The Giants of Flight 93


I’m Trent Telenko and I have been a member of the Chicagoboyz for about a year, but I have been far too busy with my own life to post here, until now.

In October 2002 a friend of mine, Tom Holsinger, wrote about 9/11/2001 and the people on Flight 93 — Our fellow citizens who rose up and fought Al Qaeda, when all others, our military, our political leaders, our law enforcement, were frozen in surprise — at

I have not read any written commemoration of their act, before or since, as moving as this passage:

Students of American character should pay close attention to Flight 93. A random sample of American adults was subjected to the highest possible stress and organized themselves in a terribly brief period, without benefit of training or group tradition other than their inherent national consciousness, to foil a well planned and executed terrorist attack. Recordings show the passengers and cabin crew of Flight 93 – ordinary Americans all – exemplified the virtues Americans hold most dear.
Certain death came for them by surprise but they did not panic and instead immediately organized, fought and robbed terror of its victory. They died but were not defeated.
Ordinary Americans confronted by enemies behaved exactly like the citizen-soldiers eulogized in Victor Davis Hanson’s Carnage and Culture.
Herman Wouk called the heroic sacrifice of the USS Enterprise’s Torpedo 8 squadron at the Battle of Midway “… the soul of America in action.” Flight 93 was the soul of America, and the American people know it. They spontaneously created a shrine at the crash site to express what is in their hearts and minds but not their mouths. They are waiting for a poet. Normally a President fills this role.
But Americans feel it now. They don’t need a government or leader for that, and didn’t to guide their actions on Flight 93, because they really are America.Go to the crash shrine and talk to people there. Something significant resonates through them which is different from, and possibly greater than, the shock of suffering a Pearl Harbor attack at home.
Pearl Harbor remains a useful analogy given Admiral Isokoru Yamamoto’s statement on December 7, 1941 – “I fear we have woken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.” They were giants on Flight 93.

Go to and read the whole thing at this link

2 thoughts on “The Giants of Flight 93”

  1. Thanks, Trent.

    The only part of the American national security establishment that successfully completed the OODA loop and counter-attacked in real time on 9/11 was the reserve militia, acting without orders, without hierarchy, without uniforms or weapons, by spontaneous organization and action.

    The Flight 93 counter-attack was an example which totally contradicts the top-down, state-led, rule-bound approach which Bush and now Obama are following.

    The Flight 93 counter-attack mirrored the strengths of our attackers, and overmatched them.

    This is the essence of America. It is the most important lesson of 9/11.

    Yet no one pays attention to it.

  2. Thanks Trent. It is welcome; it gives us pause & pride. We have to appreciate others as much as critique them, appreciate man’s potential to accept his responsibility.

    These people were extraordinary; they were heroic in death. Holding signs up isn’t in the same category, but we hear a muted and less freighted resilience and pragmatism today – in the voices that are not hate-filled, not mean-spirited, but do want to keep the responsibility for our businesses, our schools and our health in our own hands.

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