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Jessica Wilkinson Mrs.

Martin 1-22-07 English 12 honors Ordinary Heroes Watching the towers that stood so many years as a place of peace for many nations be destroyed in minutes brought America to its knees in terror. That horrible day when death came knocking at the door of the most powerful nation on earth, left no reason as to why or how. Hearing radio and television commentary such as, The towers have collapsed, or The pentagon has been attacked, made every American citizen tremble. The cry of weeping sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers would be heard throughout the world. We quivered in fear, became crippled. The aftermath of 9-11 was a time of remorse and regret, until the story of the brave passengers of Flight 93. They fought against tyranny and a hatred so embedded into the hearts of the terrorists it would rival that of Grendels for mankind. Times have not changed since the time of the Anglo-Saxons until now, when evil once again turns its nasty head and attempts to destroy the innocent. Evil was then and is now fought against by those brave few who take on what is dangerous in order to save the lives of those around them. As Beowulf fought his monsters so long ago they, the passengers of Flight 93, fought theirs showing courage, strength, and kindness. Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty or danger without fear. Those on Flight 93 did not know what was to lie ahead as they took their seats for the long coast-to-coast flight home. Many ordinary people, mothers-and-daughters, young-andold, just wanting to make it home to see their family and loved ones. The pilots on board for another routine flight until the call came those two American commercial planes had been crashed into the World Trade Center. Their plane soon became under attack as the hijackers

threatened the whole plane with knives and a bomb. Much like Beowulf they had no weapons only courage, courage to face and adversary that had been prepared for years when they themselves only had a few moments. Though Beowulf fought for money and fame they fought for the chance to see their family again. Beowulfs courage helped him in battle against Grendel, evils face and arm, though that fiend was so easily defeated. Beowulfs triumph over Grendel gave the Danes the courage to go about their lives with hope and joy that evil had been defeated just like Flight 93s courageous passengers gave us a hope that we could combat evil on our own back doorstep. The physical strength of Beowulf was legendary throughout the known world, and gave him the reputation of a hero. Those on Flight 93 were, to the contrary, ordinary people with no great strength or fame only experience in their simple lives. Wiglaf too was of no great strength or fame, but in the face of almost certain death he showed what true courage and strength were. Together the passengers of Flight 93 became a powerful adversary with such people as a judo master named Glick, Lou Nacke a weight lifter, Rich Guadagno an enforcement officer trained in hand-to-hand combat, William Cashman a former paratrooper, Don Greene a pilot, and Todd Beamer an ordinary man with extraordinary courage. They were the ones who were not going to stand around waiting to die they combated the terrorists with death starring them in the eyes. Todd Beamer was the one who said, Are you ready guys? Lets roll! He was the one who was contributed to have formed the counterattack on their plane. No great strength did he have but a great heart. Kindness is something that has always been shown in heroes, but it was never a quality they would take pride in. Beowulfs kindness was shown when he gave Wiglaf the kingdom and told him to use the dragons hoard for the people. Though his kindness was monetary gain the

kindness shown by the passengers of Flight 93 was that of love, love for their family members. A telephone call from Todd Beamer to his wife said that he loved her and he would respect every decision she would make from now on even when he is no longer here. He told her to take care of their children and tell them he loved them as well. Each one would call home with their instruction and their goodbyes, for who knew if they would ever see their families again, they face certain danger as Beowulf did in his last battle, they wanted their families to know that they loved them and to remember them in the years to come. Those on Flight 93 will always be remembered for their courage, strength, and kindness. No one really knows what exactly happened on that plane or why it crashed, but those who fought against tyranny for a greater purpose will forever remain as a symbol of American courage. As Beowulf said in his last moments on earth, Build me a tomb This tower and remember my name though his tower was one of stone and iron for his memory. Their memory will forever be engraved upon our hearts.