27th February 2010

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Flight 93

Lindsay Palmer

Professor Corisssa Bush

English 1301

27 February 2010

An Act of Heroism

As I got out of bed, my eyes were welcomed with a piercing light.  I thought this Tuesday would be like any other Tuesday in New York. I was wrong. This Tuesday, September 11, 2001, would change the lives of millions of people around the globe.  My name is Christine Synder and this is my story.

That morning was like any other. I woke up, quickly brushed my teeth, and threw my hair in a pony tail. My life, like almost every New Yorker, was moving at a fast pace. I was not suppose to work today, but my boss called me and told me to arrive to the office immediately. As I arrive, my body suddenly turned stiff and I became very uncomfortable. I knew something would happen. I was not sure if it was something bad or good, I just knew that something would happen. My theory was answered when my boss called me into his office to speak to me privately. I worked for United States Airlines as flight attendant. My job was fairly easy, I got on the plane, kept the passengers happy, then left. So when you boss called me in his office to talk to me, I knew something must be wrong.  Inside the office, my boss told me that my request for an off day for today  had been declined. “I am sorry, “He said, “It’s just that there has been an increase of flights lately and we need all the help we can get. I can’t give you today off.”  My lips started to quiver and my eyes watered as a tried to explain to my boss that I needed today off. Today was my little girl’s birthday. My husband and I planned on taking her to her favorite restaurant tonight and was going to spend some quality family time together.  My voice cracked as I spoke and I looked down at the floor, trying not to let it show that I was crying. My boss’ eyes turned slightly glassy and he told me, “Well, I can’t give you the day off, but I can let you pick from the lists of flights today. Choose which one you want, you may be able to get back home in time”. I looked on the list and noticed there was a flight going out in 30 minutes.If I took that flight, I  would be back in time for my little girls birthday dinner.  I asked my boss if it was possible to ride on flight 93. A soft smile filled my boss’ face as he replied, “sure, I will make it happen. You go get on the plane”.  I let the office, feeling joyful, excited, and wanting to skip around the office screaming how I would make it to dinner tonight. But I didn’t. I simply smiled, grabbed my bags, and headed to  gate 17 to board onto flight 93.

I stepped on the plane, everything seemed normal. The seats were freshly cleaned, the air smelt like peanuts and the pilot had just arrived. Once all the passengers boarded,  I made the typical announcement about the seatbelts, oxygen masks, cell phone, and told them if anyone needed anything, they just need to raise their hand and I will be with them.  No one raise their hands. It seemed everyone was content. I decided that I should be more friendly and started walking up and down the aisles, asking people their names, why they were on the plane, and if there was anything I could do to help them be more comfortable.

I met a dainty, quite, and sweet 79 year old woman with curly white hair, named Hilda Marcin. I talked to her for a while and found out that she was a retired special education teacher and had 2 daughters. She reached slowly into her pocket and brought out a pair of old, wrinkled pictures of her two daughters.  She showed me those wrinkled pictures so proudly and boasted to me of her daughters. Her oldest one had dropped her off at the airport this morning and would pick her up with she got back home.

I also met Alan Beaven, a lawyer, a husband , and a father to. As we talked, Alan told me about his family. His little girl, Sonali, was 5 years old and was he and his wife’s pride and joy. He told me how he missed them and could not wait to see them when he got back home. A soft smile slowly spread across my face as I told him I could relate to him. My little girl’s birthday is today, and my husband and I are going to take her out to dinner once I get back home. I talked with Alan for a while and what I found interesting about him, was his world view/ motto that he had tapped on his wall. His motto was, “Fear——who cares?”. At first, I was confused about what that meant. But he explained to me that he believed that we should all do our best and not worry about fear.  He ended our conversation with something his wife said to him before he left, she told him that all she wanted was for him to come back home safely. He told me he was going to do his best to make that come true, and not let the fear of what “might” happen, get the best of him.

After talking to some of the passengers, one asked me to go to the front and get him some water. I walked to the front and I felt a weird feeling that I would be walking into something bad. As I got closer to the front of the plane, I could hear voices, they were coming from the cockpit. Right as I got to the door, 4 men, Ahmen Al Nami, Saeed Al Ghamdi, Ahmend Al Haznawi, and Ziad Jarrah came out and announced that they had hijacked the plane. My heart nearly stopped, but the men continued to speak. They told me to let everyone know that the flight has been hijacked, a man has been knifed, and there was a bomb on board. I almost stopped breathing and couldn’t bring myself to move my feet, yet I knew I had to. I turned back to the isles and told the passengers what had happened. When I announced the announcement, I could see the look of panic flash across everyone’s faces. They were all silently communicating the same thing, “oh no”, the looks said. “What are we going to do? Will we be all right?” Unfortunately, I did not have the answers to any of those questions.

