Sunday, September 10, 2006

Remembering 9/11 and United Flight 93.

Victory has a thousand fathers. Defeat is an orphan. The victorious do not always live to celebrate their victories. In some cases it is for us the living to celebrate their achievements for them. The world may little note nor long remember what the officers, crew, and passengers of United Flight 93 did for America and western civilization on September 11, 2001, but I urge all Americans to pause and thank God that he gave us a real hero like LeRoy W. Homer Junior.

But for Captain LeRoy W. Homer Jr and the other brave souls on United Flight 93, the White House could very well have been one big black hole on Pennsylvania Avenue on that fateful day. The White House is still there in large measure because Captain LeRoy Homer would not fly his United Airlines Flight 93 into this symbol at the heart of the American Dream.

Not much has been said in the mainstream media about LeRoy W. Homer Jr.
At an early age, LeRoy W. Homer Jr knew that he wanted to be a pilot. As a child, LeRoy assembled model airplanes, collected aviation memorabilia and read books on aviation. LeRoy was 15 years old when he started flight instruction in the Cessna 152. Working part-time jobs after school to pay for flying lessons, he completed his first solo at 16 years old, and obtained his private pilot's certificate in 1983.

In the fall of 1983, LeRoy entered the Air Force Academy, and graduated with the Class of 1987, 31st Squadron. After completing pilot training in 1988, he was assigned to McGuire AFB in New Jersey, flying the C-141B Starlifter. While on active duty, LeRoy served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and later supported operations in Somalia. He received many commendations, awards and medals during his military career. In 1993, he was named the 21st Air Force Aircrew Instructor of the Year. LeRoy achieved the rank of Captain before his honorable discharge from active duty in 1995.

LeRoy continued his military career as a reservist, initially as an instructor pilot with the 356th Airlift Squadron at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, then subsequently as an Academy Liaison Officer, recruiting potential candidates for both the Air Force Academy and the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. During his time with the Reserves, he achieved the rank of Major.

LeRoy continued his flying career by joining United Airlines in May 1995. His first assignment was Second Officer on the B727. He then upgraded to First Officer on the B757/767 in 1996, where he remained until September 11, 2001.

On September 11, 2001, LeRoy was flying with Captain Jason Dahl on United Flight 93. Based on information from several sources that day, we know LeRoy and Jason were the first to fight against the terrorist threat to the airplane. LeRoy has received many awards and citations posthumously, for his actions on Flight 93, including the Congress Of Racial Equality - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference - Drum Major for Justice Award and the Westchester County Trailblazer Award.

LeRoy was able to accomplish much in his short life. He was able to do so because of the support of his family and friends, and the encouragement of his teachers and mentors. We hope that LeRoy's life will continue to be an inspiration to those who also share the dream of flying.

LeRoy married Melodie Thorpe on May 24, 1998 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. From that union, their daughter Laurel Nicole was born
October 25, 2000.

LeRoy was known for his kind, caring disposition. He was the type of person that truly listened when you spoke. He was an exceptional individual with a wonderful sense of humor.

LeRoy is survived by his wife Melodie, daughter Laurel, mother Ilse, brother Thomas-Freimark Sr., sisters Marilyn Johnson, Germaine Wilson, Theresa Cooke-Poche Ramirez, Cheryl Homer-Wilson, Monique Homer, Christine (Kiki) Homer and Michelle Homer, as well as his mother and father-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

An Education Fund has been set up for LeRoy’s Daughter. Contributions can be sent to:

The LeRoy Homer Fund
c/o Commerce Bank
336 Route 70 East
Marlton, NJ 08053

A LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation has been established.
Its mission is to encourage and support young men and women
who wish to pursue aviation careers, as professional pilots.
The foundation will award flight instruction scholarships for
potential students, in order to obtain private pilot certification.

For more information on the Leroy W. Homer, Jr. Foundation
please visit their website at


contributions can be mailed directly to the Foundations at:

The LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation
Post Office Box 268
Marlton, NJ 08053



Blogger ichbinalj said...

