Never Forget: ALPA Community Gathers for Annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

By Dan Bristol, ALPA Mass Media Relations Specialist
Capt. Jason Ambrosi, ALPA’s president, center, addresses attendees of the Association’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony as other ALPA leaders look on.

On Monday, September 11, ALPA pilots and staff, flight attendants, and community members gathered for the Association’s annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony to honor those individuals who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks 22 years ago.

“Through traditions like these, we express our solidarity in sharing the grief we still feel at the loss of the nearly 3,000 individuals who fell on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001,” said Capt. Jason Ambrosi, ALPA’s president, to those gathered outside ALPA’s offices in McLean, Va., for the ceremony, which was also broadcast live worldwide. “Our tradition in ALPA’s Remembrance Garden—and so many others like it—also allows us to pass on from generation to generation our resolve to prevent anything like it from ever happening again,” ALPA’s president added. “Solemn traditions such as these renew the sense of responsibility that each of us carries to make flying safer and more secure.”

In his remarks, Ambrosi noted how the Association continues to advance improvements in airline security based on the lessons learned from 9/11. Earlier this year, the FAA issued a rule mandating the installation of secondary flight deck barriers on all newly manufactured passenger airliners.

“ALPA pilots have advocated for critical security enhancements such as flight deck barriers,” said Ambrosi. “We applaud the FAA for its recent final rule mandating the installation of secondary flight deck barriers on all newly manufactured passenger airliners. And we continue our strong support for the Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act to mandate the installation of secondary flight deck barriers on all passenger airliners.”

Capt. Wendy Morse, ALPA’s first vice president, rings a bell in remembrance of the individuals who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks 22 years ago.

ALPA’s president observed, “It’s up to each of us to continue the work of remembering all that was lost for future generations so that by moving forward together, this industry and all who rely on air travel will have greater security in the skies.”

Capt. Garth Thompson (United), his pilot group’s Master Executive Council chair, and Capt. Tim Perry, ALPA Canada president, also spoke from the Remembrance Garden to an audience that included ALPA Air Safety Organization leaders and aviation experts watching the live stream from Chicago, Ill., where they convened for the Association’s Air Safety Forum.

“Twenty-two years have passed since 9/11, a day that showed us the very worst and the absolute best of humanity,” Thompson said. “Today, as we take another step in our collective healing, we’re reminded of the bravery of those who fought back in the face of evil. To our fellow crewmembers, passengers, and first responders lost on Sept. 11, 2001—we’re standing here today, alongside your loved ones, resolute in our promise to never allow your legacy to fade.”

Thompson added, “May we find solace in the memories of those we lost and draw strength from the unity that emerged from the ashes of that tragic day. Let’s carry their legacy forward as we build a better future, where over darkness and hate, hope and love triumphs.”

“While we still face the challenges of sadness and anger, we must remember that our unity is something nobody can take away from us,” remarked Perry. “Despite the pain, being here today continues to shine a light on the goodness of humanity. While we’ll never forget what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, I’m confident that our efforts since to promote peace and love of thy neighbour have had an immeasurable positive impact upon the next generation here and around the world.”

Ambrosi paid tribute to each of the pilots, flight attendants, and other airline employees who were aboard the fateful flights of Sept. 11, 2001, by reading their names aloud as Capt. Wendy Morse, ALPA’s first vice president, tolled a bell for each one.

In honor of those who lost their lives, Capt. Tyler Hawkins, ALPA’s vice president–administration/secretary, and Capt. Wes Clapper, ALPA’s vice president–finance/treasurer, placed a wreath at the center of the Remembrance Garden as “Amazing Grace” played.

Capt. Wes Clapper, ALPA’s vice president–finance/treasurer, left, and Capt. Tyler Hawkins, ALPA’s vice president–administration/secretary, stand beside a commemorative wreath by the split-rock memorial.

“Today, airline pilots and all of us gathered here share a tradition of remembrance. ALPA will never forget the lives lost 22 years ago,” Ambrosi concluded.

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

A Place to Remember and Reflect

ALPA’s Remembrance Garden, dedicated on Sept. 11, 2006, offers a place to remember the fallen and reflect on the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The garden features a 10-ton center stone from a quarry in western Pennsylvania that’s split in two to represent the fractures caused by 9/11 and two sentry stones from a quarry a few miles from Shanksville, Pa., where United Flight 93 crashed. The Remembrance Garden also includes a portion of the outer wall of the Pentagon and two sections of steel I-beams from the World Trade Center site.

Flickr Slideshow

9-11 Remembrance Ceremony 2023

This article was originally published in the October 2023 issue of Air Line Pilot.

Read the latest Air Line Pilot (PDF)