(WTAJ) – Most of us who were alive on September 11, 2001, remember where we were and what we were doing when the news broke that day.
A series of planes hitting some of the most iconic and important buildings in our country. And in a rural Pennsylvania field, a flight crashed into the hands of 40 brave passengers and crew on board.
Twenty years later, family members share their stories, keeping the memories of loved ones alive.
For family members, the devastation of 9/11 is as clear today as it was two decades ago. As each plane hit its target, the threat became more evident. At 9.45 a.m., all planes in the United States were ordered to land at the nearest airport. When Gordon Felt heard this news, he got scared.
“I knew my brother was traveling that morning. I got a call from Sandy, his wife, saying that Ed was already in the air, on United Airlines Flight 93. She hadn’t heard from United, and she was trying to get information, ”Gordon said.
He described his 41-year-old brother as brilliant. Ed was a computer engineer and technology director at a software company and had graduated from Colgate and Cornell universities. He also acquired two patents in the field of encryption technology.
“Ed liked to solve problems, he liked to communicate, he liked to help people. And he was a very gentle man, ”recalls Gordon.
But beyond professional success and intellectual curiosity, what mattered most to Ed was his family, his wife and his two daughters.
Gordon described Ed’s relationship with his daughters as magical, saying, “Ed would do anything for his daughters, go running, take piano lessons, because he wanted to share experiences. that they loved, their hobbies. “
On the morning of September 11, Ed’s wife and brother were anxiously awaiting news from him.
“I called Ed as soon as I hung up with Sandy and said, ‘Call us as soon as you settle down. Were concerned. We want to know you’re safe, ”and it wasn’t until Sandy’s second call that I realized that Ed was gone, the plane went down and there were no survivors. Gordon said sadly.
It was later that Gordon and the world learned of the extraordinary action taken by the passengers and crew of Flight 93 before the fatal descent.
When the plane changed course, some of them, knowing something was wrong, called their families and learned that other hijacked airliners had crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. One of the very last acts in Ed Felt’s life was his call from flight 93 to 911.
According to Gordon, the FBI believes Ed was trying to help establish where the plane was and where it was heading. Gordon believes problem solver Ed was involved in the passengers’ efforts to decide what to do.
“This group of 40 people decided to choose the path they were going to take in a democratic way, and they voted to fight, and they took it to the terrorists. And we have always said that our loved ones are not victims, but heroes. They fought back and although they lost their lives that morning, there is no doubt that they made one of the darkest days in our history less grim, ”Gordon said proudly.
Twenty years after the events of September 11, Gordon calls on the country to remember what America’s heroes did that day: the passengers on Flight 93 who prevented their plane from hitting the United States Capitol, the first speakers who risked their lives to save others in the towers and he adds that it is important that Americans never forget how we all came together.