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Flight UA 93

Dateline 11 Sept 2001;

The world was stunned--even Osama bin Laden--by the effectiveness of loaded civilian airliners used as missiles of war. The world was also stunned by the audacity and complexity of turning a modern technology against the very society that invented it.

Flight UA 93 out of Boston was hijacked in the early morning by four young men: Ahmed Alhaznawi, 20, Saudi; Saeed Alghamdi, 25, Saudi, Pilot; Ahmed Alnami, 23, Saudi; Ziad Jarrah, 26, Lebanese, Pilot

It quickly developed that not all was well in the intelligence services as well as with an Administration that could hardly believe that a dusty band constituting al Qa'ida, and barely known to the public, could be a threat--never mind the bombings of US embassies in Africa and the Destroyer Cole. There were many other warnings as well. See: 9/11 Report for more on the bureaucratic bungling that spanned two adminstrations.

The flight personnel

Jason Dahl Captain
Leroy Homer First Officer
Lorraine Bay Flight Attendant
Sandra Bradshaw Flight Attendant
Wanda Green Flight Attendant
CeeCee Lyles Flight Attendant
Deborah Walsh Flight Attendant

were quickly overpowered and the flight was set on a course for Washington DC. Tom Burnett, a passenger, after learning of the earlier bombings, realized he was on a flight destined for the same. He quickly conceived a plan, was joined by passengers, and led the action:

Alan Beaven
Mark Bingham
Geoffrey Glick
Rich Guadangno

Todd Beamer was reported to have added the words. Are you guys ready? Lets Roll.

However, the term "Let's roll" has been discredited as the rallying call it first was taken to be. More likely, the reference was to a food cart on rollers used to help break into the cockpit. What is certain is that one of the flight attendants gained entry to the cockpit shortly after the take over and struggled with a hijacker before she was killed.

Twenty minutes after the take over, Tom Burnett and the above passengers stormed the cockpit. According to the 9/11 Commision Report, a woman passenger, in addition to those named above, also joined the fight. The cockpit voice-recorder shows that the passengers fought continuously and were on the verge of taking over the controls when the "pilot," Ziad Jarrah, pulled the control wheel hard right, flipping the plane upside down and crashing it. The gyrations before the crash were his attempts to throw the passengers off balance. It was all over in five and a half minutes.

Better the ground than the Capital with twenty minutes to spare.

By actively resisting terrorists, these unarmed passengers and crew led the initial American response to terror on its own turf. For their motivations read "Ode to America" and "Who is an American" from outsiders looking in. There is no shortage of patriotism in America no matter the level of wisdom in the White House.

All of these people were special; they were already leaders in their professions or had law enforcement in their backgrounds. They were certainly inspired--and inspiring.

Their character and ability to assess the situation accurately exemplify the internal locus of control of all who took immediate and courageous action. What more compelling motive could any of us have to gird oursleves to the presence of terror. If we can learn to think independently and accurately, the terrorist meets his match, as those on flight UA93. We know the way. We can do it.

See: Aftermath Heroes, Guardian Patriots, Solutions, and Hope for more optimistic material.

See: Solutions for material beyond patriotism.


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