With another anniversary coming up to remind us of the tragic events that took place against our nation on Sept. 11, 2001, it seems an appropriate time to visit the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in honor of those who were on their way from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco on that fateful day, which started out as an ordinary day with ordinary people doing ordinary things until their lives took an extraordinary turn.

If you have not visited the memorial, it is a stunning and humbling tribute to how a tiny field in a relatively obscure area of Pennsylvania suddenly became forever changed and the center of attention as the world began to learn the story of the extraordinary courage of the men and women who interrupted the four terrorists’ plans to cause even further destruction as they turned in mid-flight and attempted to head to the U.S. Capitol as Congress was in session.

It occurred to me that these four terrorists actually gave up their lives for a failed cause. Even in their deluded thinking, that is a disgrace — no honor, no rewards, no virgins.

I can’t help but believe that God knew everyone who got on the plane that morning and what their fate would be. It was no surprise to him. Nor was the decision to allow the events to unfold as they did. He is sovereign. When you visit the memorial, among the many artifacts, displays and news events you will learn about, are also the many miracles that happened that day that prevented even greater catastrophe, such as the fact that only 33 passengers and seven crew members were aboard a plane that was designed for 176 passengers, or how one of the terrorists had a piece of paper written in his language in his pocket that survived the crash outlining their plan for that day, making the investigation and identification quicker and easier, or that no one on the ground or any buildings were destroyed.

If you haven’t taken the opportunity to visit the memorial, along with the newly constructed Tower of Voices, it would be worth the trip.

What a wonderful tribute.

Judy Chappell


(24) comments


I viewed this LTE slightly different than most. To me it was a memorial for those that made a sacrifice to save others. What made little sense to me is honoring God that there were so few on the plane. Seems like God would have prevented that plane from taking off, if God was truly the reason for so few to be on the plane. One time on Kauai our plane was ready to leave the airport and the pilot found something wrong. So, we all got off the plane and stayed in a five star hotel. gratis the air lines. No 72 virgins, but a great hotel. To me that was a great God - maybe he couldn't find 72 virgins and just did his best. [beam]


If memory serves, the hijackers had done their research and deliberately chose flights that were likely to be mostly empty. As for the jet hitting vacant land, most of the land is devoid of both people and structures. It is rare for crashing jets and planes to hit anything on the ground. Liability insurance rates for that sort of damage are correspondingly low. Miracles used to be so much more impressive. Now it is mostly stuff like faces on tortillas.


General Jack Keane told in a podcast yesterday with Bill Kristol how he'd been working at the Pentagon when the plane struck the building and a little of the selfless heroism he'd personally witnessed -- one woman dragging another injured person out and almost immediately going back in to the devasted area despite terrible flames and smoke because she knew of others unable to get out without help. He said they'd had a historian gather all the stories of heroism and check them out thoroughly before they compiled a list of people who deserved medals. It was his job as chief of the general staff to give out the medals at an official ceremony they had. They didn't give out medals lightly -- for just having been in the disaster area and got out, for example. They limited the 40 or so medals to those who really put their own lives in jeopardy in order save others. He said what struck him most vividly about the medal recipients was what a rich cross section of America they represented -- young, middle aged, old, military, civilian, men, women, people of greatly varying fitness (joggers, fatties) all kinds of skin color and ethnic background.


And that is what truly makes this country great, Peter.

If male martyrs can expect to find 72 virgin maidens in paradise when they die, what rewards can female suicide bombers expect?


Nothing, Maybe to no longer have to be a sex slave, or daily beatings. I guess that's good.

Sounds like the story of Hagar and Ishmael near Mecca in the Old Testament, celebrated still till today in Hajj.


aw, you have to be Muslim to get the 72 virgins. The females are not considered under the Muslim faith to be the same, they must wall behind their husband. Still there faith says they are equal, they just are not treated equal.

I searched hard to find the answer.  Below is the best I could find:https://www.islamweb.net/en/article/158781/what-awaits-women-in-paradiseParadise and its pleasures are not for men alone; rather, it is {prepared for the righteous.} [Quran 3:133] The righteous here include men and women, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, while being a believer -- those will enter Paradise and will not be wronged}[Quran 4:124] Women should not preoccupy themselves with inquiring about the details of their entering Paradise, what they will be doing there, where they will go, and so on. It is enough for every Muslim woman to know that once she enters Paradise, she will forget all the misery and hardships she ever faced, because her life in Paradise will be one of endless happiness.


FNP editor, I am not saying I agree or disagree with anything in this letter, but I wish you would not print religious letters.


What religion is this one?


It was just part of her mindset when visiting. Perhaps she was an agnostic before, who knows?? But to edit that out is to modify her voice. Lots of letters have parts you can read and think, "n/a." That's your opinion. This is hers.




I don't know what her religion is -- one of the religions with a god called God -- but the third paragraph seems anti-Islamic.


Why not 3? It's been the most important thing in most human being's lives for most of recorded history. Is it not worthy of comment? Why not?


Because I don't want to read in the newspaper about whether God gives virgin rewards. Somethings should remain a mystery. No spoilers.


I see. Doesn't mean that the religious are correct of course. Just an opinion/belief.


Des, Are you sure? Judy sounded pretty confident.


I can only speak for myself 3. I believe a lot of things. I KNOW very little. Less with each passing year...………..


3c: I'm not religious either and I tend not to pay much attention to religious stuff, but why should they not publish it? I'm not the least into sports, but I'm fine with them publishing lots of sports stuff for those into sports. Don't we have to be open to all kinds of interests and beliefs? I think that's what a free society is all about.


I have no issues with the FNP printing articles about religion in the Religion section or elsewhere, but I personally, do not want them printing what individuals say God is doing or thinking - unless it's an LTE from a prophet. You never know when one is going to come around. Probably this is just my problem - a lack of trust in my fellow Americans.


So you are asking for censorship? How un-American of you. If it offends you don’t read the letter.


Yes, I am asking for this censorship in the FNP. There is lots of censorship in most news outlets. The type of American I am is cynical - mostly because Trump was elected and still supported by many other Americans.


Bunny, I have been pondering your post, but I still have not figure this out: How can I know if an article will offend me before I read it? Would God tell me?


"... no virgins."

How do you know that?

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