From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

September 21

It was the morning of Friday, September 21, 2001. I was walking through the United Airlines terminals at O’Hare International Airport. Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring” was playing over the airport sound system.

“Catchy tune, isn’t it?” It was the voice of a United pilot. Unsolicited, he turned to me and said, “There are two ways to stop all of this. One is the fact that in my hands I control an extremely powerful piece of equipment, and if I have to, I can cause that plane to have so much turbulence that you couldn’t hold down your lunch.

“The second way is when the passengers become fed up,” clearly implying the counterattack methods used by passengers on Flight 93.

I was stunned by the power of his words. After welcoming everyone aboard, he repeated his message over the plane’s PA system.

Now, I am not a person who advocates violence, but there we were in the face of all that anxiety and fear, and this wonderful captain made us all realize that we need not be passive victims, but that our fate is at least partially in our own hands and his.

Matthew E. Adams

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners