Jack Grandcolas remembers that he woke up at 7:03 in the morning twenty years ago. He glanced at the clock and then looked out the window to see a glimpse of a sky image. It looked almost like an angel ascending. Although he didn’t realize it, that moment changed his life.
It was now 10:03 a.m. in the United Flight 93 crash into a Pennsylvania field.
Lauren, Lauren’s wife, was not supposed be on that flight. He didn’t worry about Lauren when he saw the horrific scenes of September 11, 2001 unfolding on television. He then saw the blinking light from the answering machine.
Lauren left two messages as he slept in his bedroom, the phone ringing. First, she informed Lauren that she was returning from New Jersey to San Francisco on an earlier flight. She called the plane again. Grandcolas recalls that although there was a small problem, his wife stated that she was okay and was “comfortable” for the moment. She stated that she loved her husband more than anything. Tell my family that I love them, honey. Honey, goodbye.
“I looked at the TV and saw a burning hole in Pennsylvania. Grandcolas, 58, said that they claimed it was United Flight 93. “That was when I fell to the ground.”
All 44 passengers on board were killed. Lauren was 38 and three months pregnant with their second child. Grandcolas stated that Lauren had traveled East to New Jersey to attend the funeral of her grandmother. She then stayed for a few more days to announce her pregnancy.
Flight 93 was hijacked by four al-Qaida terrorists who were on a suicide mission to attack the Capitol in Washington D.C. on September 11. Crew members and passengers used seatback phones for calls to loved ones and authorities. They also learned about the attacks on the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the World Trade Center in New York City. They realized that their hijacking was part a larger attack and decided to vote to fight back to try to take control of the plane. This heroic act saved many more lives.
Grandcolas stated, “What they did was amazing dramatic.” It was a selfless act to conquer hatred.
Although the outline of the plan was relayed by phone calls, it was also recorded on the cockpit voice recorder. Many families will never know who their loved ones were.
Grandcolas believes Lauren was involved. Lauren, a hardworking advertising sales consultant with a huge heart and zest for life was an athletic and outgoing individual who trained as an EMT to assist people in crisis situations.