As we all know, this week marks the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. No one who bore witness will ever be able to forget that day. Like most New Yorkers, I spent hours frantically trying to track down family and friends who were downtown and waiting for them to make the long walk out of the area. As we continue rebuilding our hometown, we'll pause this week to remember our darkest yet proudest day.
New York City Memorial Events
September 11, 2006 marks the five-year anniversary of 9/11. There will be several memorial events in the New York City area to honor and remember the victims of September 11th and to come together as a community.

2006 September 11 Memorial Events in New York City

World Trade Center Site Memorial Ceremony and Remembrance
The official New York City observance of the fifth anniversary of 9/11 will take place at the World Trade Center site on the morning of Monday, September 11th. Spouses, partners and significant others will read the names of the victims and the ceremony will pause at four moments -- twice to mark the times that each plane hit the towers, and twice to mark the time when each tower fell.

While the names are read, family members will be able to descend the ramp to the lowest level of the site to lay flowers.
The ceremony will conclude at approximately noon, but the site will remain open to families until 3:00 PM. At sundown, the "Tribute in Light" will return for one night, in memory of those lost and as a symbol of the spirit of community. The "Tribute in Light" will be located at West and Morris Streets in Lower Manhattan.

As with previous commemoration events, priority will be given to the families of those who died on September 11th, with public access permitted as space allows.

Monday, September 11, 2006. Approximately 8AM through Noon.
World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan

1:27 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

9/11: five years later
Anthony Manduca

Five years after 19 hijackers carried out one of the most brutal terrorist attacks in history, resulting in the death of some 3,000 innocent people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania the threat posed by Al-Qaeda terrorism is as strong as ever.

9/11 had a huge impact on United States foreign policy, on the way the Western world views Islam and on the Islamic world. Only last week Al-Qaeda released a previously unseen video showing Osama bin Laden with some of the plotters of the 9/11 attacks a few months before the atrocity occurred.

Soon after the attacks in the US took place five years ago I remember writing a column entitled "We are all Americans now". World public opinion was foursquare behind the US and President Bush on this very sad day and united in its opposition to and condemnation of Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.

The September 11 attacks, had followed other Al-Qaeda attacks, such as the bomb attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 and the bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. It was that year, in fact, that Bin Laden issued his "Declaration of the World Islamic Front against the Jews and Crusaders". So the 9/11 attack followed a pattern, but of course its impact was far greater than any other Al-Qaeda attack, for obvious reasons.

How did the US respond to this terrorist attack, and five years later, can we honestly say that President Bush's anti-terrorist strategy has been successful? Soon after the attacks President Bush put together a coalition aimed at overthrowing the Taliban in Afghanistan and destroying the Al-Qaeda bases in the country, which was used as a haven for international terrorism. The US-led operation - which had the blessing of the United Nations - was successful.

The fighting in Afghanistan did not last long; the Taliban was removed from power, the Al-Qaeda terrorist infrastructure was largely destroyed and presidential and parliamentary elections took place in 2004 and 2005. Problems remain, of course, such as the opium trade, the rule of the warlords and what seems to be the regrouping of the Taliban - who are now conducting guerrilla warfare against coalition troops. Overall, however, and especially compared to the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan has - until now - been a success story, broadly speaking.

However, it is clear that insufficient military resources allocated to Afghanistan meant that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were not completely destroyed. In fact the extent to which the Taliban has regrouped has been badly misjudged and signifies a major intelligence failure. It is important that NATO, under whose control troops operate in Afghanistan, agrees to commit more troops to Afghanistan.

It is true that resources are stretched, but the world saw what happened to Afghanistan when it was deserted by the international community in the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal - it paved the way for the Taliban takeover and the birth of Al-Qaeda. This must never again be allowed to happen. President Bush was right to remove the Taliban and strike at the heart of Al-Qaeda but he must now show that he is committed to the long-term stability of this nation, which after all is in the long-term security interests of the United States.

After Afghanistan came Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 who, Mr Bush and his allies had insisted, was linked to Al-Qaeda and who possessed weapons of mass destruction. The critics of this war have been proved right, however: no links with Al-Qaeda existed and there were no weapons of mass destruction. To make matters worse, the war provided a banner for terrorists to rally around and to recruit more terrorists. So, to put it very bluntly, the war in Iraq certainly did not help the war on terrorism: it hindered it.

