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ALPA Pilots and Staff Gather to Honor the Victims of September 11

September 11, 2013 - More than 100 ALPA pilots and staff joined together in a private ceremony at ALPA’s 9-11 Memorial Garden in Herndon, Va., to remember those lost on this day 12 years ago. Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), opened the event by recalling the events of that fateful day and the impact those events had on the piloting profession.

“Twelve years ago today, our people, our country, and our way of life were attacked. As airline pilots, this was a personal attack—our livelihoods and our profession were targeted by terrorists with the intent of hateful destruction,” said Capt. Moak. (Read Capt. Moak’s full remarks here.)

Capt. Moak also discussed the recent advances that pilots have made to ensure that similar events will not happen again, including the Federal Flight Deck Officer and Known Crewmember programs. He reiterated ALPA’s unwavering support for the Saracini Aviation Safety Act of 2013, which will require the installation of a secondary barrier to the cockpit on all commercial aircraft. He urged those in attendance to “reaffirm our pledge: We will never forget. We will continue to stand together, stay vigilant, and make every effort to make aviation in North America even more safe and secure.”

Following Capt. Moak’s remarks, Capt. Jay Heppner, United Airlines MEC chair, spoke about the personal sense of loss felt by pilots and others in the aviation industry. “Each year, we make the pilgrimage here to the ALPA International 9-11 Memorial not only to mourn the loss of our brothers on that dark day, but to renew our promise to sustain their memories.” Capt. Heppner then read the names of the United and American Airlines crewmembers who died in the attacks, while a bell rang for each victim. (Read Capt. Heppner’s full remarks here.)

Though 12 years have passed, ALPA, its members, and staff, annually renew their commitment to the safety and security of those who fly, the crews that serve, and the passengers and cargo carried aboard. Never forget.