heroic last stand
- Dateline NBC's Jane Pauley spent an
inspiring evening Thursday night with a family in
mourning and can only marvel that hearts can be
broken and swelling with pride at the same time.
Jane Pauley reports.
LYZ GLICK SAYS she believes in fate.
Does she believe her husband was fated to be on
that plane? "I do, I do," says Lyz.
"He was scheduled to fly out on an earlier
flight the day prior. Even three days before the
flight, he had begged me to have him stay home. He
didn't want to go. And I said you have to go. You
can't say no to your company. And I think with all
the badness going on that God or some higher power
knew that Jeremy had the strength to somehow stop
some of the bad that was going on. I believe that.
I believe that Jeremy was meant for a higher
What if he hadn't been on that plane? "I'm
not asking that," says Lyz. "I'm not
going there." Wherever that doomed
plane was heading Tuesday morning, it never got
there with its payload of jet fuel and 45 innocent
people. And evidence strongly indicates Americans
owe a debt of gratitude to the citizen heroes
aboard Flight 93.
One of them was 31-year-old Jeremy Glick - the
middle son of Joan and Lloyd Glick of Hewitt, N.J.
The entire family - including a brother who joined
the Dateline interview by phone from Tokyo -
wanted to tell us the story of his life and his
heroic death as a keepsake for his baby daughter
born only 12 weeks ago.
The story began with a phone call Tuesday morning.
His father-in-law, Richard Macklin, answered the
phone at his home in New York's Catskill
Mountains, where his daughter and granddaughter
Emmy were visiting. "We had received a
call from Jeremy as he was boarding the plane at
seven in the morning - 7:30 - to say good morning
to Lyz or goodbye to Lyz," says Richard.
"And the baby had been up all night. We let
Lizzie sleep, so it was a 45 second call, 'have a
good trip' and we'd gone about our business.
Lizzie was sleeping."
Jeremy Glick was booked on Flight 93 out of Newark
bound for San Francisco. The plane departed on
schedule at 8 am. Breakfast was served to 38
passengers by five attendants. They settled in for
the five-hour flight, not knowing what the rest of
us were watching in horror.
A 20-MINUTE CALL
"My son called from Westchester, said, 'Turn
the TV on,'" says Richard. "I turned the
TV on, and the crashes were occurring. I just had
a gut feeling that Jeremy's up in the air, but
hopefully he's gone. And Lyz was up now, and the
news was going on. And I was turning TVs off. I
didn't want Lizzie to worry that something was
going on. I think she knew, or maybe she didn't
want me to worry. And then the phone rings at
about a quarter to 10. And it's Jeremy. My wife
picked up my phone, and she said, 'Jeremy, thank
God, we're so worried.' And he said, 'It's bad
news.' And he said, 'Let me talk to Lyz.' And
that's when they started talking."
What time in the flight did they get the call?
"He said they had been up for about an hour,
and there was some very bad men that had come onto
the plane," says Lyz. "I'm not sure how
long they had been up before the plane was
hijacked. But he said that the men had a bomb and
they had a knife. He said that they were
Arabic-looking men. I think he said they were
wearing red headbands. The description said that
there were three of them. He was very surprised
that these people could have boarded the
Did he say that they were flying the plane?
"He didn't say anything," says Lyz.
"I asked him if the pilots had been in
contact with them to tell them what was going on,
and he said that no contact had been made by the
pilots. It seems that the men had taken over the
plane and had moved everyone to the back of the
plane and kind of left them there."
Jeremy told her he was calling from the plane air
phone. It was a conversation Lyz says lasted for
more than 20 minutes.
So he was free to talk? Or was he trying to speak
surreptitiously? "He was free to talk to
me," says Lyz. "I was a little bit, I
think surprised by the aura of what was going on,
on the plane. I was surprised by how calm it
seemed in the background. I didn't hear any
screaming. I didn't hear any noises. I didn't hear
any commotion. It almost didn't make sense to me,
you know, that such a terrible thing could be
happening, yet what I was hearing in the
background and in his voice was not as bad as what
was really happening on that flight."
There was no hysteria on the ground, either. Lyz's
mom had the wit to dial 911 from another line.
Authorities patched into the call.
"And we ran and got the cell phone and dialed
911 and tried to get a link where Lizzie was
talking to Jeremy and Joanne was talking to the
state police and questions were going back and
forth," says Richard. Who exactly was
on the other end of the phone? "The New York
State Trooper barrack," says Richard.