The whole Iraqi fiasco was the result of many factors: gross incompetence by the Bush administration in the conduct of the war - such as dismissing the entire Iraqi army and civil service and not committing enough ground troops in the first place; and the fact that Al-Qaeda, who are Sunnis, consider Shi'ites to be heretics, and have conducted - together with remnants of the Iraqi Baathist regime - a murderous campaign against them, which of course resulted in revenge attacks, leading the country to the brink of civil war.

Furthermore, Iraq has caused many Muslims to become very sceptical of US foreign policy and its war on terrorism. Because no Al-Qaeda links or weapons of mass destruction were found many Muslims are asking just why the invasion took place. At a time when winning over hearts and minds of the Muslim world is a crucial part of the war on terrorism, this is not good news at all.

One cannot honestly say that the invasion of Iraq was due to a desire to introduce democracy in the country - although the holding of elections in the aftermath of the war was certainly a very positive thing - because this was never mentioned before the war and if that was really the case, why not topple other authoritarian regimes in the Muslim world? In my mind the Iraqi disaster has been the worst mistake in the war on terrorism. Of course there are now no easy solutions - but at least one should acknowledge that serious mistakes did take place.

Another problem with the way the war on terrorism is being conducted by Washington is the tendency to group together all Islamic movements under the same umbrella. This is not only wrong but counter-productive. For example, one cannot associate Hamas or Hizbollah, the latter being a Shi'ite organisation, with Al-Qaeda. These movements have their faults and can be criticised but are the product of their own particular circumstances in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. Including them in a broad war against Islamic terrorism does not make sense. Neither can Shi'ite Iran, which represents a grave threat to the West, and which should be dealt with accordingly, be associated with Al-Qaeda, and should not.

Furthermore, Mr Bush's total support for Israel in its dealings with the Palestinians and in its recent war with Hizbollah in Lebanon, as well as the lack of American resolve for the creation of a Palestinian state has done nothing to win over the Muslim world. Unfortunately the US is no longer considered among many Muslims to be an impartial broker in the Middle East and a major rethink is needed here.

Of course, the war on terrorism has had its successes and Al-Qaeda has had its failures. Many terrorist attacks in the US and Europe have been foiled, many Al-Qaeda senior operatives have been captured, jailed or killed, a lot of Al-Qaeda's financial assets have been frozen and many Muslim countries, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are now co-operating more in the fight against terrorism. So the Bush administration and its European allies deserve credit here.

Furthermore, Al-Qaeda has failed to overthrow moderate pro-Western Muslim governments, such as those in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Jordan. And in a number of Muslim countries there has been a movement away from sympathising with Al-Qaeda because of the organisation's attack's on fellow Muslims, such as in Jordan, Indonesia, Turkey and of course Iraq.

There is no doubt that Al-Qaeda terrorism remains a grave threat and President Bush is right to make the war on terrorism a priority. What I am questioning is his approach to the problem and not the principle involved.

2:18 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

In Pa., mourners remember Flight 93 By DAN NEPHIN,

Hundreds of mourners bowed their heads on a wind-swept field Monday as bells tolled in memory of the 40 passengers and crew members killed when hijacked Flight 93 crashed there five year earlier.

"We stand here today with pride because of heroism," said Hamilton Peterson, whose father and stepmother died when the plane went down.

United Airlines Flight 93 was en route to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., when the hijackers took over, apparently planning to crash the plane into the White House or the Capitol. Conversations from the plane's final minutes indicate the passengers had some idea of what was happening to them and, on the words "Let's roll," stormed the cockpit in an effort to wrest control shortly before the crash.

The victims' relatives and other mourners were joined at the site Monday by Gov. Ed Rendell and former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge, and President Bush and his wife planned to meet privately with the families at the crash site later Monday.

A 10-foot-tall chain-link stands near the site as a temporary memorial, festooned with American flags, firefighters' helmets and drawings by children.

