The 40 Heroes of Flight 93Forty ordinary people came together on September 11, 2001 for a cross-country flight from New Jersey to San Francisco on United Airlines Flight 93. Yet, when their plane was hijacked and turned around near Cleveland, OH, on a course for Washington D.C. and the U.S. Capitol, these 40 ordinary people showed extraordinary courage and selflessness. It can't have been easy talking to their loved ones on the phone, learning that other planes had been hijacked that morning and crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Yet instead of giving up, these 40 people -- 33 passengers and 7 crew -- came together as one to lead the charge in the war against terrorism.
We'll never know for sure what happened when the passengers attempted to overpower the terrorists and storm the cockpit, but we do know the plane never made it to its intended target. Flight 93 crashed just after 10:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001, in a rural western Pennsylvania field, just outside of the tiny town of Shanksville. All 40 aboard died, but hundreds and possibly thousands of American lives were saved thanks to the heroes of Flight 93.
At a commemoration ceremony in Shanksville on the 1-year anniversary of September 11, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, who was the governor of Pennsylvania at the time of the crash, hailed the passengers and crew of Flight 93 as "citizen soldiers" and heroes for their actions to prevent the aircraft from hitting its intended target. "In a field in rural Pennsylvania, right prevailed over wrong and hope was born again."
The 40 Heroes of Flight 93 - Passengers & Crew
Christian Adams - The 37-year-old husband and father from Biebelsheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, was flying to San Francisco for a wine-tasting event as part of his job as director of export for German Wine Institute. Christian Adams left behind a wife, Silke; son, Lukas; and daughter, Theresa.
Lorraine G. Bay, Crew - a 37-year United veteran and senior flight attendant of Flight 93, Lorraine Bay, 58, from East Windsor, N.J. had chosen Flight 93 over another flight because it was nonstop. Lorraine Bay left behind her husband, Erich, and no children.
Todd Beamer - An account manager for Oracle Corporation, this 32-year old father of two was traveling to Redwood Shores, California for a business meeting, and planned to return home on a red-eye flight that night. Todd Beamer left behind his wife, Lisa, and two young sons - David and Drew. Lisa was pregnant with their third child - daughter Morgan - on September 11, 2001. Famous for his "Let's roll" statement made to the passengers as they prepared to try and overpower the hijackers of Flight 93.
Heroic Choices - Originally the Todd M. Beamer Foundation
Alan Beaven - Alan, a environmental lawyer from Oakland, California, was headed to San Francisco to try a case before leaving on a planned year-long sabbatical to do volunteer work for the SYDA Foundation in Bombay, India. Originally born in New Zealand, Alan Beaven left behind his wife, Kimi; daughter, Sonali; and two sons from a previous marriage, Chris and John.
Mark Bingham - The world-traveling, fun-loving owner of The Bingham Group in San Francisco, California, was heading home after a weekend in New York City on Flight 93. The 31-year-old Mark Bingham left behind his mother, Alice Hoglan, father, Jerry Bingham, and step-mother, Karen Bingham.
Deora Bodley - A junior at Santa Clara University, in San Diego, California, 20-year-old Doera Bodley was returning home from a visit with friends in New Jersey and Connecticut. Deora left behind her mother, Deborah Borza; father, Derrill Bodley; and a half-sister, Murial.
Sandra W. Bradshaw, Crew - A flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 93, Sandy Bradshaw, 38, lived in Greensboro, North Carolina, with her husband, Phil; daughter, Alexandria; son, Nathan; and stepdaughter, Shenan.
Marion Britton - Headed to San Francisco for a computer operations conference with fellow Flight 93 passenger, Waleska Martinez, 53-year-old Marion Britton was an assistant regional director for the U.S. Census Bureau in New York City. She lived in Brooklyn, N.Y. and left behind a brother, Paul, and half-brother, John.
Thomas E. Burnett, Jr. - The 38-year-old family man from San Ramon, California was senior vice president and COO of medical devices company, Thoratec Corporation. Tom Burnett was a passenger on Flight 93, heading home from a business meeting in New Jersey and a weekend in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He left behind his wife, Deena, and three young daughters, Madison, Halley, and Anna Clare.
William Cashman - This fun-loving Ironworker was headed out west, for a hiking trip in Yosemite National Park with his old friend, Patrick Driscoll. William Cashman, age 60, left behind his wife, Margaret, in West New York, N.J.