Friday, September 11, 2015

The Muslim Attack on America: Fourteen Years Later. Remembering the Heroes of Flight 93.

So today is the fourteenth anniversary of the Islamic attack on America.  On September 11, 2001, devout Muslims commandeered four commercial jet airliners and crashed two of them into the Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon, and the fourth was stopped by the passengers before reaching its target -- possibly the Congressional Building or the White House.

Los Gatos High School
The fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, was bound for Washington, D.C.  The plane's flight was delayed by half an hour, and so the passengers learned of the prior 911 attacks from telephone conversations with airlines personnel and family members.  Huddled in the back of the plane where the Muslim hijackers had moved them, the passengers decided to fight back and attempt to take control of the plane.  They charged the cockpit and the lone Muslim guard outside the cockpit door.  They did not succeed, but their attempt forced the hijackers to abort the mission, nose-diving the plane into a field in Pennsylvania.  There is no telling how many lives were saved and what terrible damage was prevented.

Todd Beamer was one of the heroic passengers.  He was the one who announced the start of the passenger rebellion with the words "Let's roll."

Todd Beamer and a fellow hero, Mark Bingham, were both graduates of Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, California.  I think of Todd and Mark every Thursday in the summer, when I drive into downtown Los Gatos to attend my Big Band class and practice jazz with the Cats Swing Band (we named our band "the Cats" in reference to Los Gatos, which is Spanish for "the cats."  Los Gatos was named by early Spanish settlers who saw two wildcats fighting there.)  To get to the Los Gatos Recreation hall, I drive right by Los Gatos High School (home of the Los Gatos Wildcats, colors black and orange) on my right, and view its large, grassy lawns and lovely countryside appearance.  Two good, brave men went to school there, and were two of the 2,996 killed on that evil day.  Todd Beamer was from the Los Gatos High Class of 1987, and Mark Bingham was from the Class of 1988.

There is much nastiness of a political nature that I could discuss here today -- But I'll give it a rest.  No politics. Today I will just quietly remember Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham and the other passengers of Flight 93 who, faced with certain death, decided to go down fighting.  God bless them all, for their sacrifice and their inspiration.

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