"It just shows people don't forget," said Larry Antonio of Gilbertsville, who came to the site with his wife Barbara to observe the anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

The first rescue crews to arrive at the western Pennsylvania field five years earlier found only a smoking crater, singed trees and silence.

"My first thought was, where's the plane crash?" said state police Lt. Patrick Madigan. "All there was was a hole in the ground and a smoking debris pile."

Since the crash, a group of volunteers known now as the Flight 93 ambassadors point visitors to the crash site and describe what happened aboard the plane on Sept. 11, 2001. Some months they guide more than 25,000 visitors.

Organizers hope to raise $30 million in private funding to build a permanent memorial on a 1,700-acre site in Shanksville; the total cost is estimated to be $58 million. Congress has passed the Flight 93 Memorial Act, which established a new national park to honor the victims of the hijacked plane.

At the ceremony, Rendell announced that the state would be signing a commitment letter to give $10 million to the memorial effort, and that it had acquired 300 acres around the crash site that will be managed as a public wildlife area.

"This action will forever preserve the entrance to the memorial in an undeveloped and natural setting," Rendell said.

On that terrible day in 2001, it didn't take first responders long to realize there would be no survivors. Combing the site, all they could find at first were small pieces of aircraft — and bits of a United Airlines in-flight magazine.

"It was a pretty scary time," says a former assistant fire chief, Rick King, whose truck was the first to arrive. "I just remember driving down the road, wondering what we were about to see."

Searchers recovered only about 8 percent of the potential human remains but were able to identify everyone from the fragments they did find, said Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller.

"Most of the material was vaporized," he says.


On the Net:

9:43 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Blogosphere fills with 9/11 memories and more Mon Sep 11, 9:03 AM ET

Five years to the day from the September 11 attacks, the international blogosphere filled with a litany of poignant memories, personal tributes, political harangues and pleas for peace.

In the US, hundreds of bloggers signed up to the "2996 project" in which Internet diarists are matched with individuals who died in the four suicide hi-jackings and pay homage to their memory.

"In the days following September 11, 2001, I was one of the millions of Americans who pledged to 'never forget,'" writes D.C. Roe, who instigated the idea.

"But ... I didn't keep my promise. Though I didn't forget the victims, I also never took the time to know them. 2,996 is, in a sense, my self-imposed penance, my mea culpa," he writes Monday, ahead of a tribute to Candace Lee Williams, a passenger in the first plane to hit the twin towers.

Thousands of bloggers recount near-identical tales of where they were, what they felt and what they did when the first news of the calamity broke from a Tuesday morning in New York.

"No words can express the utter disbelief that I felt then, five years ago to the day, glued to my TV screen, my eyes blurred by the tears in my eyes. No words can relate that tragedy," writes Niko from Paris.

"I can remember the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched those massive structures crumple like tissue paper and realized in that single instant, everything had changed," writes a contributor on the US Faith in Action blog network.

Beneath a pirated video screening of the second plane hitting the towers, 'Amazon' writes in French; "If I have decided to make this article, it is merely because I am thinking of the thousands who died that day. Every time I see these images, a shudder of horror and disgust chills my blood."

Many take an overtly political line -- some commending President George W. Bush for his 'war on terrorism', others doubtful about his contribution to securing America's future.

"What I feel most ... is anger," writes Cloudwatcher from the US. "Mostly, and overwhelmingly, anger at the scum who use the deaths of those precious people to advance and justify their twisted political agendas."

"What 9-11 changed for me was abstract poltics," writes Lucid from New York city.

"I always was confronted with issues of poverty in the city -- homelessness, desperation. But what 9-11 changed for me is the reality of America. It made me realize that chickens come home to roost, that what you do comes back to you."

Among widely-read blog contributors, America's Arianna Huffington writes of how the aftermath of September 11 brought out the best in the US -- and cast a much-needed perspective over the petty problems of ordinary life.

"In many ways the period following 9/11 was the best of times amidst the worst of times. It would be a nice tribute to those whose lives didn't continue past that day to say that the change lasted, but sadly, it didn't.... Our commitment to altruism and perspective turned out to have a limited shelf-life," she writes.