After I made my announcement, the hijackers ushered me to the back of the plane with the other passengers. In the back, I saw Hilda Marcin, and Alan Beavan, they had brought out their cell phones and were calling their families. I could hear part of the conversations that they were having. Their family members where asking what had happened, if they were going to be okay, and what where they going to do. One particular conversation caught my attention. It was Alan Beavan’s. He told his wife to tell his kids that he loved them, and that he was going to try to stop the hijackers from reaching their destination. He wife sounded like she was afraid for him, afraid what would happen to him. He replied “fear—who cares?”. He told her that he was going to throw away any fear he had, in order to stop the hijackers. They said I love you, and hung up the phone. As he hung up the phone, his eyes turned to me, with a certain look in his eyes. As if he was saying, “are you going to help?” I nodded my head, answering his unspoken question. We turned to the other passengers and told them what our plan was. We were going to take over this plane, before the hijackers could bomb whatever location they were planning on bombing. A lot of the passengers were afraid that they might get hurt, and believed that if we all kept quite, we would be spared. Suddenly, a hand raised up from the back, it was Hilda MArcin, the dainty old lady. She spoke so quite and clear, yet it seemed like she was screaming the words she was saying. She told us all, “There is a bomb on this plane and it will go off sometime. This means we all will die. But do any of you want your death to be in vain? You can either sit back, let the hijackers bomb the location they want, and probably kill more people then just those on this plane. Or would you rather stop this plane from going to that location?  When you die, do you want to be remembered as a hero? Or someone who sat back, and let the hijackers kill more people then necessary?” After she said that, it was clear what everyone had decided. We would over through the plane before it blew up in the destination that the hijackers had planned.

At 11:17 am, there was a news released that one of the flights, flight 93, had crashed near Pittspurg, Pennsylvania. Later on, it was also released that the plane hijackers originally were trying to bomb the white house. But due to circumstances, the passengers of flight 93 overthrowing the plane before they could get to the white house, the plane never reached the goal of the hijackers. That day , September 11, 2001,  was a day that changed millions of lives. It was the day that  that a series of terrorist attacks occurred on the United states. It was the day that fear was ignited in the hearts of millions of Americans, a day that every American would remember., and a day that brought out the hero in flight 93 passengers. Their act of heroism would be remembered forever.

24th February 2010

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Pre-Reading Journal Entry #1

When I was child, my preconcieved notion of the United States was that it was/is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

People are allowed to have so much more freedom in America, then they do an any other country. Americans are blessed.

List of Beliefs About America:

Free
Equality
Life
Liberty
Freedom of Thought

Examples of my beliefs being shattered or maintained.

Freedom: I look around me and I see that kids nowadays do anything and everything they want. They dress the way they want. Talk the way they want. Act the way they want. Now, I don’t always agree with the way they act, dress or talk, but I have to live with it because this is America and people have the freedom to do what they would like.

Equality: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and they are endowed by their creator….” Being an American means you have the right to equality. But, the sad fact is, some people don’t treat ALL people as equal. 
I have had people judge me by my skin color, I will it admit that I also have judged people by their skin color also,but what we need to realize and get through our thick skulls, is that all men are equal. No one is above the other.  Almost every news report is of instances of racism and descrimination. But, as shocking as this may seem,*saying this sarcastically* there ARE instances of people helping each other. If I had to bet, there are more instances of people helping those and showing equality, then there are instances of racism.

Why is it that the media only reports racism?

I will only write about those two things from my list. But I will leave you with this thought…… No matter how much “Americans” hate America, they know, when it comes down to it, that they are happy they are in America. Because they know, or should know, that in any other place, they might not have the Human Rights that Americans have.

I think we all need to remember the words from the song “I am proud to be an American”

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A

In America, we are free. In America, we have men who will defend us. In America, we are blessed.

Blessings,

Lindsay

23rd February 2010

Quote

Some friends of mine got me a book for Christmas, and in the book it had this quote. This quote made me think about how blessed we all are, whether we realize it or not.

If children with terminal cancer can find love, joy, beauty and peace in their day- and they do- why don’t we?- Dan Zadra