Following the recent death of terrorist Osama bin Laden, many Americans were reminded of the tragedies of September 11, 2001. His death provides some closure knowing the leader of these attacks was finally found, punished and unable to personally harm anymore people.
“I will always remember watching the news late Sunday night and knowing that the man who was responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people was finally taken down,” sophomore Preston Ramsey said.
Although all Americans were affected by 9/11 and bin Laden’s death, it seems some were affected even more so than others for reasons such as having family members die on September 11, 2001.
This is the case for freshmen English teacher Laura Salamone, who’s cousin Robert “Bobby” Fangman was a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175 which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
“Bobby was always full of joy,” Salamone said. “I remember us being together and all of the sudden he would break out singing a song from Broadway.”
Fangman grew up in Baltimore and enjoyed traveling, singing and wine. After working with Verizon for a while, Fangman grew bored of the job. He decided he would become a flight attendant since it seemed like fun job in which he could travel.
Fangman started his career as a flight attendant in January 2001 and absolutely loved it. He was doing a job that he truly enjoyed for a change. He was based in Boston since he believed being stationed there would allow him to move up to the position of an international flight attendant in which he would be able to travel to new places around the world.
A week before September 11, 2011, Fangman was in Keller visiting his brother and told his mother Ruth Salamone, who lived in Baltimore, that he might come up to see he before he went back to his job. He was unable to do this though and Ruth was unable to see her son again before he was killed on Flight 175.
Flight 175 was headed to Los Angeles from Boston that day. What might be the strangest thing about this whole story is that Bobby was not originally supposed to be working that flight; another flight attendant was meant to be on that flight, but accidentally entered the wrong code and wound up being on another flight instead. Bobby covered for her and decided to work the flight.
At 9:03 a.m., Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower at approximately 586 miles per hour. Bobby was believed to be one of the three on the plane who had placed a call before the flight crashed. What is believed to be his call was to a United Airlines office warning that hijackers had taken over the plane and were likely flying it. After a minute and 15 seconds, the call was disconnected.
Almost 10 long years later, after hearing the news of bin Laden’s death, Salamone can take a huge sigh of relief; the man responsible for the death of her cousin, as well as many other innocent people, has been stopped permanently.
“I was surprised that I had such relief that [bin Laden] was killed, it is nice to know that a criminal isn’t running around free anymore,” said Salamone. “It gave me great peace for my cousin’s family.”
The rest of America seems to be pretty pleased with bin Laden’s death as well.
“I’m glad they finally got him,” Coppell police officer Brandon Parrish said. “It tells other terrorists that America will find [them] eventually and that we will never forget the things they have done to innocent people.”