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The Familes of 9/11 Victims Speak

Exclusive interviews with some of the loved ones of those who perished. (Also read: "Commemorate 9/11 by Stopping Iran")

by
Elise Cooper

Bio

September 10, 2011 - 12:00 am
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All Americans were affected on September 11, 2001, as they watched people jumping to their deaths, airliners crashing into buildings, and towers falling.  No one’s life changed more than the family members of the 3,000 victims. PJMedia interviewed some family members as they reflect back ten years later.

Vice President Dick Cheney recounted in his book, In My Time, his conversation with Lyzbeth Glick about her husband’s bravery and heroism on United Flight 93. About the 9/11 victims and family members, he said:

I think it is important, as a nation, to remember that day, to remember the sacrifice of those that died, some very bravely, including the passengers of United Flight 93; the first responders who rushed into the World Trade Center Towers, as well as the private citizens who were going about their business on that day.  They were totally innocent.  Those who lived through it will never forget those who lost their lives in that moment. The families should know that there is a commitment on the part of the rest of us to do everything we can to make sure that never happens again. I hope they can feel some good by the fact that we finally ran Bin Laden into the ground and he paid the price he deserved.

Debra Burlingame, the co-founder with Liz Cheney of Keep America Safe, did not initially think that her brother, the pilot of the plane flown into the Pentagon, was involved in this horrific event.  She was in shock, stunned, and deeply shaken as events unfolded on that day.  A decade later she wants to thank Americans for showing “we have a country of extraordinary people of character”:

My family is very appreciative to the American people for helping us during those very dark times by supporting us, standing up with us, and crying with us.

Debra also cautions “that the terrorists see this fight as generational: remember what Zacarias Moussaoui, the ‘20th hijacker’ said: ‘our children will finish the fight.’’’ She constantly thinks about her brother, Chic, the leader of her family who was smart, solutions oriented, and had a great sense of self-deprecating humor. Besides Chic, she wants Americans to know that there were eleven children on those planes who also died.

Gordon and Kathy Haberman cannot believe that it has been a decade since they lost their daughter Andrea in the World Trade Center. For them:

[E]very day is 9/11 in some shape or form.  It is not something you can put on the shelf and drag it out for an anniversary. It will never be a footnote to 9/11 families.

They saw the attack as a means to cripple America: Pentagon — military, World Trade Center — financial, and the plane heading for Congress — political.  Going forward they want the terrorists tried in a military tribunal and are wondering if the schools will include 9/11  as part of their curriculum, since “most kids today were not very old when it happened and [we are] not sure they care about 9/11.” Their book, Just A Few Sleeps Away, was written to help Americans understand the impact of 9/11. What they want Americans to know is that their daughter Andrea was full of love and intelligence, and will always live in their hearts.

Shirley and Robert Hemenway were watching TV when they heard the news about 9/11.  As they watched they were hoping to recognize their son as one of those evacuating the Pentagon, where he worked. They want Americans to

once again have the same patriotism felt on that day!  Remember how everyone flew the flag on homes, autos, and businesses.  Remember when we all felt united.  I wish people would remember that good American feeling.

Their son Ronald, only 37 when he died, was a hands-on dad with a zany sense of humor. Now, a decade later in Wasilla, Alaska, Shirley and Robert will donate the battlefield cross awarded to Ronald to be placed at the entrance of the high school in hopes “that the students who attend the school will remember the attack of 9/11 that killed many Americans including one of Wasilla High’s own graduates.”

Alice Hoagland is afraid that this tenth anniversary will mark the end of any real significant attention being paid to 9/11.  She is glad every time “September 11 rolls around on the calendar because it helps us to rededicate the memories of 9/11″:

For me it is re-living that phone call at 6:44 am when my son Mark, who was on United Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, told me that his airplane was hijacked.  It was a three and a half minute conversation where he told us: “I just want to tell you guys I love you in case I don’t see you again.” I was speaking with a man who was going to die twenty minutes later, my son.

She wants Americans to take to heart the seriousness and urgency of the threats. Alice wants the world to know that her son Mark Bingham was a gay man who was loving, brave, and strong.

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