Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, Lou Nacke, Tom Burnett, Jr. and Mark Bingham are names that I remember almost every day. Sadly, though, I doubt that more than a few of you reading this have any idea who these men are. These men are our heroes. The modern day Lincoln, the real life Superman.
These are the men who, in the face of arguably the most horrifying tragedies of this era, stepped up to the plate. These men happened to be traveling on Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.
They turned from travelers to heroes in seconds. Some called their families before making the rush on the cockpit, some said prayers and some hugged the people around them. They knew what was going to happen, and they were determined to be selfless and protect others that could have been killed, had this plane made it to its target.
Yet, their names are forgotten. At first, praise was given, but now they have been pushed out of the minds of those not directly affected by their heroism.
These men took down an armed terrorist to stop him from destroying the biggest symbol of America. These men rose up against fear and disbelief to attempt to save (presumably) a symbol within our nation’s capital.
I find myself tearing up a bit just writing this, thinking of what they sacrificed for our country. They were not members of the military or police force — they were not volunteers, nor were they asked to do this. They knew in their hearts that the imminent destruction would leave our nation in absolute shambles, and they wouldn’t let that happen.
Today, I ask that you forget about the politics. Forget about the wars, the laws and the scandals. Instead, remember the unsung heroes of Sept. 11. A day that will go down in history for the sheer terror it inflicted and the uprising of patriotism that followed.
Never allow your calendar to pass this day peacefully. Remember where you were, what you were doing and how you felt the moment you heard the news.
Sadly, not many more classes entering the University will recall this day. Most members of the freshman class were only 8 or 9 years old, I myself had just turned 11. Even though many of us who were younger may have been confused at the time, remember the days following Sept. 11. Remember the instant feeling of love and relief you got by seeing your family members. Remember the pride in your fellow countrymen’s hearts as we recovered. Remember the thousands of lives lost and the millions more affected.
Rogers is a member of the class of 2011.