David Corn thanks the men and women of United Flight 93:
David Corn: Yesterday, the transcript of the final thirty-one minutes and sixteen seconds of Flight 93 was released. This was the fourth plane, the one apparently heading toward Washington, perhaps to attack the White House, perhaps to strike the Capitol. (Several experts seem to think the Capitol was the primary target of the Flight 93 hijackers. Perched on a hill, it certainly would be an easier target to hit than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.) As I read the transcript, my eyes filled with tears. The heroic actions of Flight 93 passengers become rather visceral when you read--and mentally hear--their words and those of the al Qaeda hijackers. It remains unclear whether the passengers made it into the cockpit or were about to break in before the hijackers decided to roll the aircraft and crash it into a field in Pennsylvania. But there's no doubt that the passengers did force this action and thwarted whatever attack the hijackers had in mind.
All of us who work on Capitol Hill--in the Capitol or not--owe these passengers our profound gratitude. Having heard about the attacks in New York, they decided to take action. They probably realized that the lives were already lost, but they would go out fighting--to save others. They were not soldiers, not cops, not professionals paid every day to risk their lives to help someone else. They were just folks on a plane, brought together only by their travel plans.
I thank them and their families and friends (anyone who had taught or inspired them to do what was right and courageous). I will keep their actions always in mind.
Dulce et decorum pro patria mori