On Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City, the day began with clear blue skies—a perfect day--but onboard American Airlines Flight 11 (AA Flight 11), a silent drama was already being played out. Flight 11 had just left Boston and was heading to Los Angeles when hijackers took over the airplane.

7:59 A.M. Flight 11

Sitting near the hijackers in the First class section, was a man who attempted to stop them. This hero was identified as Daniel Lewin (Levin). Levin did not realize there was another hijacker seated directly behind him. This hijacker stabbed Lewin to death.
According to the 911 commission, Lewin is the first victim to die on that horrendous day many years ago.

Lewin was born and raised in Colorado. When he was 14 years old, his family moved to Israel where he eventually became a captain in the Special Forces under the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Lewin leaves a wife and two
sons. He was a co-founder of Akamai Technologies.

Also, on the same flight was another Colorado born passenger; her name was Kelly Ann Booms. Booms was employed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by Price Waterhouse Coopers in Boston. Booms was on her way to Long Beach, Calif., for temporary 4-week assignment. Her parents say that Kelly Ann lived her life to the fullest.

8:46 am North tower (WTC-1)

At 8:46 a.m. the American Airlines Flight 11 struck the upper floors of the North tower of the World Trade Center (WTC-1) instantly killing all 76 passengers and 11 crew members on board and hundreds inside the building.

In the North Tower (WTC-1) were 5 more people with Colorado connections. They were all within a few floors of each other.

Kathleen “Kit” Faragher, 33, was a computer programmer for Janus Capital Corporation in Denver. Kit was attending a training session on floor 106. She was supposed to be there only a few days before returning to Colorado. A scholarship has been set up especially for female students who show outstanding potential. http://kitfaragherfoundation.org/Scholarship.html

Nina Bell, 39, from Black Forest, a graduate of the University of Colorado, was starting a new job as a project manager for Marsh and  McLennan. Two weeks into her dream job, she was killed. The day before, Nina emailed a friend saying, "I am so very happy."

Alok Mehta, 23, a 2000 graduate of Colorado State University, Fort Collins, had just joined Cantor Fitzgerald as a business student intern only three days earlier. Alok with his short life had already received very high honors and a number of awards. His motto always has been “life is too short not to follow your dreams.”

CSU has endowed a scholarship in the name of Mehta.


Adam Shelby White, 26, after graduating from the University of Colorado in 1998 with a degree in biogeochemistry, White loved to travel and had only just returned from Frankfurt, Germany, the Friday before 9/11. He was a broker for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor.

Christopher Faughnan, 37, Lafayette, was a government bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. He was on the 104th floor of WTC-1 dying just 15 minutes after he told his 4-year-old daughter on the phone, “I love you.”

8:15 a.m. Flight 175 Takes Off

United Airlines Flight 175 (UA Flight 175) leaves Boston about 15 minutes after AA Flight 11; it also is heading to Los Angeles.

The head flight attendant on UA Flight 175 was Coloradoan Kathryn Yancey LaBorie, 44, of Colorado Springs. She had been training on dealing with terrorists. Little is known of the actions she may have taken on that flight when the hijackers took over the plane.
A passenger on the same flight as LaBorie was Maclovio "Joe&" Lopez Jr., 41, who grew up in Pueblo and married his high school sweetheart. He was a construction worker working a water main project in Boston. Lopez was on UA flight 175 to be with his family after a yearlong job.

9:03 a.m. South tower (WTC-2)

At 9:03 a.m., the UA Flight 175 the hijackers crash the plane into floors 77 through 85 of the South Tower (WTC-2) killing all 51 passengers and nine crew members and an unknown number of people inside the building.

One known Coloradoan was in the South Tower (WTC-2): Paul Sloan who worked in the research department of the investment-banking firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on the 88th floor. After WTC-2 was hit, Sloan began calling family and friends to let them know he was alright. He was on the phone with his sister when the line went dead as the second plane hit the tower where he worked.

At 8:20 American Airlines Flight 77 left Washington Dulles Airport

American Airlines Flight 77 leaves Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia; it too is heading for Los Angeles. Less than 35 minutes into the flight, the hijackers stormed the cockpit. They forced the passengers, crew, and pilots to the rear of the aircraft. Passengers aboard made telephone calls to friends and family and relayed information about the hijacking.

