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On September 11, 2001, the inconceivable happened. We never imagined that the aircraft we fly would be used as weapons against us. On that day thousands of innocent lives were lost, including eight members of our profession—our family. In those devastating 75 minutes of terror, our industry and our world changed irrevocably—and we were forced to regroup and redefine our role as pilots.

Ten years later, we are resolved to not let their deaths be in vain. Together, the 53,000 pilots of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, recommit ourselves to protecting the skies in which we fly and the passenger and cargo that we carry. And we will never forget their sacrifice. This site was developed to honor our fellow crewmembers. We invite you to tour our memorial, read remembrances from pilots, and learn what ALPA has done to increase safety and security over the past decade.

Remembering the Day
by Captain William Glen Lykins
There are very few national or international events in our lifetime that we remember with such clarity of where we were when we heard the news. 9/11 was such an event.

Watch highlights from ALPA’s 9-11
Remembrance Ceremony, Sept. 11, 2011
We asked our members to send us their recollections of that terrible day. These are their stories:

“My friend, Vic Saracini, another Pennsylvania pilot, was starting a four-day trip crisscrossing the country. His first stop—San Francisco. Always the kidder, Vic and I traded lighthearted barbs about each other’s flying skills (I was Air Force, he was Navy). . . (O)n the red-eye flight home two days later, . . . it was a joy to be maneuvering the aircraft through picture-perfect clear skies above New Jersey just as the sun was breaking the horizon on that September 11th morning. This memory stands in stark contrast to the fact that as I exited the aircraft, I must have walked right past the terrorists who were waiting in the departure area to hijack United Airlines Flight 93. This thought haunts me still. A couple of hours later, Vic’s flight UA 175 out of Boston (by now he was on the third day of his four-day trip) had been commandeered into the World Trade Center’s south tower, and UA 93 had crashed near Pittsburgh.” Read more.
-— First Officer Merrill Beyer, United

“Every September 11th, no matter where I was employed, in the bush or in the city, everyone remembered and stopped to pay tribute to the lives lost that day. We all love what we do, and in a way, do it for those who can no longer, due to circumstances too tragic to have imagined at one time. No one should ever go to work and not come back home. I will never forget.” Read more.
— First Officer Nina Johnston, Jazz

“The towers were there just the day before, and then they weren’t . . . I had seen the towers as I taxied out, and then they just weren’t there anymore.” Read more.
— Captain Frank Bushnell Jr., Continental

“As I’m sure many of you did, I remained motionless for quite some time, trying to process the shock of what I had just seen. And then, like so many people have done in the 10 years since, I began to ask myself how and why.” Read more.
— First Officer Linden Hillman, AirTran

“As we were getting ready to head out back to Illinois in the morning, and I’d be in school in time to catch one or two classes before the end of the day, the phone rang. It was another crewmember who said to turn on the TV. We turned on the TV, I don’t remember which channel. It showed the smoking tower, if I recall correctly, and then the second plane hit. The rest is history.” Read more.
First Officer Paul Meyer, PSA

“I knew right away it was a pretty major deal,” he remembered. “Shortly after I turned on the TV, the second aircraft hit. There was no doubt it was a terrorist event. It was not an accident.” Read more.
— Captain Jerry Harrott, Delta

“We landed sometime after 9:30 that morning and deplaned the passengers so we could get them in the terminal and inform them of what was happening. Minutes later, we sadly watched together as the South Tower fell.” Read more.
— Captain Wesley Monge, Atlantic Southeast

“The scary thought is how many more of the terrorists there were, or might have been, whose planes did not get off the ground before the ‘ground stop’ took effect.” Read more.
— Captain Martin Coddington, ALPA Engineering and Air Safety Department

“Unfortunately, I cannot begin to tell you how or when I heard the news. What I can tell you is I felt American Airlines Flight 77’s impact on the Pentagon.” Read more.
— Captain Adam C. Wright, ExpressJet

For years, he had had a recurring dream that one day, all air traffic would suddenly stop. “I always associated it with the end of the world. So, I literally thought it could be the end of the world.” Read more.
— First Officer Royce Fleitz, Mesa

“We were headed southwest on J75 over Newark when the first tower was hit. I didn’t see the impact, but must have looked down about 10 seconds afterwards, as there was a large cloud of smoke over the building and I could see the fire climbing up through the tower. I made my ‘there’s Manhattan’ PA and mentioned that the World Trade Center was on fire. . . A few minutes later, ATC told us to turn left 90 degrees, then changed that to a hard right with an immediate climb for traffic they couldn’t communicate with. We picked up the traffic and watched him make a left 180 degree turn from south to north in front of us. ATC said he wasn’t squawking and asked if we could ID him. As we crossed paths a thousand feet above him, I rolled left, looked down, and told ATC it was a United 767-200.” Read more.
— Captain Bruce Hoppe, Delta

“I stayed glued to the television all day, until a graduate seminar that night, where the professor suspended the normal instructional routine and we discussed what happened. The professor and I were the two oldest people in the room, surrounded by a lot of young, impressionable, traditionally college-age kids. I was able to answer a number of questions about airline operations, but knew very little about terrorism. I hope we helped them make sense of this. Ten years later, I haven’t done that for myself.” Read more.
— Captain Dave Nelson, Continental

“As a regional pilot, immediately following 9/11, I was called out of the army’s Individual Ready Reserve to active duty to join the 101st Airborne Division as a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot.” Read more.
— First Officer Robert Negron, AirTran

See more testimonials from your ALPA brothers and sisters.