Eighteen years have swiftly passed since the attacks on September 11, 2001. In the blink of an eye, 18 years have gone by so quickly. Time’s passing is as quick as the demise of numerous lives on that disastrous day. But for the family members of the victims, they can only hope that time heals all wounds.
As a commemoration of 9/11 this 2019, we give a nod, to some of the female heroes in particular: flight attendants, a firefighter, a cop who was the first responder at ground zero, an Army nurse, and a counselor. They are indeed the definition of bravery, strength, and heroism we can certainly look up to. There is nothing but gratitude and understanding that on 9/11, women were heroes too.
Madeline Amy Sweeney and Betty Ong
Both Betty Ong and Madeline Amy Sweeney, two stewardesses of AA gave crucial information to American Airlines Operations specialists about the hijackers. I regard them as the first heroes of 9-11. Rest in peace to these two heroic women pic.twitter.com/Iqc6kjYCQx
— ✰🎃 Pumpkin Spice Rach 🎃✰ (@rachel_morgan97) September 10, 2018
They are two of the flight attendants of American Airlines Flight 11, the plane that was deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Ong and Sweeney helped identify the hijackers aboard the flight when they managed to contact the airlines. They described their situation aboard, and the information they shared proved to be useful in identifying the hijackers.
How did retired @FDNY Capt. Brenda Berkman prepare for the 1977 firefighter’s physical exam? Carrying her ex-husband up and down the stairs. @berkfdny tells @PreetBharara about her historic fight to be a female firefighter on tomorrow’s Stay Tuned: https://t.co/l9zC9Ooq8r pic.twitter.com/zW55KndKve
— CAFE (@cafedotcom) September 12, 2019
She had to endure sexism and grueling battles and lawsuits to overcome discrimination in the profession of firefighting. She became one of the first female firefighters in the history of New York. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, she had to endure the fact that several of her colleagues died, but it was equally painful when she felt renewed biases against female firefighters.
Most accounts of that day only seem to recognize the heroism of men and less of women who, like her, became first emergency respondents. She is working to combat discrimination through omission in the many commemorations of 9/11.
#NYPD remembers & honors the legacies of our fallen heroes every day by carrying on their vital work. Many thanks to comic book artist @tonywolfness for this impressive & touching tribute to PO Moira Smith, the only female @NYPDnews cop killed on 9/11. ➡️ https://t.co/owydV8bYE7 pic.twitter.com/ShMtVKTF0Q
— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) March 31, 2019
Smith is the late NYPD police officer who prevented mass hysteria and crowded exits by ‘directing traffic’ using a flashlight on the ground floor of Tower Two of the World Trade Center.
Her service saved thousands of lives and have created some form of order during the chaotic 9/11 attacks. She was regarded as the “cop with a flashlight” who was indeed a light in a very grim situation.
— Patricia Horoho (@PatriciaHoroh11) September 6, 2019
On the day of the 9/11 attacks, Pentagon was the third target and was hit by American Airlines Flight 77. Outside the fiery crash site, Horoho, then lieutenant colonel and an Army nurse, had set up a triage area to administer medical assistance to the victims.
Her knowledge and experience in burn care and trauma management have helped her ensure the medical treatment to numerous victims despite having limited materials to work with.
Sister Cynthia Mahoney
Today is I difficult day for anyone touched by the terrorism that our country endured. It is especially painful for the friends and family of my sister, Sister Cynthia Mahoney. She was at Ground Zero, died of Lung disease from the dust she breathed for 6 months after the attack. pic.twitter.com/pHv6BT3i39
— Jayde (@jaydedways61) September 11, 2019
Mahoney was a nun, and like so many others, she volunteered and offered what she could for the victims and the families left behind. She had emergency medical training and just recently moved to New York when the 9/11 attacks happened. She immediately jumped into an ambulance to help.
For six months, she continuously offered her assistance and returned to Ground Zero, the site of the wrecked World Trade Center. She would bless the remains of the dead and provide counsel to the families of the victims.
She wrote that she feels gratitude for her work in the war zone because she can witness heroism every day. What she has seen has been challenging, but it is nothing compared to the smell. It is something that stays with you. Sister Cynthia died five years later after suffering and battling a lung disease she attributed to being acquired from Ground Zero’s toxin-filled air.
This is a tribute and thanksgiving to all the heroes who have sacrificed, one way or another, for the sake of others during the 9/11 attacks. They are just some of the countless heroes who have risked their lives and limbs and put others’ lives before their own. We cheer on, here in our earthly existence, the heroes of 9/11.