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Tue, Oct 12, 2004

Flight 93 Pilot Honored

Black Marble Tablet Memorializes United's Jason Dahl

It was a private affair, with friends and family in attendance. About 150 of them gathered in a suburban Denver (CO) subdivision, not far from where United Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl lived. Far away from the crash site in Pennsylvania where he died, far away from that terrible day in 2001, the people who knew Dahl best erected a monument in his memory.

"If you knew him, you would know what friendship meant," said Diane Krauss, who organized Sunday's memorial. "In doing this memorial, I've seen the goodness of people, and it has brought me to tears over and over again," she told the Denver Post.

UAL 93, with Dahl at the controls, went down near Shanksville (PA) on September 11th, after passengers and crewmembers stormed the cockpit, which had been taken over by terrorists. All the passengers and crew, including Dahl, were hailed as heroes.

But more than half a country away, it wasn't how Dahl died that friends remembered. It was how he lived.

"I have this fear of flying, and he reassured me that as long as he was in the cockpit, United was the way to go," said neighbor Jean Baker, who had dinner with Dahl and his wife, Sandy, just a couple of days before 9/11.

Fellow airline pilot Tom Brown said Dahl treated him like a manager rather than a pilot with less seniority. "It impressed me that he was my mentor but he was treating me like I was something special," he told the gathering.

The memorial is black granite topped by a golden eagle. The inscription reads, "May he soar with the eagles."

FMI: www.unitedheroes.com/Jason-Dahl.html

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