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Though forever changed, Flight 93 families move on

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By Jennifer Reeger
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011
 

Each time Deborah Borza boards an airplane, she counts out the first 40 people in their seats.

"I can really see how, in an instant, 40 people can become related or how, in an instant, 40 people can see how they are already related," said Borza, whose daughter, Deora Bodley, was one of the 40 passengers and crew members killed aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. "They all took their strength and their fortitude, and they played their part."

For Borza and others whose loved ones perished in the terrorist attacks, the past 10 years have been filled with heartache and sorrow, but determination to move forward.

They found their lives going in directions they didn't foresee, and they forged unexpected relationships.

"My life is now dedicated to the causes that my son's life and death made very clear to me," said Alice Hoagland, whose son, Mark Bingham, died aboard Flight 93, which crashed in a field near Shanksville in Somerset County. Hoagland advocates for causes that include aviation security and gay rights, because her son was gay.

To bring meaning to their loss, family and friends started charitable foundations. They organized 5K walks and motorcycle rides. They've worked build memorials to keep alive the memories of their loved ones and tell the story of what happened.

Sandra Felt, whose husband, Edward, was a Flight 93 passenger, said visits to the temporary memorial in Shanksville initially disturbed her. She wanted to grieve, but strangers asked questions about him and what happened.

She realized her loss was a shared national experience. She became part of the jury process that decided on a design for the Flight 93 National Memorial.

"I wanted Ed to have a voice," she said. "The only way for him to have a voice is for me to speak up. I didn't want this to be a field where people could scrounge around with metal detectors looking for pieces of scrap."

People ask Pat Waugh why she goes to Shanksville, where her daughter, United flight attendant Sandy Waugh Bradshaw, perished.

"It is hard, but I am drawn there," she said.

Others avoid public ceremonies and mourn in their own ways.

Flight 93 passenger Jeremy Glick's family marks anniversaries with a day together, though they plan to attend the 10th anniversary ceremony in Shanksville.

Glick's widow, Lyz Glick Best, married Jim Best, the best man at her wedding to Jeremy. That bond helped Lyz as her daughter, Emerson, got older. Emmy was 3 months old when her father died. "(Jim) has a very long history with Jeremy, too, so it's very natural when questions come up," she said.

Alan Beaven's family went to Shanksville once, in the days following the crash.

"Our dad, being very much in the moment and looking ahead, would almost disapprove of us holding on so strongly," his son, John Beaven, said. "I think that's the advice he would give from up high."

Faith got some families through.

"Todd was a Christian ... so we know that his soul is OK," said David Beamer, father of Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer. "And we're people of faith, and that's what's really enabled all of us to really carry on."

Flight 93 passenger Colleen Fraser wore a turquoise and silver ring she bought in Arizona, but she left it behind on her dresser that day.

"It's like she left it for me," said her sister, Christine Fraser, who wears the ring.

Family has become more important than ever.

Alicia Cohen's mother, Flight 93 passenger Patricia Cushing, hosted family gatherings. Her children keep up traditions she held dear. They get together for holidays and birthdays. They talk regularly and know each other's joys and sorrows.

"I always think to myself she would be very proud of us, because she was the one that always kept us all together," Cohen said.

On Flight 93

CREW

  • Captain Jason M. Dahl
  • First Officer LeRoy Homer
  • Lorraine G. Bay
  • Sandy Waugh Bradshaw
  • Wanda Anita Green
  • CeeCee Ross Lyles
  • Deborah Jacobs Welsh

Passengers

  • Christian Adams
  • Todd M. Beamer
  • Alan Anthony Beaven
  • Mark Bingham
  • Deora Frances Bodley
  • Marion R. Britton
  • Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.
  • William Joseph Cashman
  • Georgine Rose Corrigan
  • Patricia Cushing
  • Joseph DeLuca
  • Patrick Joseph Driscoll
  • Edward Porter Felt
  • Jane C. Folger
  • Colleen L. Fraser
  • Andrew "Sonny" Garcia
  • Jeremy Logan Glick
  • Kristin Osterholm White Gould
  • Lauren Catuzzi Grancolas
  • Donald Freeman Greene
  • Linda Gronlund
  • Richard J. Guadagno
  • Toshiya Kuge
  • Hilda Marcin
  • Waleska Martinez
  • Nicole Carol Miller
  • Louis J. Nacke II
  • Donald Arthur Peterson
  • Jean Hoadley Peterson
  • Mark David Rothenberg
  • Christine Ann Snyder
  • John Talignani
  • Honor Elizabeth Wainio

Photo Galleries

9/11: Flight 93 National Memorial

9/11: Flight 93 National Memorial

The permanent memorial in Shanksville, Somerset County, was dedicated on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011.

 

 
 


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