September 1970. Within an hour of landing our C-130's in England, we were airborne and heading south. I stood in the flight deck as the navigator ripped open a sealed envelope and read it over the intercom to the rest of us. Terrorists had hijacked a commercial airliner and flown it to the desert somewhere in the Middle East.
Public courage notwithstanding, it is also important to recognize that no tragedy like this could have been addressed or people's lives saved without a massive concerted effort by the first responders: the police, the paramedics, the firemen, the doctors, the nurses, and eventually, the national guard.