United Flight 93 is considered by many to be the pinnacle of American heroism — and that was before the story of Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney came to light. Her story makes the what was already one of the most incredible stories of the 21st century even more remarkable.
On September 11th, 2001, after it became clear that planes were being used as weapons against the United States, President George W. Bush issued an extraordinary order. All hijacked passenger planes would be shot out of the sky.
Those orders were delivered to Lt. Penney — but there was one problem. No planes in the region were armed for combat.
“We wouldn’t be shooting it down,” Penney would later explain. “We’d be ramming the aircraft. I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”
But Penney had no intention of dying — even though she knew that it was likely. “I was hoping to [ram the aircraft and eject] at the same time,” she recalls. “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”
Thankfully, Penney never had to make the ultimate sacrifice for her country. Instead, the brave men and women of United Flight 93 finished the job for her. After storming the cockpit, they took the plane down in rural Pennsylvania.
Still, Penney’s willingness to risk it all for country is a true symbol of SACRIFICE and PATRIOTISM.
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She deserves it.