‘There’s Something Deeper That Connects us All As Americans’: F-16 Pilot Was Prepared for ‘One-Way Mission’ on 9/11

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Former U.S. Lieutenant Heather “Lucky” Penney was a rookie F-16 fighter pilot and a member of the Washington D.C. National Guard when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. Sure in her resolve, to protect and defend, Penney understood at that time that she and her commander would not return from their mission to ram their jets into the fourth plane—Flight 93—that had been highjacked by terrorists.

Although, the two pilots were ready to die that day, what lives with Penney is not her unit’s willingness to sacrifice for their country but the courage and patriotism of the passengers and crew onboard Flight 93. Those everyday heroes proved that there is something deeper that connects us all as Americans, said Penney.

“That love of nation, that love of country, that love of our fellow citizens, it shouldn’t be bound up in all of the vitriolic anger discourse that we have today,” Penney said during a recent interview with NTD The Nation Speaks program.

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