It’s long past time.
More than 3 years have passed since passengers and crew members of Flight #93 prevented terrorists from crashing that plane into the White House while bravely and unselfishly giving their lives so that others might live.
It’s time these passengers received the nation’s highest military award; the Congressional Medal of Honor.
One of three criteria must be met for the award to be given:
a.) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
b.) while engaged in military operations involving an opposing foreign force; or,
c.) while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
Arguably, the passengers meet two of those criteria. They were engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. And their attempt to take the plane back can easily be construed as a “military operation.”
So why haven’t we seen any action on this? Why hasn’t the President or Congress done anything?
At the very least, these citizens deserve Congressional Gold Medals for “distinguished service and achievement.” But none has been forthcoming. And the reason, I believe is political.
The reasoning goes like this: If you give medals to the passengers of flight #93, why not medals to the firemen and policemen who perished on that awful day? And why stop there? Why not give one to everyone who died as a result of those attacks?
While I certainly do not wish to begrudge anything to the heroes who gave their lives at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I believe a distinction can and should be made for the passengers of that plane who found themselves in a situation rare in American history.
We know from transcripts that passengers had actually taken a vote on whether or not to attack the hijackers. We also know the names of some of the leaders of that effort. And while recognizing that not all passengers participated equally in the plan to storm the cockpit, we should acknowledge the sacrifice of all who were aboard.
We should all urge that politics be put aside and that the heroes of Flight #93 be honored for their courage and valor.
It’s long past time.