The Heroes Of Flight 93

Each September 11, I try to post this piece I wrote for a reflection of the first anniversary of the attacks. I think it’s a good way of remembering those lives lost on that day – but moreover, it’s a way of ending the remembrance of this terrible day on a note of hopefulness. Just 90 minutes after the terrorists started their attack, they lost their first battle to a group of Americans armed with little else than their courage. This is their story.

To bring this day of remembrance to a close, I would like to tell a story not about grief and loss, but about the triumph of the human spirit over evil. It’s a story I intend to tell every September 11, for no other reason that it gives me hope on such a dark day. It is my wish that it brings some hope to anyone else who care to hear.

While the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were burning, the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 were making frantic phone calls to their loved ones. Their plane, like the others that had crashed into the World Trade Center had been hijacked. Unlike those on the other flights, the people on board Flight 93 knew what fate would befall them.

No one can ever truly know what went through the minds of those people at the moment. Some wept, some prayed, and some called out to those they love to remind them how much they meant. Yet in the end, the passengers of Flight 93 did not surrender to despair.

In doing what they did, they may have saved thousands of lives in our nation’s capital.

The Bible teaches us that no greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for his brother. Truly, no greater love and no greater heroism could be found than in the actions of those who stared into the face of evil and fought back.

The murderers on that black Tuesday in September wanted to divide us, they wanted to make us cower in fear. When the firemen and police officers rushed to the scene of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and when those brave souls on that flight acted, they ensured that the terrorists lost. The terrorists showed us the worst of human nature – we responded with the best of it.

There will be many things said about this day, but the most eloquent statement of defiance and humanity is only two words long:

"Let’s Roll"

Those on board Flight 93 did not know what they would face when they boarded that plane. But if they could face down such great evil with such courage, compassion, dignity, courage, and love – then perhaps so can we.

Let’s Roll

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