According to Andrew Stuttaford of New York: "It was never going to be a day when 'everything' changed. Those days don't exist. What did change, and changed most profoundly, was Americans' idea that they could, if they so chose, somehow keep themselves at arm's length from the rest of the world.

"That's gone -- and it's gone for good."

9:47 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Chilling Letter from Delta Pilot:

Pat Gilmore is a Delta pilot retiree..

I haven't seen the movie (UAL 93), yet, but I intend to when I get the
chance. Retirement has made me busier than ever, and I haven't had the chance to see many movies lately.
As a Delta B-767 captain myself at the time of the attacks on 9/11, I was in crew rest in Orlando that morning. I had just turned on the TV in my hotel room only to see the WTC tower on fire, then saw the second airplane hit the other tower. My immediate reaction was "Terrorists. We're at war,"followed by the realization that we airline crewmembers had all dodged a bullet; it could have been any one of us flying those planes.
As soon as the news stations flashed the first pictures of the
terrorists I knew just how close and personal the bullet I dodged was.
There, on the screen for all to see, was a man who had sat in my jump seat the previous July. His name was Mohammad Atta, the leader of the terrorist hijackers. Atta had boarded my flight from Baltimore to Atlanta on July 26, 2001 wearing an American Airlines first officer uniform He had the
corresponding AA company ID identifying him as a pilot, not to mention the required FAA pilot license and medical certificate that he was required to show me as proof of his aircrew status for access to my jump seat. An airline pilot riding a cockpit jump seat is a long established protocol
among the airlines of the world, a courtesy extended by the management and captains of one airline to pilots and flight attendants of other airlines
in recognition of their aircrew status. My admission of Mohammad Atta to my cockpit jump seat that day was merely a routine exercise of this protocol.

6:57 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Chilling Letter from Delta Pilot:

Pat Gilmore (continues):

Something seemed a bit different about this jump seat rider, though, because in my usual course of conversation with him as we reached cruise altitude he avoided all my questions about his personal life and focused very intently upon the cockpit instruments and our operation of the aircraft. I asked him what he flew at American and he said, "These", but he asked incessant questions about how we did this or why we did that. I said, "This is a 767. They all operate the same way." But he said, "No, we operate them differently at American" That seemed very strange, because I
knew better. I asked him about his background, and he admitted he was from Saudi Arabia. I asked him when he came over to this country and he said "A couple of years ago", to which I asked, "Are you a US citizen?" He said no. I also found that very strange because I know that in order to have an
Airline Transport Pilot rating, the rating required to be an airline captain, one has to be a US citizen, and knowing the US airlines and their hiring processes as I do, I found it hard to believe that American Airlines
would hire a non-US citizen who couldn't upgrade to captain when the time came. He said, "The rules have changed.", which I also knew to be untrue. Besides, he was just, shall I say, "Creepy"? My copilot and I were both glad to get rid of this guy when we got to Atlanta.
There was nothing to indicate, though, that he was anything other than who or what he said he was, because he had the documentation to prove who he was In retrospect, we now know his uniform was stolen and his documents were forged.
Information later came to light as to how this was done. It seems that Mohammad Atta and his cronies had possibly stolen pilot uniforms and credentials from hotel rooms during the previous year. We had many security alerts at the airline to watch out for our personal items in hotel rooms because these were mysteriously disappearing, but nobody knew why. Atta and his men used these to make dry runs prior to their actual hijackings on 9/11. How do I know? I called the FBI as soon as I saw his face on the TV
that day, and the agent on the other end of the line took my information and told me I'd hear back from them when all the dust settled.

