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History

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

 

In the early morning hours of 9/11/2001, Flight Crews and passengers on four flights leaving Boston, Dulles, and Newark were faced with an unimaginable level of terrorism perpetrated by groups of suicidal fanatics. Unaware of their murderous intentions, crews initially reacted as they had been trained; protect the lives of their passengers by co-operating with the hijackers. Using this, the terrorists gained control of the aircraft and cockpits. Pilots were either murdered or constrained in the passenger cabins. Crew members performed gallantly in the face of the terrorists and their initial aggression. Their commitment and courage during the opening hours of 9/11 exemplified a level never before tested in the history of aviation. One example of their bravery, three crew members aboard American Airlines Flight 11 were able to alert the world of the impending Attack on America. Flight Attendants Madeline (Amy) Sweeney and Betty Ong secretly telephoned company supervisors alerting them to the hijacking and passing along information from other crew members about the terrorist' identities and activities. Captain John Ogonowski opened his cockpit microphone, allowing air traffic controllers to relay valuable information to the National Security Command. On United Flight 175 a flight attendant called the company using a maintenance line to warn of the hijacking and the conditions on the aircraft. Three of the four aircraft were flown into the New York City World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. Passengers and crew members of United Flight 93 were able to learn of the intentions of the hijackers through phone calls to their loved ones and fought for control of the aircraft. It crashed just outside of Shanksville, PA, short of its intended Washington DC target. These brave acts showed the world that Americans would not be frightened by groups of murdering terrorists.

In the days and weeks following, flight crews throughout the world were tested, working under the pressure of getting the world back in the skies. Thousands of planes, crews and passengers were scattered across the globe, left scarred from that tragic morning. There was no fear, just anger and the pain of losing friends and colleagues. The world changed...on December 22, 2001 American Flight 63 crew members and passengers attacked and subdued a terrorist attempting to destroy the aircraft by using a shoe bomb. There have been no hijacking attempts since then.

Today our crews fly the skies serving their passengers, companies, and country; continually alert to the constant threat and thinking of the thirty-three comrades among the thousands who were murdered on 9/11.

Shortly following the events of 9/11 an American Flight Attendant, Valerie Thompson, formed a foundation dedicated to the memory of the professionals who crewed American Airlines Flights 11 and 77 and United Airlines Flights 93 and 175. She and her husband, Dean, continued their vision for six years joined by numerous members of the aviation community and others. On July 4th 2008 the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial was dedicated in Grapevine, Texas, just north of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport with almost a thousand in attendance. The City facilitated the gift of the site from the Westwood Development Group and has provided landscaping, parking and benches. The site is located on the SW corner of Northwest Highway and Texan Trail in the new GrapeVine Station Development and provides outstanding access to the public. The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial Foundation has donated the Memorial as a gift to the City who has incorporated the Memorial into their Parks system. The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial has been fortunate to receive the enthusiasm and support of this close-knit aviation community. Due to financial considerations there were features not completed on the Memorial, mainly the water fountain. The City will accept donations to the Memorial through its Public Arts Fund and will ear mark those donations to the Memorial. Engraved Pavers are still available through the Convention and Visitors Bureau. These donations are entirely tax deductible. We will continue to provide further information to help facilitate the donation process. Now that the main construction phase of the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial is completed, there have been changes in the Foundation. The torch has been passed to a new President and Board of Directors contiuing under a new name, 9/11 Memorial Foundation Texas. We are continuing to build Memorials. Our next project will be a memorial to Fire Fighters killed in the 9/11 attack. This will be placed in Grapevine. This web site will continue to operate and act as an information source. Donations to the Foundation address will be applied to the lighting project at the Memorial and to the City's Public Arts Fund, 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial. We encourage you to visit the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial when you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The Memorial is only a short cab ride from DFW.  It is truly beautiful and awe inspiring.

9/11 Flight Crew Memorial Foundation
1000 Texan Trail, Suite 255
Grapevine, TX 76051





 

 
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