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Remembering a Flight 93 Hero

Saturday marked the 20th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Haleigh Dibetta shares the story of a Flight Attended aboard Flight 93 on that tragic day that lost her life doing the profession she loved.

Growing up in Pennsylvania together, Ed Root and his cousin Lorraine Bay always had each other. Ed Root, cousin of Lorraine Bay, Flight 93 Flight Attendant saying: “As a teenager she was the Captain of the Colorguard High School Team, she was a very effervescent person from the get-go. I never saw her frown.”

Root says after graduating High School, Lorraine wanted to travel and see the World. Her ticket to make it happen was to become a Flight Attendant for U.S. Airlines in 1964. Ed says it was a very involved job, but Lorraine’s passion for it always shined through. Ed saying: “She’s handing out sandwiches, but she thought it would be really nice and proper to unwrap them all before she handed them out so here the plane is landing and she’s still handing out sandwiches. She could laugh at herself as well as other instances when she was naive in the early part of her career, but that’s just who she was. She thought it would be a nice thing to do.”

She didn’t have children, but Lorraine made sure to spoil Ed’s every chance she got, from shopping sprees to getting autographs from famous athletes on her flights.

By 2001, Lorraine had spent 34 years with United and rose to the position of Senior Flight Attendant. By then, she’d scaled back her travels with only a few flights a month. On September 11th, 2001, Lorraine boarded her last flight. That same day, Ed and his wife thought they were flying home to Pennsylvania from London, but then — their Flight was redirected back to London. It wasn’t until they returned to the U.S. days later that they learned about the heroic actions of Lorraine, the other Crew Members, and Passengers on Flight 93.

The days following 9/11, Lorraine’s kindness was still felt. Ed saying: “She was known for sending cards to people and keeping in touch with people. After September 11th, a couple people actually received cards that she had mailed that morning on the way to the airport.”

Lorraine’s legacy lives on. Ed’s children she adored so much? Their children carry her name. Lorraine and Abigail (Grace), Lorraine’s middle name. Ed saying: “The sadness on our part is how Lorraine would have been with these three little children who are now 11, 12 and 13.”

Over the years and to this day, Ed shares Lorraine’s story and says he’ll never stop. Ed, in closing: “Those of us who have lived through it you know the anger, the suffering, the emptiness – somebody today couldn’t really understand that, but it’s important to try and make people understand a little bit more the personal feelings the intensity of the day so it doesn’t just become another event in history that’s kind of just turn the page and move on.”

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