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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

View From The Fence

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Heroes without uniforms

As Americans prepared for the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on America, one could not help but reflect upon the event. Everywhere you looked there were news articles and television shows about the victims and the heroes.

I sat last week and watched a television news show about Flight 93, the airline that slammed into a field in Pennsylvania with 37 innocent victims on board. It is believed that plane was en route to our capital. As I sat and watched the loved ones of those passengers talk about the cell phone calls they received during the hour the plane was in the air and destined for death, tears streamed down my face.

These were real people with real families, and the lowest form of humanity -- those who used God's name as they carried out their dastardly deed -- murdered them.

While I have thought about all of the victims of 9/11, it is those 37 passengers who have touched my heart, because they are some of the few who really knew what was going on that day. They knew who their killers were. They had one hour to prepare themselves for death. One hour to say goodbye to their families. One hour to try to save not only themselves, but others as well.

They planned and they plotted. They would make sure that plane didn't reach its destination, even if it meant their own deaths, and it did.

Wives and husbands with small children told of the phone calls they received in the last minutes of their spouses' lives. Some still held the phones and actually heard their loved ones die. One husband said the last thing he heard was the screams of his wife before the phone went dead. It was both comfort and horror to them. They had a chance to say goodbye, but it came with a price.

These people were a true demonstration of what an American really is. We are proud and we are strong. We love our country and we'll fight for what is ours. We will sacrifice our own lives if it means saving others, and we love our families and have firm family values. Those men on Flight 93 thought of their wives and they prepared to fight the terrorists. They wanted them to know they loved them and they wanted them to make sure their children knew they were loved as well.

The aisles were narrow, which meant the passengers had to move single file down the aisle as they prepared their counterattack. Who was that one person in front? Who was that one person who put himself on the front line of war -- because it was indeed war. It was not a war we were familiar with, but that didn't matter. They prepared to go into battle as any soldier would. They had one hour of boot camp. Their weapons were a food cart, boiling water and anything else they could find on the plane. They died with honor, fighting for our country.

It doesn't matter who that front person was, it could have been any one of them -- it was all of them.

May all of the victims of 9/11 rest in peace. May their families know comfort and happiness, and may God bless them.