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9/11 Pilot's Wife Says His Heroic Story Has Been 'Hijacked'

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9/11 Pilot's Wife Says His Heroic Story Has Been 'Hijacked'

Today, 11 September 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11: the day that the world changed after a series of coordinated terrorist attacks took place, taking with them the lives of almost 3,000 people.

One of those lives was LeRoy Homer Jr., who was the first officer in the cockpit of United Airlines Flight #93 which was believed to be heading for the US Capitol in Washington D.C.

Twenty years on from the tragedy LeRoy's wife, Melodie Homer, has shared his story once again in a bid to educate the world and 'protect his legacy'.

Credit: Twitter/@Sept11Memorial
Credit: Twitter/@Sept11Memorial
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In total, there were four attacks on commercial airliners which were set up by terrorist organisation al-Qaeda. The first two planes hit the skyscrapers that belonged to the World Trade Center in New York City.

The third flight was hijacked over Ohio before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon, causing partial collapse of the side of the building.

The fourth and final flight was the one LeRoy Homer Jr. was on board. His widow has spoken about his heroic attempt to stop the plane from being taken over by terrorists that stormed the cockpit.

Credit: Twitter/@Sept11Memorial
Credit: Twitter/@Sept11Memorial
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After receiving messages about the previous flights and being told to be aware of intrusion, Mr Homer Jr. raised the alarm when the door to the cockpit was breached.

He also declared 'Mayday' - an emergency procedural word used as a distress signal - before fighting with the terrorists in a bid to save those on board.

Despite all he did on that fateful day, his involvement is rarely acknowledged which is something Melodie is trying to change.

Melodie Homer. Credit: BBC
Melodie Homer. Credit: BBC
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Speaking on a BBC documentary Surviving 9/11, she explained: "It was a story that everyone probably needed to hear, and wanted to hear.

"None of the crew are mentioned in their narratives.

"People would say to me, 'there was a black pilot on that flight?', that's how little they knew about who was in the cockpit and that's a huge part of the story."

She added: "It felt like that was a hijacking of everybody else's stories and everybody else's grief.

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"I feel protective of LeRoy and I feel protective of his legacy."

Passengers and crew members on the flight used seatback phones to call loved ones and authorities before taking a vote to fight back and try to gain control of the plane.

It was a heroic act that spared countless more lives.

Jack Grandcolas, whose wife Lauren was on the flight, said: "What they did was amazingly dramatic," before adding that it was 'a selfless act of love to conquer hate'.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation

Topics: 9/11, News, anniversary, Community

Rebecca Shepherd
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