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Every day is an opportunity to live life to its fullest and to not take things for granted. Today especially is a day to reflect on how every situation is potentially a chance to either make a difference or be a victim.
Have you heard of Tom Burnett, one of the passengers on UA Flight 93 on September 11, 2001? His flight, like others that same day, was hijacked by Islamic terrorists. He was urged by flight attendants as per their training to just sit calmly and not to draw attention to himself.
He didn’t listen. He knew that he had to act.
So he did.
The last words to his wife were ‘Don’t worry…we’re going to do something.’
UA Flight 93 crashed moments later in a rural area, killing everyone on board. What do you think would have happened if he and the others on that flight had followed the instructions given to them by that flight attendant? What additional high-value target would have been struck by an aircraft full of jet fuel and American lives? How many more people would have been killed as a result of inaction?
The larger the group, the less likely people are within the group to act—it’s a sociological phenomenon called diffusion of responsibility. Yet, our policies magnify these effects rather than attempt to mitigate it! The instructions Mr. Burnett and the others were given were to sit quietly and not draw attention to themselves. Schools teach faculty and students to run, hide, fight (in that order) during active shooter training.
The worst thing you can do in the face of evil is nothing.
Go ahead, let them have their way…see what happens.
Today is the day where we mourn the senseless loss of life from the events on that day. It’s also a day where we honor sacrifice. It’s easier to do NOTHING than to do SOMETHING, and so many choose inaction. But today, I’d like to pay special attention to those who had the capability, they had the opportunity, and they also chose to DO SOMETHING.
Here’s to the people who don’t run.
Here’s to the ones who don’t hide.
Here’s to the ones who turn and FIGHT, because they know that nobody else will.
Thank you for making this world a better place. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.