Remembering Sara Elizabeth Low: American Airlines Flight 11
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."