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Madeline Amy Sweeney
Born December 14, 1966(1966-12-14)
Died September 11, 2001 (aged 34)
Manhattan, New York
Other names Amy Sweeney
Occupation Flight attendant

Madeline Amy Sweeney, known as Amy Sweeney (December 14, 1966 – September 11, 2001), was a flight attendant on board American Airlines Flight 11 when it was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the September 11 attacks.

Contents

Flight 11

On September 11, Amy Sweeney was asked by American Airlines to take an extra shift, because the other crew member who was assigned to the position was ill.[1] Normally, she would only work on weekends.

"I see water. I see buildings. I see the buildings. We are flying low. We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low. Oh my God we are way too low."
-- Sweeney's last words on the inflight call.[2]

During the hijacking, she used an airphone to call the flight operations center. She reached Michael Woodward, the manager on duty. She relayed information about the hijackers' seats, and described them as middle easterners. She also reported that two flight attendants and a passenger were injured. During the last minutes of the call, she said that the aircraft was flying erratically and that they were descending very rapidly.

Ms. Sweeney was 34 years old when she was killed. She had been a flight attendant for 12 years. She was survived by her husband and two children, ages 4 and 6. They lived in Acton, Massachusetts.

Commemoration

On February 11, 2002, Sweeney was commemorated in a series of new annual bravery awards initiated by the Massachusetts government. The annual Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery is awarded every September 11 to at least one Massachusetts resident who displayed extraordinary courage in defending or saving the lives of others.[3]

The first recipients were Ms. Sweeney and fellow flight attendant Betty Ong, who had also relayed information about the hijacking to personnel on the ground. Pilot John Ogonowski also received a posthumous award for turning a radio switch on, which allowed ground control to listen to remarks being made by the hijackers. They were all residents of Massachusetts. Relatives of all three accepted the awards on their behalf.

Quotations

In her nation's darkest hour, she responded with a selfless bravery that illustrates the very best of human nature. She was empowered by her ability to shed light where none existed.
Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift, presenting the award to Sweeney's children.
She calmly and in a detailed fashion told us that Flight 11 had been hijacked, which was nothing short of a miracle.
American Airlines flight services manager Michael Woodward, who took the call from Sweeney.
She would have said she was just doing her job.
Michael Sweeney, her husband, a police officer

References

External links

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