ALPA Pilots, Staff Pay Tribute to 9/11 Victims

By Christopher Freeze, Senior Aviation Technical Writer
Pilots, staff, and guests attend ALPA’s annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony.

Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA’s president, opened the Association’s 9/11 ceremony in the Remembrance Garden at the union’s new offices in McLean, Va., on September 11 by quoting a Brazilian champion martial artist. “‘Anger brought me to jiu jitsu, but love made me stay.’ I imagine that many of us gathered here today vividly recall the anger we felt when the United States was attacked on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.”

Speaking to the many pilots, family members, friends, and staff who gathered on the solemn day, DePete remarked, “We responded to the violence and injustice of the attacks by seeking solace in our families and friends. We soon realized, however, that anger wouldn’t create solutions or safeguard air transportation.

“Every day, our more than 63,000 ALPA members and staff work together with others across our industry to advance safety and security for our passengers, cargo, crews, and communities,” DePete continued. “One recent example is ALPA’s response to recently proposed changes that would have weakened the security of the Known Crewmember® [KCM] program. ALPA and other stakeholders worked together to develop improvements that strengthened the KCM program, addressed security concerns, and received the approval of the Transportation Security Administration.”

Building on DePete’s comments, Capt. Todd Insler (United), his pilot group’s Master Executive Council chair, asserted, “On Sept. 11, 2001, we saw people choose duty in the face of fear, as crewmembers and passengers fought back against evil. We saw humanity at its finest, as first responders ran toward the flames and into crumbling buildings to save lives. We saw strangers helping strangers in the small Canadian town of Gander in Newfoundland…, and we saw courage in our ranks, as crewmembers managed to fight through the darkness and return to work.”

“On this day, we are reminded that the world is not without evil,” stated Capt. Tim Perry, ALPA Canada president. “While there is great darkness, there is also the unmistaken light of goodness in the people who share the values of peace and freedom—values that must, and do, unite us. These values span across borders and, in particular, our border.”

“Every year, we ask the question, ‘Where were you that day?’ With every year that passes, our memories of that day may fade a little,” said Ron Rindfleisch, an ALPA Representation Department staff member, who spoke to the crowd. He urged that “we must never forget the feelings we felt and remind everyone, including future generations, how the world changed.”

Also in attendance were members of the Association’s Executive Council and ALPA Canada, former Association national officers, and representatives from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

In honor of those who lost their lives on that tragic day 18 years ago, Capt. Bill Couette, ALPA’s vice president–administration/secretary, and Capt. Joseph Genovese, ALPA’s vice president–finance/treasurer, placed a commemorative wreath on the split-rock memorial. DePete then read the names of each of the pilots, flight attendants, and other airline employees who were aboard United Flights 93 and 175 and American Flights 11 and 77 on Sept. 11, 2001, as Capt. Bob Fox, ALPA’s first vice president, tolled a bell in remembrance. Jody Krazeise, a staff member from the Association’s Communications Department, led those gathered in singing “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”

In Memoriam: Sept. 11, 2001

United Flight 93

Capt. Jason Dahl

F/O LeRoy Homer, Jr.

Flight Attendant Lorraine Bay

Flight Attendant Sandra Bradshaw

Flight Attendant Wanda Green

Flight Attendant CeeCee Lyles

Flight Attendant Deborah Welsh


United Flight 175

Capt. Victor Saracini

F/O Michael Horrocks

Flight Attendant Robert Fangman

Flight Attendant Amy Jarret

Flight Attendant Amy King

Flight Attendant Kathryn Laborie

Flight Attendant Alfred Marchand

Flight Attendant Michael Tarrou

Flight Attendant Alicia Titus

Customer Service Agent Marianne MacFarlane

Customer Service Agent Jesus Sanchez


American Flight 11

Capt. John Ogonowski

F/O Thomas McGuiness

Flight Attendant Barbara Arestegui

Flight Attendant Jeffrey Collman

Flight Attendant Sara Low

Flight Attendant Karen Martin

Flight Attendant Kathleen Nicosia

Flight Attendant Betty Ong

Flight Attendant Jean Roger

Flight Attendant Dianne Snyder

Flight Attendant Madeline “Amy” Sweeney


American Flight 77

Capt. Charles Burlingame

F/O David Charlebois

Flight Attendant Michele Heidenberger

Flight Attendant Jennifer Lewis

Flight Attendant Kenneth Lewis

Flight Attendant Renee May

This article was originally published in the October 2019 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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