Mark Bingham. Jeremy Glick. Thomas Burnett. Todd Beamer.
These are names we have all heard or are familiar with. They are the men known for fact to have participated in action to thwart the hijackers of Flight 93.
What they did was beyond the call of duty for any ordinary airline passenger. But that is the stuff of which heroes are made. Ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances, who make decisions and take actions that change the vector of history.
This handful of men very likely saved the nation's capital and those in it at the time from doom. Pretty heady stuff saving the capital and scores of staffers and congressmen, striking the first counter attack against OBL's henchmen. That sort of thing doesn't happen every day.
Its the sort of result one might think obviously worthy of this nation's highest civilian honor (the Presidential Medal of Freedom). One would be WRONG in making that assumption.
We're five years on since 9/11 now and yet NONE of the men listed above have been awarded the Medal of Freedom.
Why is this? I don't know. I've written my congressman inquiring as to why. If I get an answer I'll blog it.
I'll leave with this. Some of the past Medal of Freedom awards have gone to Rita Moreno, Estee Lauder, George McGovern and Julia Child. It seems to me the Flight 93 crew stands a lot taller than 90% of the people on that list. Julia Child? GMAFB.
Some are going to whine about the FDNY and NYPD guys who did heroic things as well. Yep they did. They accept danger as part of the job, and I thank them profusely for doing it. Heroic things are expected of professionals doing dangerous jobs though. The four guys above just bought plane tickets. They weren't expecting a date with destiny.