Sunday, September 11, 2011


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ten years ago today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an extra edition in the afternoon. The last time that had happened was Nov. 22, 1963. Disruptions in the space-time continuum of our national psyche provided the grist for the journalistic mill on those occasions.

However, for all the details reported 10 years ago and in the days since, it is not the journalism that echoes and haunts my memory. Rather, it is the real words and re-created imagery from a made-for-television-movie:

Honor Elizabeth Wainio

A young woman, Elizabeth Wainio, 27, a passenger on United Flight 93, phoned her stepmother, Esther Heymann, in Baltimore.  

"Mom, we're being hijacked. I just called to say good bye," she said.

"Elizabeth, we don't know how this is going to turn out. I've got my arms around you," Heymann said.

Wainio told her stepmother she could feel them. 

"Let's look out at that beautiful blue sky. Let's be here in the moment," Heymann told her. "Let's do some deep breathing together." 

They passed a few quiet moments.

"It hurts me that it's going to be so much harder for you all than it is for me," Wainio said.
Honor Wainio was still on the line with her stepmother. 

"I need to go," she said. "They're getting ready to break into the cockpit. I love you. Goodbye."