Remembering the Flight 93 Heroes of 9/11
On Thursday, April 8, 2021, LWRWC members participated in a Zoom Presentation to honor and remember the heroes of 9/11 entitled “A common field one day – A field of honor forever.” The guest speaker, Mal Fuller, served as the Watch Supervisor responsible for the control tower and radar room in Pittsburgh on September 11, 2001 when Flight 93 was hijacked by terrorists and crashed in Shanksville, PA.
Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, the U.S. came under attack when four commercial airliners were hijacked and used to strike targets on the ground. Nearly 3,000 people tragically lost their lives.
Because of the actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard one of the planes, Flight 93, the attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted. The youngest passenger was 20 and the oldest 79. In the last 35 minutes of their lives, these valiant heroes made 37 phone calls. They learned the nation was under attack. They knew if they did nothing, they would die. They made a plan and voted on it.
They armed themselves with what they could, including boiling water from the galley to throw on the terrorists. They waited until the plane was over a rural area to avoid further loss of life. Then those 40 ordinary people who sat down as strangers stood up as one, and looked evil in the eye, and they stopped it. They stopped it as the nation’s airspace shut down, while the south tower collapsed, and as the pentagon burned.
The deeply moving presentation ended with a very inspiring and uplifting video entitled Boatlift, narrated by Tom Hanks. In an unprecedented act of compassion , innovation, and heroism, a plethora of boats answered the call for help and rescued almost 500,000 terrified people from the shores of Manhattan in less than 9 hours, making it the largest rescue effort ever! One of the heroic boat captains said that he never wanted to say, “I should have” and believed if one is needed, they should do everything in their power to alleviate suffering! On 9/11/2001, while unspeakable evil threatened all we hold dear, heroes and angels stood up and proved that good is stronger than evil!
Mal Fuller was Watch Supervisor responsible for the control tower and radar room in Pittsburgh on September 11, 2001 when Flight 93 was hijacked by terrorists and crashed in Shanksville, PA.
Mal Fuller, who had served in the United States Air Force and FAA for 36 years, was deeply impacted by the tragedy of Flight 93. It crashed right off his radar screen. He felt an emotional connection to the people on board the flight. Mal said, “We’re here to protect people and keep people safe. And there wasn’t a thing we could do for those people.”
He retired shortly after in January 2002 and working with the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial, has devoted his life to preserving the memory of the incredible heroes of Flight 93 and helping to support and preserve the beautiful memorial located in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Established in 2009, the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial is the official 501(c)3 non-profit partner of the National Park Service at Flight 93 National Memorial.