Sept. 11, 2001 hit home hard in the Bay Area when local residents — already reeling from images of the crumbling Twin Towers — found out that one of the four planes hijacked by suicidal terrorists was bound for San Francisco.
Many of the 40 passengers and crew members killed when Flight 93 smashed into a remote Pennsylvania field either lived here or had Bay Area ties. Even one of the pilots, Jason M. Dahl, 43, had local roots. He grew up in San Jose, graduating from San Jose State and becoming a pilot before settling down in Colorado.
While most of the attention that day was on the destruction in New York and at the Pentagon, an amazing story of courage unfolded when Flight 93 family and friends, such as Deena Burnett, who lived in San Ramon at the time, told the world that the passengers had hatched a plan to fight back.
Patch compiled this round-up of Flight 93-related stories and websites so the passengers who didn't give up won't be forgotten as the nation reflects 10 years later.
This riveting story by Dennis B. Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette retraces with great detail everything from the plane's delayed morning takeoff to its crash around 10 a.m. and includes many personal details about the passengers as well as the four hijackers.
What made Flight 93 different was a decision reached somewhere over the skies of Western Pennsylvania, after passengers learned on cell phones that they were likely to be flown into a building as the fourth in a quartet of suicide attacks.
They decided to fight.
They became the first casualties in a strange new combat against an enemy as old as hatred and as unclear as the muffled shouts and groans investigators would later hear on the cockpit voice recorder dug out of a reclaimed strip mine on a Pennsylvania hillside.
This CNN.com Sept. 11 victim archive lists the almost 3,000 people killed, in alphabetical order, and can be sorted by name, employer, age, residence and where they died. It also includes photos of many of them.
Some of the Flight 93 passengers with Bay Area connections whose names have become more well-known include:
* Hilda Marcin, 79, a retired special education teacher's aide who was on the flight because she was moving to Danville to live with her daughter's family.
* Thomas Burnett Jr., 38, of San Ramon, a senior vice president and chief operating officer for Pleasanton-based Thoratec. He was among a group of passengers now known as heroes for trying to fight the hijackers.
* Mark Bingham, 31, of San Francisco, an owner of a public relations firm. Bingham, a graduate of Los Gatos High School and U.C. Berkeley, where he played rugby, was another one of the passengers who told relatives via cell phone that they were going to fight back.
Alice Hoagland, Bingham's mother, who received a call from him during the flight, still lives in the Bay Area, near Los Gatos.
Hoagland, a board member for MyGoodDeed, continues to honor her son's memory, encouraging members of the public to perform good deeds and offer their service this Sept. 11 as a tribute.
Other Bay Area residents who died include Nicole Carol Miller, 21, of San Jose (read her family's beautiful memorial site here); Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, 38, of San Rafael, who was pregnant; Alan Anthony Beaven, 48, of Oakland; Wanda Anita Green, 49, of Oakland; and Andrew (Sonny) Garcia, 62, of Portola Valley.
To read about other Flight 93 victims, click here.
The Union City Memorial
The first memorial built for the victims of Flight 93 ended up being in the Bay Area, in Union City, because one man, former Marine Michael L. Emerson of Hayward, was frustrated that in the year after the attacks, most of the public interest was swirling around the World Trade Center and Pentagon crashes and that at the time nothing was being planned for the crash site in Pennsylvania.
Emerson figured that since the plane was headed to San Francisco, a local memorial would make sense and would give area friends and family a place to grieve and to find hope. With the blessings of victims' family members, he got park land donated, as well as labor, and raised half a million dollars to get the memorial built within five years.
Eventually a memorial took shape in Pennsylvania, under the leadership of the National Park Foundation, and Emerson was asked to join the steering committee working on the project. The Flight 93 National Memorial, which is about 80 percent complete, will be dedicated on Sept. 10.
Read more about Michael Emerson and the San Francisco Bay Area Flight 93 Memorial. The 10-year ceremony will be held at the memorial, located off I-880 in Sugar Landing Park, on Sunday at 1 p.m.
There are other East Bay public landmarks honoring the flight. A street in Pleasanton was named Thomas Burnett Lane in Burnett's honor and his name graces a freeway overpass in nearby San Ramon. The city of San Ramon also created a memorial for Burnett in a city park, and his family created a foundation to carry on his belief in the importance of education.
Burnett's conversation with his wife Deena Burnett in the minutes leading up to the crash are heartbreaking, but their exchange is a snapshot of how the passengers found out through calling family members that the plane they were on was part of a suicide mission. It was that information that made the passengers realize they needed to, as Burnett said, "Do something."
Click the PDF at right to read a transcript of their conversation.
Bay City News contributed to this report.