“Remember the Alamo!”
“Remember the Maine!”
“December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy…”
Memories fade—it’s part of human nature. As the generation that experienced Pearl Harbor dies off, December 7 is becoming just another day.
President Abraham Lincoln’s words at the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, were perhaps a warning: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”
September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked. Two planes hit the World Trade Center, completely destroying the twin towers while another hit the Pentagon. Nearly three thousand were killed in those buildings.
The Americans in the fourth plane became aware of what had happened, and prevented United Airlines Flight 93 from hitting its target, now believed to have been either the White House or the US Capitol. The passengers didn’t know what the target was—they just knew that the hijackers planned on hitting one more.
The pilots were dead; the passengers knew that they couldn’t land the plane, but they wanted try to keep it away from as many people as possible. In the rear of the plane, the Lord’s Prayer and the Twenty-Third Psalm were shared; then, with the call, “Let’s roll!” they stormed the cockpit—repeatedly. The terrorists fought ruthlessly to keep the passengers out; they tried sudden maneuvers to throw the passengers off balance. The passengers did not give up.
The plane did not reach Washington, DC, but instead crashed into a field east of Pittsburgh. The passengers won, knowing it was the last thing they would ever do.
That’s what makes a hero.
Remember them and their answer to the call, “Let’s roll!”