I would be remiss were I not to mention that this is the 16th anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington. I’ve already said everything I care to on the subject but I’ll update this post with links to any memorable reflections I stumble across today.
I promised to update if I found something memorable and I think this is. According to the Tribunist the pilots who scrambled on 9/11 were ordered to take down Flight 93, regardless of whether they had missiles or live ammunition:
On September 11, 2001, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney in an F-16 at Andrews Air Force Base. She had her orders. She was to take down down United Airlines Flight 93. The hijacked plane was headed toward Washington DC. Three other planes had hit targets in New York and Washington, and Flight 93 was destined to become the fourth.
Penney was the second combat pilot in the air that morning. The idea of shooting down a civilian aircraft, even a hijacked one, was troublesome enough–but Penney had no missiles or live ammunition. All she had were her orders and her plane. She was going to take the plane down the hard way.
“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney said of the surreal moment. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”