SOMERSET COUNT, Pa. (WTAJ) — One of the 40 American Heroes who thwarted the terrorists’ plan on Flight 93, taking down the plane in western Pennsylvania 20 years ago, flew on planes for nearly four decades.
Lorraine Bay was a United Airlines Flight Attendant for 37 years, and she was on Flight 93 when it went down on September 11th.
“She just loved her job, and she would talk about it all the time,” Lorraine’s goddaughter Emily Schenkel said. “There were challenges to it as we can all imagine, but she loved to travel, and she loved seeing different places. She loved people, she loved her co-workers. She always talked very highly of her co-workers.”
One of five flight attendants on United Flight 93, Lorraine bravely gave her life for others, fighting back, until the plane crashed into a Shanksville, Pennsylvania, field on September 11th, 2001.
Schenkel says Lorraine most likely was consoling passengers in the back of the plane while the events unfolded on 9/11.
For years, Schenkel figured out ways to heal and positively cope with the loss of what happened on that day.
“It feels like yesterday, but then when I really think about what 20 years means, I realize how long that actually is,” she said.
On visits to the Flight 93 National Memorial, Schenkel said she always leaves a particular item at the site, something to connect with her loved one.
“In general, I find it very comforting and peaceful to be there,” she said. “It makes me feel closer, I always leave a tube of lipstick for her, I don’t think I ever saw her without her makeup perfect.”
Schenkel said Lorraine preferred to work coach and mentored younger flight attendants and never failed to remember her co-workers and family with special cards and unique gifts.
“She kept everything she ever bought for people, and she would write it down on cards,” Schenkel said. “I didn’t keep them all because she literally had stacks of them, but I like to look at this every once in a while.”
In a final show of kindness, two of Lorraine Bay’s colleagues received cards postmarked on September 11th, 2001. Bay switched her flight on that day because it was a non-stop flight from Newark to San Francisco.
A photo of Lorraine Bay along with the 39 other heroes on Flight 93 is displayed at the Flight 93 National Memorial. Schenkel says Lorraine had a fun personality, and the photo that is displayed along with the other 39 heroes at the Flight 93 National Memorial shows just that.
On occasion, Park Rangers at the Memorial will share similar details about the 40 heroes with visitors during speeches near the crash site.
Bay’s name is also inscribed on the wall of names where tens of thousands of visitors flock to the Memorial each year to pay their respects.
According to the National Park Service, more than 1,000 people visit the Memorial each day in the summer months, and that number doubles on the weekends.
To learn more, head to the Flight 93 National Memorial website.
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