Today marks the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 09/11/01, a tragic day that catapulted the world into a new era of uncertainty.
Four planes were hijacked and used as weapons of mass destruction, but one of them…United Flight 93 bound from Newark to San Francisco did not reach its intended target. Passengers and crew bravely fought back and the plane crashed into rural Pennsylvania instead of Washington, DC.
I was in Newark Airport earlier today and noticed a memorial set up for the flight crew of UA93.
In many ways, I am so glad that 9/11 is not at the center of our thoughts any longer. A primary goal of terrorism is to instill fear and disrupt life. As the years go by and life returns to normalcy, we can be thankful that we no longer live in fear…well, as much fear…as before.
If you are looking for a tangible way to express your solidarity with those who lost their lives, consider the Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund. He was the captain of Flight 93 and his scholarship fund supports future generations of pilots and young people yearning to fly.
In a note to employees today, I think United CEO Oscar Munoz said it best:
Ultimately, one memorial that I believe we can all share in upholding is for each of us to live up to the highest standards of our profession, to serve one another and our customers with respect and dignity, tolerance and mutual understanding. While so much was lost on that day, these are the values that will live on.
It may be cliche, but it is certainly true.
Let’s not forget that while UA 93 ended in tragedy, it also showed humanity at its best. That is worth celebrating today.