Erika Ghazoul is a student leader for our “93 cents for Flight 93” campaign. After having the opportunity to attend the 2010 memorial service, Erika wrote the following for her school’s newspaper. She is a part of Norwalk High School’s class of 2011.
As you look across the peaceful landscape of a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania it’s hard to imagine anything catastrophic having ever occurred there. A lone flag in the distance is your only reminder of a tragedy that took place not so long ago.
On September 11, 2010, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a memorial service for the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who lost their lives as a result of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. Because I am a student leader in the organization “93 cents for Flight 93,” I was asked to come to interview those in attendance about their thoughts of the ceremony that day as well as the memorial soon to be built on the site. The first part of the ceremony included a reading of the names of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 as bells were rung in their memory; speeches by former first lady Laura Bush and first lady Michelle Obama; and a speech by the president of the Families of Flight 93, Gordon Felt, whose brother died in the crash.
After the ceremony had concluded, the families of Flight 93 were invited to view the crash site and future home of its memorial structure.
As we started interviewing those around us, including the Flight 93 families, I noticed a repeating pattern: let these heroes set an example for future generations. By simply saying “No” and reacting to an injustice, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 prevented the loss of possibly thousands of lives. The families want to show my age group that their loved ones made a huge sacrifice for the goodof their countrymen, but normal people can do the same thing in their everyday lives.
Heroes are made every day, and I think Todd Beamer summed it up perfectly in what he said right before he and the other passengers and crew of Flight 93 fought the terrorists on the plane: “Let’s roll.”