6:58 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Chilling Letter from Delta Pilot:

Pat Gilmore (continues):
A few weeks later I got a letter from the Bureau saying that my call was one of at least half a dozen calls that day from other pilots who had had the same experience. Flights were being selected at random to make test
runs for accessing the cockpit. It seems we had all dodged bullets. Over the years my attitude towards the War Against Terrorism and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been known to be on the red neck, warmongering, rah-rah-shoot-em-up side of things. I've been known to lose my patience with those who say the war in Iraq or anywhere else in the Muslim world is wrong, or who say we shouldn't become involved in that area of the world
for political correctness reasons. Maybe it's because I dodged the bullet so closely back in 2001 that I feel this way. I have very little patience for political rhetoric or debate against this war because for a couple of hours back in July 2001, when I was engaged in conversation with a major perpetrator in this war, I came so close to being one of its victims that I can think in no other terms.
I don't mind admitting that one of the reasons I retired early from Delta last May, other than to protect my disappearing company retirement, was because it became harder and harder for me to go to work every day knowing that the war wasn't being taken seriously by the general public. The worst offenders were the Liberal detractors to the present
administration, and right or wrong, this administration is at least taking the bull by the horns and fighting our enemies, which is something concrete that I can appreciate. Nobody was taking this war seriously, and it seems
everyone found fault with the US government rather than with those who attacked us. I found that incomprehensible I also found myself being scrutinized by TSA screeners more and more every day when I went to work, and suffered the humiliating indignity of being identified about half the time for body searches in front of the general flying public who looked at the entire process as being ludicrous. "They don't even trust their own pilots!" Accompanied by an unbelieving snicker was the usual response. Here I was, a retired USAF officer who had been entrusted to fly nuclear weapons
around the world, who had been granted a Top Secret clearance and had been on missions over the course of 21 years in the military that I still can't talk about without fear of prosecution by the DOD, who was being scanned by
a flunkie TSA screener looking for any sign of a pen knife or nail file on my person.

6:59 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Chilling Letter from Delta Pilot:

Pat Gilmore (continues):

It wasn't until six months after my retirement when my wife and I
flew to Key West, FL last November that I was finally able to rid myself of the visage of Mohammad Atta sitting behind me on my jump seat, watching my every action in the cockpit and willing to slit my throat at the slightest provocation. I missed being a headline by a mere 47 days, and could very well have been among the aircrew casualties on 9/11 had one of my flights on my monthly schedule been a transcontinental flight from Boston or New York to the west coast on the 11th of September. Very few people know that, while only four airliners crashed that day, four more were targeted, and two of them were Delta flights. The only reason these four weren't involved
is because they either had minor maintenance problems which delayed them at the gate or they were scheduled to depart after the FAA decided to ground all flights Theirs are the pilots and flight attendants who REALLY dodged
the bullet that day, and my faith in a higher power is restored as a
I will see United 93 when I get the chance, and I will probably enjoy the movie for its realness and historical significance, but forgive me if I do not embrace the Muslim world for the rest of my life. The Islamic world is no friend of the West, and although we may be able to get along with
their governments in the future, the stated goal of Islam is world conquest through Jihad and it is the extremist Jihadists, backed and funded by "friendly" Moslem governments, whom we have to fear the most. We must have a presence in the Middle East, and we must have friends in the Middle East,
even if we have to fight wars to get them. Only someone who has dodged a bullet can fully appreciate that fact.
Best to all,
Pat Gilmore

6:59 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Chilling Letter from Delta Pilot:

Pat Gilmore (continues):

