Sara Elizabeth Low: Flight Attendant on American Airlines Flight 11
Five years ago, as I was remembering 9/11 on this blog, my brother Tim posted an unexpected comment:
It's hard to believe it has been five years since 9/11. Thinking about Sara, a flight attendant I knew from Batesville, who died on Flight 11.Astonished to learn of this so late, I responded:
Tim, I had no idea that you knew someone who died in the 9/11 attacks.Tim replied:
I'm sorry to hear this. Was she a close friend?
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.Five years had passed since 9/11, and only then did I learn that one of my own brothers knew someone from Batesville, Arkansas, a place not far from our hometown of Salem, who was killed on September 11, 2001. Sara died when she was only 28 and deserves far better tributes than those I have annually given, for I didn't know her personally, but I try to remember her memory.
As Tim mentioned, Sara was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, and that plane was only fifteen minutes into its flight when Mohamed Atta, an Al-Qaeda member who had trained as a pilot, took over the plane with the assistance of three other hijackers and flew it off course toward New York City for about thirty minutes until reaching the World Trade Center and crashing it directly into the North Tower between the 93rd and 99th floors at 8:46 a.m. in the first terrorist strike of what quickly became that day of tragic horror.
In those thirty minutes between the hijacking and the crash, though the hijackers were surely unaware, the flight attendants did not passively wait for events to develop, but immediately took action to deal with the emergency and thereby resist the hijackers. Sara Low gave her father's calling card to another flight attendant, Madeline Sweeney, who used it to make a call on an Airfone and contact Logan Airport to convey crucial information about the hijacking. Through that card, we have Sweeney's report down to the final instant of impact. Without Sara's help, that report wouldn't exist.
There's no real closure to the story of 9/11, not even with the killing of Osama bin Laden, for the memory of that terrible day will continue to come up every year on this date. The best that we can do is to carry on the struggle against Islamism and never forget those who died on that day, one of those being a young woman from Batesville, Arkansas named Sara Elizabeth Low.