Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering Sara Elizabeth Low: American Airlines Flight 11

Sara Low
High School Graduation, 1991
(Image from
Evidence in Sentencing of Zacarias Moussaoui)

Two years ago, my younger brother Tim informed me that he had known one of the flight attendants on American Airlines Flight 11, the first flight to crash into the World Trade Center. Her name was Sara Low, and her father and my brother had gotten to know each other when my brother worked in a hospital in Batesville, Arkansas, Sara Low's hometown.

Here's part of what Tim wrote to me:
I know Sara's father well and knew Sara when she was in her teens and early 20s. She was an intelligent and beautiful person who deserved better than her tragic end.
Sara and the rest of her flight crew, being on the first hijacked plane, could have no inkling of what lay in store, unlike on United Airlines Flight 93, where the crew and passengers learned of the earlier attacks and mounted a pre-emptive counterattack that stopped the hijackers from succeeding in their suicide mission. Yet, we should remember small acts of resistance, for as I noted two years ago:
. . . the last recorded information that we have about Sara Low is that on the highjacked American Airlines Flight 11, she gave to another flight attendant, Amy Sweeney, "her father's calling card, which allowed [Sweeney] . . . to pretend to be a passenger and use an AirFone to call Logan Airport and relay the vital information."
Even a small act like that took presence of mind and some degree of courage in terrible circumstances that the vast majority of us will never face.

Sara Low left behind a loving family -- her father Mike, mother Bobbie, and sister Alyson -- so she is surely remembered with love. Nor is she forgotten by her community. Sara was a track athlete in high school, and her team won a state title in 1989. In honor of her memory, Batesville has for a second year now held the Sara Low Memorial 5K Run and Walk.

I'm certain that many other memories of Sara Low deserve to be recorded, and likely have been by those who knew her personally, among them my brother Tim, who probably every year on 9/11 finds himself "[t]hinking about Sara, a flight attendant . . . from Batesville, who died on Flight 11."

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At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks for posting this touching and needed remembrance. We are far too apt to forget not only the depth of wickedness that prompted these events, but also the virtue, worth and heroism of the thousands who were murdered, persons like Sara Low.

God grant them rest, every one.

At 3:43 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Michael. If Sara's sister or parents read your words, I am sure that they'll find some comfort in knowing that people do remember those who died seven years ago on September 11th.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember exactly where I was when the news came about the planes hitting the twin towers.
I was working at the Bakersfield school, in the dining area, and building the stairway to the upper floor containing the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.
It was a real shock, and President Bush has his finest hour when he viewed the wreckage some time later.
He was using a bull horn and someone yelled something to him. He said something on this order, "I hear you, and pretty soon those people who knocked down these towers will hear from all of us."
We are in a war with terrorism, in my opinion. And the next blog is an instance of people denying that it was an act of terror, and accusing our own politicians of planning and carrying out this tragedy.
There are people who deny the holocaust.
I have heard it said that if you say something long and hard enough, you will find someone who will believe you.
The Nazis of WW2, and now the radical muslims are practicing the same thing.
Closer to home, when the news came about the twin towers, a lady who was anti-Bush said immediately, "Now look what he's got us into."
Seems he is blamed for everything, doesn't it, with some people?

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Bush does get blamed for a lot -- even for things that he has no control over. Hence the expression "Bush Derangement Syndrome."

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:36 PM, Blogger the toddler said...

Remembering Sara today.

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Toddler. I've posted this year, too.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Todd said...

I'm thinking of Sara again this year. :(

At 7:41 AM, Blogger the toddler said...

remembering Sara

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Todd, so am I, as you might have noticed from my post of September 11, 2010.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:40 AM, Anonymous thara said...

I still vividly and clearly remember where I was on that fateful day. I had just started my last year of preschool as I was turning five that November. It was my first week back after returning from a lovely camping trip with my parents in Utah five days earlier. It was only my second week back. I sat in a classroom on the East Coast at school. Suddenly my teacher immediately stopped teaching the lesson and turned on the TV at once. Most of the other students also all sitting at their desks working quietly in the classroom were initially confused as to what exactly was happening outside elsewhere in New York. The entire lesson was very disrupted by that. We then spent the entire school day waiting for more bad news to come which it did eventually. My English exercise book lay open in front of me on my desk. None of us did any more work after that. It was completely surreal and bizarre honestly as well. As we watched in shocked silence, the towers were burned to the ground. None of my other lessons were happening as normal. Five years later I was in a history lesson when the teacher talked about the significance of the events. Students and teachers alike were in shock that week. It took me four more years to fully understand what had happened and why it occurred.

At tea that night my family also discussed the attack. We could not literally understand why people would do that. My stepsister had been at work when it happened.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thara, thank you for your comment. Recalling what happened that day, and why it happened, is always sobering.

Jeffery Hodges

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