"I'm not sure - maybe in Kingston, New York,
or something like that where the 911 call
routed." Were they asking Jeremy
questions, too? "They were listening,"
says Lyz. "They had not been able to - I had
heard them tap in, but they were not able to ask
He said there was a bomb? "Yes," says
Lyz. Did he say what the bomb looked like?
"It was something with a red tag around
it," says Lyz. "He was confused by
it." But he seemed to believe that it
was in fact a bomb? "Yes," Lyz says.
Did he ask about the World Trade Center, or did
Lyz bring it up? "He asked me," she
says. "I remember I was standing in the
living room. It was actually right in front of me
on the television. He said, 'Lyz I need to know
something.' One of the other passengers has talked
to their spouse, and he had said that they were
crashing planes into the World Trade Center and
was that true. And I hesitated for a moment
because he was in the air and I didn't want to
tell him something so horrible. What was he going
to do with this information, was he going to go
into a panic? And I just hesitated for a minute,
and I said, 'You need to be strong, but yes, they
are doing that.' He didn't know if they were going
to blow up the plane or if the plane had another
mission." He didn't tell her that one
of the passengers had been stabbed and had already
died? "No," says Lyz.
THE PLANE TURNED OFF COURSE
Was there any talk, any exchange, speculating what
could they be doing, where could they be taking
them? "You know, we were able to ask Jeremy
some questions, and it was guided by that 911
call, and he was able to describe where he
was," says Lyz. "They were still flying
high at the time this happened. They were still
able to see rural landscape. And the plane had
turned. It wasn't going to California."
He knew it had turned? "Yes," says Lyz.
"He felt the plane was circling, and it
wasn't going to California."
He was right. Dateline NBC obtained radar data
showing the path of United Flight 93. A little
more than an hour into the flight, it makes a
sharp turn off course near Cleveland, Ohio. Radio
communication is switched off. Dateline has
also been able to confirm that a new flight plan
was filed from on board, perhaps by a fourth
hijacker - the destination, Reagan International
Airport. The plane was now on a direct course for
"He knew something very bad was going to
happen," says Lyz. "What he needed to
know was what was going to happen. Were they going
to blow the plane up, or was it going to crash
into something else, because that made all the
As Jeremy and Lyz debriefed each other, he was
beginning to see the diabolical plan - that he was
not a hostage, he was strapped to a guided
missile. These high school sweethearts, 1988 prom
king and queen, married five years last month,
brand-new parents, seemed to be saying
farewell. "We said I love you a
thousand times over and over again, and it just
brought so much peace to us," says Lyz.
"I felt the feeling from it. He told me, 'I
love Emmy' - who is our daughter - and to take
care of her. Then he said, whatever decisions you
make in your life, I need you to be happy, and I
will respect any decisions that you make. That's
what he said and that gives me the most comfort.
He sounded strong. He didn't sound panicked, very
clear-headed. I told him to put a picture of me
and Emmy in his head to be strong." So
she was strong for him as he was strong for her?
"Yes," says Lyz. "Neither of us
panicked. He knew that he was not going to make it
out of there. I was focused on making him know
that I was OK."
How did she do that? "I don't know," she
says. "I have no idea. I have no idea how I'm
so strong right now. You can ask my dad, I'm a
very emotional person." Richard says,
"There was a moment when he said they have
the bomb when she panicked. And she went, 'Oh my
god, Jeremy, a bomb.' And then I could hear her
say, 'OK, OK, OK, I'll be strong.' But there was
just that moment, and then she had it, and it was
like a normal conversation in a terrible
A normal conversation? "It was, Jeremy, do
they have automatic weapons? She was asking
questions like I was asking questions? "Yes,
right," says Richard. "And he was asking
questions, and she would say, 'Jeremy, they're not
sure what they want to do. Should they rush the
people, or should they just wait?' It was a
situation -we've got choice A, we've got choice
What did Richard think? "I thought there was
a chance," he says. "While this was
going on, I think we'd turned the sound down on
the TV. And there was, they switched to the
Pentagon, and there was another crash has taken
place while we're on the phone. And we're saying
at least he's not in that one." Lyz
says, "I was doing the same exact
FORMULATING A PLAN
So there was hope that he could overcome it. In
fact, Jeremy and two other men were hatching a
plan in the back of that 757, now a little more
than a half hour from the nation's capitol. It was
a suicide mission, in a way - not to take lives
but to save them.
Another passenger, Thomas Burnett, told his wife
by cell phone that three of them were talking
about "rushing the hijackers."
