9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

This page is in honor of thirty-three heroes, the 9/11 flight crews:

Learn more about each of the thirty-three 9/11 flight crew members

The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine, Texas, serves as a national place of remembrance for those first defenders. From concept to reality, the memorial was the noble work of Foundation volunteers. 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America honors the 9/11 flight crews, and we feature the national memorial with the same hope as its creators, remembrance.

L to R, 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial Foundation Vice President Shirley Hall; sculpture and Foundation President Dean Thompson, and founder Valerie Thompson. Click on the above image to visit the Foundation’s website.

On July 4, 2008, just outside of Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport, the first national memorial to 9/11 heroes was dedicated. Shirley Hall, who is also a Flight Attendant, explained the memorial sculpture’s symbolism:

“As volunteers on this project, we have each spent time describing this statue in our attempts to raise funds to turn Valerie’s dream into a reality. From Bryce Cameron Liston’s original interpretation to the final magnificent piece of art you see here today, each of us has shared our ideas on the symbolism of the statue.

“The entire bronze sculpture and Texas limestone base sit centered on the North, South, East and West directional indicator known as the “Compass Rose.” A granite facing displays the flights and names of the crew.

“A stone column rises to support a large globe, as we all know the aviation industry spans the world. The impressive eagles, a national symbol of freedom, represent both airlines, American and United that lost flights that morning.

“The Captain stands at the highest point, his copilot to his right, as it is on the airplane. The Captain is charged with the responsibility of protecting passengers, fellow crew members and the aircraft.

“The First Officer is alert, his safety manual in hand, pointing to the western horizon, the intended destination of all four flights. Back-to-back placement of the Flight Attendants to the Cockpit Crew shows the teamwork of all flight crews, especially now — post 9/11.

“The young girl with her teddy bear represents the traveling public. She is the family on their big vacation, the newlyweds on honeymoon, the grandmother on her very first flight, the weary businessman and unfortunately now… she is the soldier off to war.

“The role best known by the general flying public is portrayed by the male Flight Attendant. He drapes a blanket around the small child. His duties show a commitment to passenger care and service.

“Indicative of her role as a safety professional, the female Flight Attendant stands in the protected position: her hand held in the International sign for “stop”, shielding her passenger from harm.

“The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial is dedicated to the 33 flight crew members that were lost and all the crew members that courageously continue to be the ever-vigilant professionals of the airline industry.

“As you return to visit in a quieter moment, please remember that this site is sacred ground. Walk quietly, speak softly, pray if you will, cry if you must; but always look to the skies.

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‘Missing Man’ flyover video

Note: This was originally posted at 11:15 pm on July 4, 2008.

  11 comments for “9/11 Flight Crew Memorial

  1. L.
    September 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I was in the computer lab with about 25 students. We had been reviewing for awhile. The middle schoolers had a test the following day. From the ceiling p.a. system, a couple of the students were called to the front office to check out. I could tell the request confused these students because they said they were unaware of why they were leaving campus.

    Shortly thereafter, a special education teacher came to the door. He said, “What are you doing?” I mentioned we were reviewing for our test. He replied, “Forget about your test. Turn on your tv right now,” and scurried away from the door. I got my remote and turned on the television. The students and I watched in disbelief. More students were called to the office to check out.

    When we returned to campus the next day, all teachers were told by our principal, Dr. Alice G., not to discuss the previous day’s events. This sounded ridiculous to me. The students had many questions and things they wanted to say. One boy said his uncle worked in the South Tower, and no one has heard from him. I said to my student, “Tell us anything you would like us to know about your uncle. Then we’ll take turns sharing. Anyone that wants to discuss yesterday may do so.” The pattern continued with each class. I witnessed many thoughtful statements from my middle schoolers.

  2. Glynnis
    September 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    It seems unreal that 8 years have passed now. Most people that I know can recall exactly where they were and what they were doing that day. These brave men and women will forever be heroes to me. This is a beautiful tribute to them, as they will live on forever in the hearts and minds of so many people.

  3. Roger Balettie
    July 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Absolutely beautiful… please accept the thanks and gratitude of the flying public for all that these flight crews do on a daily basis… and accept the thoughts and prayers that God bless the 9/11 flight crews and their families.

  4. Chaya Eitan
    July 17, 2008 at 6:55 am

    May their names be remembered for a blessing.

  5. Capt Tom Crews
    July 15, 2008 at 12:20 am

    As I walked up to the memorial it was like a dream come true. As I walked around the statue and read the bricks and saw the names associated with the events and long term commitments to make this dissaster remembered. It was an exceptional tribute to the crews and passengers who lost their lives that morning. As I completed the circle I felt sadden that such an event could ever happen. All of our lives changed from that point forward. I want to thank Dean, Valerie, Shirley, and all of those directly involved to make such a memorial. I’m confident those who lost their lives would say thanks as well.

    We need never to forget what evil minds and forces in play in this world and what they are capable of doing. We need to remain focused to support our troops in defending this countries directives to redress these kinds of people.

    God Bless you all.

    — T

  6. M
    July 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    God Bless these Heroic People. The Very FIRST of the first responders. Forgotten in the immediate aftermath of this horror. It is sad that it took so long to recognise their sacrifice. I am happy to finally see a permanent memorial to their sacrifice. I am honoured to have known some of these wonderful people.

    God Bless us ALL.

  7. Elizabeth Rebholtz
    July 14, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Just … stunning. I hope to visit the memorial someday to pay my respects. Thank you for all of us.

    God Bless.

  8. Loisanne Diehl
    July 14, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Your memorial is absolutely heart-wrenching, but at the same time encouraging, as it shows that in times of terror, our country will stand together to support each other.

    I am a 9/11 widow. My husband worked in Tower 2 of the WTC, and we are STILL waiting for some kind of memorial — some say it might not even be ready for the tenth anniversary!

    God bless everyone who was on those flights, and everyone who made it possible to honor them.

  9. Gene Smith
    July 14, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    The people who fly us and make our modern life possible are professionals in every way. They should never be threatened by piracy or terrorism. On 9-11 pilots and crew displayed the very highest levels of heroism. They are very deserving of this wonderful memorial.

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