On AA flight 77, was the Falkenberg family. The father was Charles Falkenberg who was born and raised in Denver, Colo. His wife was Leslie Whittington. The two had attended Denver’s East high school. They had 2 daughters who were born in Maryland, Dana and Zoe. The family was traveling to Australia for vacation.

Charles Falkenberg, 45, Director of Research, ECOlogic Corp. MD, his wife, Leslie Whittington, 45, who earned her PhD in
economics in Boulder, was a professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and their daughters, Zoe, 8, and Dana
Falkenberg, 3. As they were leaving for a trip to Australia, they mailed postcards to family members from Dulles International
Airport. Dana was the youngest passenger on that flight.

Dr. Yeneneh Betru, 35, was also on AA Flight 77. Dr. Betru an Ethiopian by birth, had attended high school at the Abbey School in Cañon City, Colo. Dr. Betru was only 35 and just beginning his life after years of education and planning for the future. During the three previous years, he worked as the Director of Medical Affairs for IPC–The Hospitalist Company in Burbank, California. Dr. Betru was one of the pioneers in a new practice of medicine; he traveled around the country to train hundreds of physicians. His dream was to set up a clinic in Ethiopia complete with dialysis machines, solutions and supplies. He was just returning from working with the Ethiopian government making plans to realize his dream. The terrorist acts of Sept. 11, 2001, ended his dream.

9:37 a.m. Pentagon hit

At 9:37 a.m. the hijackers deliberately crashed AA Flight 77 into the Pentagon killing all 53 passengers and 6 crew members on board. The crash and the ensuing fire killer hundred and 25 military and civilian personnel on the ground.

United Airlines Flight 93

09:28 a.m. the hijacking on UAFlight 93 began.

The pilot of UA Flight 93 was Captain Jason Dahl, 43, of Denver. Dahl had moved his schedule up so he could celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife Sandra, on Friday, Sept. 14.

9:58 a.m. The flight recordings revealed that Captain Jason Dahl and First Officer LeRoy Homer survived the initial attack and were still alive after the hijackers took over the plane. Dahl and Homer took actions to interfere with the hijackers, including disengaging the autopilot just before the hijackers took over in order to prevent them from setting the plane's target coordinates for Washington, D.C. They also switched the output of the pilot's microphones so hijackers could not communicate with the passengers, but instead be heard by air traffic controllers. Dahl "stayed in the cockpit alone with the hijacker-pilot, injured but not dead,” while Homer was "knocked unconscious and dragged from the cockpit."

Thirty-seven 9-1-1 Calls from Flight 93 are known to have been made from hijacked Flight 93, most placed by passengers from the rear of the plane. The passenger revolt on UAFlight93 began at 09:57 a.m., after the passengers took a vote among themselves about whether to act. The airplane began to fly erratically and rolled upside down. The plane finally plowed into an empty field in Stonycreek, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes flying time from Washington, D.C. The last piece of flight data was recorded at 10:03:10.

These little blurbs do not give justice to these people and what capabilities these people had; the world has lost the potential and capabilities of these people.

Many of the images we may see today of 9/11 still connotes the raw emotions and shock felt on that day. Approximately 3000 people were killed on 9/11 and countless more victims have died in the days and weeks to follow as a result of the attacks.

So what may we do to respect the memories of these Coloradoans? We may look into our hearts to determine how we may best honor their memories and then do it. Many of the victims’ families have set up scholarships in their loved ones memory.

On example is Doug Harbour of Lamar, Colorado who has a heart for the 9/11 responders. He and many helpers have an event and parade each year as a 9/11 Tribute to honor the first responders and military every year. They are also erecting a 9/11 memorial next to the Big Timbers Museum due to be completed next year, depending on funding.

After Yeneneh’s death, the Betru family with the help of the late doctor’s co-workers, service clubs and corporations raised the funds to buy six dialysis machines and shipped them to Ethiopia. The dialysis clinic was ultimately dedicated at Bethel Hospital in Addis Ababa on Sept. 11, 2008. It was bittersweet for his family to see Yeneneh’s dream realized without him, says his brother, Aron of Washington DC in a telephone interview.

Aron would like for his brother’s death and of all those who died on 9/11 to become something positive. “Let
Yeneneh be your North Star.”