Flight 93 honors fallen passengers, crew with annual heroism award

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SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial is searching for courageous, brave individuals across the country who embody the spirit of the passengers and crew on board Flight 93 during 9/11.

Donna Gibson, president of Friends of Flight 93 said the Heroes Award is a way to raise awareness for the Flight 93 National Memorial.

“What we are looking for are people in America who have demonstrated bravery and courage in an attempt to assist someone else to put their own lives in danger or in jeopardy to help others just like the 40 passengers did here at Flight 93,” Gibson said.

Gibson said there’s a whole group of people out there that don’t have first-hand recollections of the attacks.
“So I think this is really a positive way to keep the memory alive and to just pay tribute and respect to people who are doing the same thing,” Gibson said.

Emily Schenkel is the goddaughter of Lorraine Bay, who was one of the flight attendants on Flight 93. Schenkel said when she first heard about the award, she thought it was a great idea.

“For all the bad in the world, there’s so much more good,” Schenkel said. “There are so many more good people trying to help, there are more people who are choosing love and kindness over hate and terror and so I think this award helps to show that’s still the case,” Schenkel said.

For years Emily has figured out ways to heal and positively cope with the loss of what happened on that day. “It feels like yesterday but then when I really think about what 20 years mean, I realize how long that actually is,” Schenkel said. 

On visits to the Flight 93 Memorial, Emily says she always leaves a particular item at the site, something to connect with her loved one.

“In general I find it very comforting and peaceful to be there, it makes me feel closer. I always leave a tube of lipstick for her, I don’t think I ever saw her without her makeup perfect,” Schenkel said.

Emily says Lorraine preferred to work coach and mentored younger flight attendants, and never failed to remember her co-workers and family with special cards and unique gifts.

The nominating deadline for 2021 has passed, but if you’d like to nominate a hero, you can submit a nomination online for a future award.

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