Heroism Aboard Flight 93
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani embraces Amanda Sue Faidley following graduation exercises at Shanksville High School last May. Giuliani was the guest speaker at the graduating class in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, near where Flight 93 crashed on September 11. (Photo: S.C. Spangler, The Tribune-Review/AP Wide World)
"It was the heroism on that plane," says the ninth grader at Quaker Valley Middle School, which is located just 44 miles from the Flight 93 crash site. "When we heard the story of how they risked their lives for America, we thought it was so remarkable."
Students at Quaker Valley didn't just stand by in admiration. They kicked into action, organizing several events to raise money for children who lost parents in the attacks. The activities, which were held on the 11th day of each month, included a walk-a-thon, a potluck dinner, an auction, a faculty basketball game, and a garage sale.
Ninth grader Darren Rogers recalls the heroics of Todd Beamer and several other passengers on Flight 93 who fought the hijackers in an attempt to regain control of the plane.
"Since they gave their lives for others, the least we could do was to help their families get back on track," says ninth grader Darren Rogers. "The whole school got involved."
While students donated some of the money to the September 11th Fund, they presented Todd's wife, Lisa Beamer, with a check for $16,100 during a school-wide ceremony in June. Lisa has created the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, a charity to benefit the children whose parents were killed in the attacks.
Quaker Valley students hope to meet up with Lisa again on September 11. They plan to present her with a quilt designed by Sewickley community members during the one-year anniversary ceremonies in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
"She is so strong," says Macae. "She has created such a good future for the kids who lost parents. She truly is a hero."
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Karen Fanning is a contributing writer for Scholastic News Online.