Let us never forget the courage aboard Flight 93
It seems like a decade ago.
But it is a moment that should be etched in the minds of every American forever.
It was the day the Towers fell.
We remember the horror of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City, and the terror that hit Washington, D.C.
Our hearts hurt for the families who lost so much in just a few minutes.
We still think of the men and women who lost their lives as they rushed to save people they did not even know, not even stopping to think about the dangers they would encounter. We honor their sacrifice as much as we mourn the victims they couldn’t save.
But this year as we mark the anniversary of the day that changed the world and reminded this nation of who we really are and what we mean to one another, we should think about a not-as-often-talked-about aspect of Sept. 11.
We should remember a plane full of fathers, brothers, sons, daughters, sisters and mothers over a Pennsylvania field.
They knew about the World Trade Center attacks, and they knew the terrorists on their flight were probably heading their plane to Washington.
They could have sat in their seats, waited for what was to come. They could have ignored the evidence, the danger, the responsibility. No one would have had any right to question the decision they made to just stay quiet through what must have been a horrifying experience.
The passengers and crew on United Airlines Flight 93 took down that plane. They might not have been able to save themselves, but they certainly would do everything they could to save their country.
They gathered themselves up and fought back, determined that their plane was not going to be used as a missile.
And they saved hundreds, if not thousands, more lives.
Those heroes, who are now, finally, going to get a memorial of their own on the field in which they died, represent what it means to be an American — and why, ultimately, no one will ever be able to destroy this country.
Courage and love of country, after all, are part of our history since the first patriots stood up to the British Empire more than 225 years ago.
We might fuss and fight among ourselves. We might even be quick to tell everyone what is wrong with this country every chance we get.
But attack us or threaten our ground, and you will see just what Americans are made of, and what we are willing to do to protect the nation we love.
Sept. 11 is a day most of us will never forget because of the horrors we witnessed. We also need to take the time to remember, too, the courage of a handful of Americans who wouldn’t back down, and the spirit of a nation that, when faced with insurmountable sorrow, stood strong and tall together.
That is the least we can do.
Published in Editorials on September 10, 2005 11:50 PM