SOURCE: Author Barbara Dorger
LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 7, 2012) - On September 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight Attendant Barbara Dorger was in Hong Kong, scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles the following day, when United Airlines Flights 175 and 93 and American Airlines Flights 11 and 77 were hijacked by terrorists in a full-scale attack on America. Of the thousands who lost their lives when the planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 33 were crewmembers onboard the four planes; several were murdered by the terrorists prior to the crashes. While researching the attacks on 9/11, Barbara learned of the amazing acts of heroism that occurred in the short, but horrific, 77 minutes of the hijackings, where crewmembers on each flight secretly passed vital information to their companies and the FAA. This information led to an almost immediate grounding of all flights across the USA, saving untold lives in the process.
Unfortunately, these crewmembers did not receive much recognition for their acts of bravery in their last moments of life -- so retired UA Flight Attendant Barbara Dorger is doing something to correct that oversight.
Barbara retired from the airlines in 2003 after a 39-year career. In the last 18 months, she has researched the events surrounding the hijackings. She has written over a dozen articles on events surrounding the hijackings with her passion being to give the public a better appreciation of what these crews did while they were in flight.
To celebrate the memory of the lost crewmembers on the four 9/11 flights, she has designed a wing-shaped pin that reads: "Our 33." The pins come with a poem she wrote inspired by their acts of bravery. With each pin purchased, Barbara donates the proceeds to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
"I want the crews that died on 9/11 to be acknowledged as heroes," says Barbara. "Crews on the first two airplanes told their companies about the killing of the pilots, the stabbing of the flight attendants and of mace gas being sprayed in the cabins. These were things that had never happened before, and as the information came in from each of the four flights, it confirmed that our country was under a major attack.
"The crews worked to try to save their passengers and when that was not possible, they passed on information in the hopes of saving others from the same fate."
The 33 heroes who gave their lives on 9/11 were:
American Airlines Flight 11 (World Trade, North Tower): Captain John Ogonowski, Co-pilot Thomas McGuinnes, Flight Attendants: Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Jean Roger, Betty Ong, Dianne Snyder and Amy Sweeney.
United Airlines Flight 175 (World Trade, South Tower): Captain Victor Saracini, Co-pilot Michael Horrocks, Flight Attendants: Robert Fangman, Amy Jerret, Amy King, Kathryn Laborie, Alfred Marchand, Michael Tarrou and Alicia Titus.
American Airlines Flight 77 (Pentagon): Captain Charles "Chick" Burlingame, Co-pilot David Charlebois. Flight attendants: Michelle Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, and Renee May.
United Airlines Flight 93 (Shanksville): Captain Jason Dahl, Co-pilot Leroy Homer Jr., Flight Attendants: Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, Cee Cee Lyles and Deborah Welsh.
"Our 33" wing pins are available at: http://barbaradorger.com and through the airlines' Clipped Wings and the Retired Flight Attendants Association (RAFA). Barbara says many pilots and flight attendants are now wearing the wings on their uniforms to commemorate their fallen comrades.
Barbara was the featured speaker at the last year's 9/11 memorial ceremony at the Flight Path Learning Center in Los Angeles. In 2004, Barbara self- published "Turbulent Skies" (Xlibris), a book about her career and the changes in her profession over four decades. Over the past few years, she has been writing about the events surrounding 9/11 including how the FAA got the airplanes down, Canada's response while taking the international flights, and how the flights returned back to the skies. She plans to incorporate these articles into a new book on 9/11 which is due out after the first of the year.