American Airlines 9/11 flight attendant wings on display at airline museum
DALLAS (AP) - To look at them, one might not guess the grim provenance of two pins soon to be on display at the American Airlines Flight Academy museum in Fort Worth.
The flight attendant's wings and a flight attendants union pin were retrieved from the thousands of tons of debris after terrorists flew a packed American Airlines jet into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
The pins show none of the damage from the crash, in which the Boeing 757 went full throttle into the Defense Department headquarters, The Dallas Morning News reported. Those killed were four flight attendants, two pilots, five hijackers, 53 passengers and 125 people inside the Pentagon.
American Airlines will put the pins on display at the company's C.R. Smith Museum.
They had been at the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., until USO official Joan Cote spotted them in 2012. She pushed to have the items returned to American, finally succeeding in October.
"We're very, very excited to have them back home here with us, at a place where the employees - not just the flight attendants but all the crew members and all the employees at American - can come visit," said Laura Glading, president of the association of Professional Flight Attendants.
Glading said she wept when she first saw the pins.
"I thought that it would be moving to see them in person. I didn't realize they would be in the condition they were in. No matter how much you think about it, you're not prepared to look at them, knowing that one of your co-workers had those on that horrible day. It was very, very moving," she said.
The Defense Department could never determine to whom the pins belonged.
Mark Flagg, 51, of Southlake, lost his parents in the crash of American Flight 77. The display "represents something that out of the ashes, something new arises," he said.
"For the American family, it represents their colleagues here, the flight attendants, the pilots," said Flagg, a United Parcel Service pilot whose father was a retired American Airlines captain.