The Spirit of United Flight 93 Lives in a Ship's Crew

Kyle-Anne Shiver & Lee Cary
As details of the Maersk Alabama episode emerge, one clear lesson surfaces: The Spirit of United Flight 93 lives on.

The ending of the hostage story at sea will soon be followed by the requisite second guessing and questions. Not to mention the inevitable criticism of the killing (someone will call it execution without due process) of three pirates. Then, if the fourth pirate is brought to the U.S. for trial, that promises to become a legal mini-series.  But all of that will pale in importance in the face of what happened this Easter Sunday at sea.

The day Christians celebrate a resurrection became one of rescue for Captain Phillips. Credit and honor will justly accrue to all involved representing the U.S. Navy, the F.B.I., and any other government entity that reacted to the situation.  

But we should note that the initiative, taken by the crew of the Maersk Alabama and its Captain, was the pivotal reaction to the emergency.

The unarmed crew took back its ship, and the Captain took responsibility for the safety of his crew. And then he took the initiative to attempt escape.

The ship’s company didn’t wait for a bailout; they acted to bail out themselves, with superb help at the end.  

In so doing, the
Maersk Alabama’s crew reminded us of the valor of those who fought to take back United Flight 93, somewhere in the skies over Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001 -- and thus saved thousands of American lives. Proving, once again, that such citizens, acting so courageously in impossible conditions, remain essential components of the American spirit.

As details of the Maersk Alabama episode emerge, one clear lesson surfaces: The Spirit of United Flight 93 lives on.

The ending of the hostage story at sea will soon be followed by the requisite second guessing and questions. Not to mention the inevitable criticism of the killing (someone will call it execution without due process) of three pirates. Then, if the fourth pirate is brought to the U.S. for trial, that promises to become a legal mini-series.  But all of that will pale in importance in the face of what happened this Easter Sunday at sea.

The day Christians celebrate a resurrection became one of rescue for Captain Phillips. Credit and honor will justly accrue to all involved representing the U.S. Navy, the F.B.I., and any other government entity that reacted to the situation.  

But we should note that the initiative, taken by the crew of the Maersk Alabama and its Captain, was the pivotal reaction to the emergency.

The unarmed crew took back its ship, and the Captain took responsibility for the safety of his crew. And then he took the initiative to attempt escape.

The ship’s company didn’t wait for a bailout; they acted to bail out themselves, with superb help at the end.  

In so doing, the
Maersk Alabama’s crew reminded us of the valor of those who fought to take back United Flight 93, somewhere in the skies over Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001 -- and thus saved thousands of American lives. Proving, once again, that such citizens, acting so courageously in impossible conditions, remain essential components of the American spirit.