mind, I ask that not only
should we pray for the victims of this
cowardice, but pray for the members of
our military, active and reserve. I have
carried in my wallet a poem for almost
17 years. It was written by Father
Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC.
It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag, and
whose coffin is draped by the flag.
Thank you for allowing me to share
this, and relieve my sadness.........
Hi all this is Beverly in Brooklyn, New York.
It is so true about the firemen, they are
so couragous and brave. My Brother Richie is
a fireman, and he is working in Ground Zero
on rescue and recovery at the WTC. It is
very depressing, he comes here to eat between
his shifts, he is a different person, and i
can see by the look in his eyes, the terror
he has witnessed....its all over his face.....
we all see it on television, [the small screen,]
but being right there, the distruction goes on
for blocks and the loss of so many lives, many
our friends, and my brothers fellow firemen,
is a true herific blow to all, especially the
brave Firemen working in Ground Zero rescue and
recovery to see, work in, and witness.
Its utterly, unimagable to the human soul and eyes.
As my Brother Richie says, there is no words to
discribe it, with tears welling up in his eyes ..
.. ....we New Yorkers are still not back together
here, we are all still in shock as we are so close
to the war zone.... we are all scared, traffic is
constantly backed up. all over our little streets
leading in and out of Manhattan, the police are
searching cars and trucks going into and out of
Manhattan, all retail business is very bad, stores
are empty, our cloths store is almost ready to
close its doors.....people are scared, we are all
changed here in New York, from the second our
World Trade Center was attacked by the Devils
against the Human race, we go on, but we all
have heavy hearts from what we have seen, scared,
and fear for future attacks......God Bless you
all....and I lov you all, Beve in Brooklyn,
New York, Lets give my Brother Richie, our thanks,
for his brave work, in Rescue and recovery.