post script:
I assure you this letter is true. As to the fact that I wrote that a
holder of an Airline Transport Pilot rating (ATP) must be a US citizen, I admit that I was mistaken here. I had always assumed so, because that's what I had heard, so I looked up the requirements for an ATP just now.
There is nothing that says that US citizenship is required. Okay, I'll bite the bullet on that one. I received my ATP back in 1975 and now that I think of it I do not remember having to prove my citizenship. However, the rest of the story is true.
As for my airline career, I worked for Western Airlines (who merged with Delta in 1987), Jet America Airlines (who was bought by Alaska Airlines in 1988), and Delta Airlines, as well as a few "fly by night" cargo airlines during my furlough period from Western from 1981-1985. I also flew in Vietnam as a transport pilot and retired from the USAF Reserve in 1991 after the Gulf War. I have 21,500+ flight hours in T-41, T-37, T-38, C-141/L-300, CE-500, CV-440, MD-80/82, B-727, B-737, B-757, and B-767 aircraft, all logged between 1970 and 2005 when I retired from Delta. Trust
me, folks, this was real.
I must admit I am quite surprised that my letter made it this far on the internet. The letter was nothing more than am innocent reply to a group of friends, one of whom sent me a similar letter from another Delta pilot who had been flying the morning of 9/11 and who had experienced the flying that day for himself. His letter had detailed his thoughts as he viewed the movie "United 93", and he also told in detail how he had been diverted to Knoxville when the FAA shut down the airspace. My friend had asked me if I had known of any other similar experiences, so I wrote him what I had encountered myself a few months before. This was my letter to him. Another retired Delta captain contacted me yesterday after reading this blog and related an experience his wife had on a flight from Portland,
> >OR to Atlanta in August 2001, just a week or so after my experience with Atta. She was riding on a company pass and seated in First Class. A person of "Middle Eastern" descent had sought permission to sit on the cockpit jump seat, but was denied access by the captain because he did not have an FAA Medical certificate. She said he ranted and raved because he couldn't
ride the cockpit jump seat, even though there were three empty seats in First Class, which the captain offered him. What pilot in his right mind would refuse a First Class seat over a cramped cockpit jump seat? He stormed off the aircraft and they left him at the gate.
You see? Mine wasn't the only experience leading up to 9/11.
Delta Airlines Corporate Security even contacted me a few days ago to ask if I had, indeed, written this letter. I wrote them back that I had. They were worried that someone was using my name without my knowledge. I assured them I was the author.
Keep the faith, and don't let the bastards get you down.
Pat Gilmore

6:59 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Friday, March 23, 2007 4:09 PM

Iran's Ahmadinejad Cancels U.N. Visit
The Clinton Crack-Up Has Arrived . . . More

Bill Clinton Legitimizing the Anti-Semitic U.A.E.
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
Saturday, March 24, 2007

The past few years have seen a concerted international PR campaign to
promote Dubai as a tolerant new Mecca of Middle East moderation and
amazing economic growth.

And it's working. Corporate giant Halliburton is moving its headquarters
there; the famed Louvre is opening a branch in the emirate. Tourists are
flocking to Dubai's luxury hotels. But don't be fooled. Dubai, which is
one of the seven princedoms of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), is
anything but tolerant and progressive.

To put it bluntly: They don't like Jews.

In fact, Dubai, like the rest of the U.A.E., is blatantly anti-Semitic.
It bars all Israeli citizens from ever setting foot in the country.
People from other nations whose passport have stamps indicating they've
even visited Israel must notify Dubai immigration authorities of the
stamp before entering.

Dubai is also actively involved in the Arab boycott of Israel: It bans
all products made in Israel and even ones with parts made in Israel. But
the emir of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, understands the
value of using prominent Americans to legitimize his country and burnish
its image in the American media.

That's why former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have been
the objects of Dubai largesse. Their Dubai friends have given millions
to each of their presidential libraries. And Bill Clinton has raked in
more than $1 million for speeches he's given in Dubai and the U.A.E.

Dubai's PR machine went into high gear after 9/11 - in part to distract
attention from the extensive use the terrorists made of the emirate.
More than half of the hijackers traveled to the United States via Dubai.
The 9/11 Commission noted that $234,500 of the $300,000 wired to the
hijackers and plot leaders in America came via Dubai banks.

Several months after 9/11, Dubai's newest best friend began his public
association with the country. In January 2002, Bill Clinton gave his
first Dubai speech (for $300,000). He's been legitimizing the country
ever since.

Clinton was the rainmaker who introduced the emir to his friend and
employer, Ron Berkle, the owner of Yucaipa companies and a major
fund-raiser for Bill and Hillary.

Last year, Yucaipa and the emir formed a new company, DIGL, for their
joint ventures. So Bill Clinton is now an adviser and member of the
board of directors of a company that is in partnership with the
anti-Israeli government of Dubai.

The Clintons won't reveal how much the former president pocketed for
setting up this deal, except to report on Hillary's Senate disclosure
form: "more than $1,000."

10:46 AM  

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