Thursday, March 27, 2008

Medals Proposed for United 93 Passengers

As this blog strives to be non-partisan, I don't want to get into the political aspects of this, but I found it an interesting story regarding the controversy over how to recognize the passengers of United 93:

An effort to award the Gold Medal posthumously to the passengers and crew of Flight 93 began a few days after the attacks. On September 20, 2001, three bills were introduced in the House proposing that Congress give the Gold Medal to various people aboard the fated plane.

Rep. Marge Roukema's bill singled out just one passenger, Jeremy Glick, who hailed from her New Jersey district. Rep. Cliff Stearns's bill sought to honor everyone on the doomed flight. Finally, Rep. Tom Tancredo's bill proposed awarding the Gold Medal to:

Jeremy Glick, Todd Beamer, Thomas Burnett, Jr., and Mark Bingham; and other passengers or crew members on board United Airlines Flight 93 who are identified by the Attorney General as having aided in the effort to resist the hijackers on board the plane.

This last proposal ultimately garnered the most support, attracting 235 cosponsors--just 55 short of the required two-thirds. The wording of the bill nicely captured the spirit of Flight 93 and seemed most in line with the original conception of the Gold Medal, stating: "The leaders of the resistance aboard United Airlines Flight 93 demonstrated exceptional bravery, valor, and patriotism, and are worthy of the appreciation of the people of the United States."

So when are Avery, Jones, Gage, Gold et al going to start protesting the awarding of medals to people who they claim did nothing?