Jeremy told Lyz they were going to take a vote.
"He was asking me, 'I need some advice - what
to do?'" she says. "'Should we, you
know, we're talking about attacking these men,
what should I do?' And, you know, I was scared
about giving him the wrong information. I didn't
want to do something wrong and have something
terrible happen, and so I asked him if they were
armed. And he said he had seen knives. But there
were no guns. And then I finally just decided at
that instant that, 'Honey, you need to do
it'. "And then he joked. He's like,
'OK, I have my butter knife from breakfast.' You
know, this was totally like Jeremy. And then he
said to me, 'You know, I'm going to leave the
phone here. Stay on the line, I'll be back.' And
then I gave the phone to my dad because I didn't
want to hear what had happened. And I just prayed,
I just sat there and prayed." Richard
A 'SUPERHERO' TO HIS FAMILY
That this son, husband, father, brother and friend
would rise to the occasion comes as no surprise to
the people who watched him grow up.
"When Jeremy was little, he was so obsessed
with superheroes that he would call her Wonder
Woman," says Jennifer.
His nickname was "Green Lantern." It's
eerie almost how well he fit the part he would
grow up to play. "Jeremy won the
Citizens Cup at age 11," says his mother,
Joan. Joanna, his sister, says, "Teddy bear -
just fall into his arms." Jennifer
says, "And he was the biggest, you know, 'big
guy.' He was a big guy, and he liked big
things." Joan says, "He was a
super athlete. He was a judo champion."
But nobody knew he was in harm's way Tuesday
morning. In fact, Joan was absolutely certain he
wasn't - not knowing he'd delayed his trip.
"I drove home, and we passed by a church, and
I said, I have to stop, and I stopped and all of
the sudden I opened the door to the church and all
of a sudden organ music was playing," she
says, "and I knew in my heart he had
And 16-year-old Joanna, the youngest of six
children, is the one who has to tell Jonah - the
oldest brother. He lives in Tokyo, and
because airports are closed, he's still stranded
there. Our telephone hookup was their first
contact. "Hey Jonah. It's Lyz. I can't
wait to see you," she tells him. We sat
with the family and talked for almost three hours,
sharing a lot of good memories, of course, and
some tears. t's just too hard, isn't it?
"I have so much to say," Jed says.
"I spent my life trying to be like him, and
I'm going to keep doing it." Jennifer
says, "You have to celebrate his life - you
can't mourn his death. He lived more in his 31
years than some people live in 100 years, and
that's what we want Emerson to know. We want her
to know how great he was and happy."
Emmy, whose proper name Emerson means strength,
will not grow up knowing her father. But she will
know that he was a hero - that he died fighting.
I've never seen him cry," says Lyz. "And
we had talked about it maybe a couple of months
ago. And I said, 'You know, I've never seen you
cry.' This is before my daughter was born. And the
day she was born, the first time he looked at her,
he had tears in his eyes. And then on the phone
when I was talking to him - when everything was
happening on the plane, he was crying - and that
was the only other time that I had ever heard him
cry. And I'm definitely the crier in our
The last thing Lyz heard her husband say was to
stay on the line. But she couldn't bear to listen
and handed the phone to her father, who did.
"There was no noise for several
minutes," says Richard. "And then there
was screams, screams in the background and so I
said, 'Well, they're doing it.' Another minute,
seemed like eternity, but another minute, minute
and a half, and then there was another set of
screams. And it was muffled. It was almost as if a
roller coaster, the noise that you hear. Then
there was nothing."
Does the family think it's possible that Jeremy
may have saved the White House? "I think so.
I think so," they say.
"What he did and what happened on his flight,
it gave us a glimmer of hope," says
Jared. Joan says, "I think it does that
one person can make a difference, that one person
in this country has the opportunity to change this
world and make a difference." Richard
says, "Jeremy was a patriot."
United Flight 93 was the only one of four hijacked
planes to take no casualties on the ground. Now, a
widow at 31, Lyz says she is not angry and she has
no regrets. "I don't feel like there
are things left undone with my relationship with
Jeremy, you know," says Lyz. "We did it
all, and I don't feel like I've left anything
unsaid to him, and I don't feel like he's left
anything unsaid to me, you know. And I don't think
many people who are so young can say that."
Pennsylvania senators Rick Santorum and Arlen
Specter visited the site of the crash Friday and
said that after examining transcripts of phone
calls made from the plane, they concluded that the
passengers had tried to overtake the hijackers,
and may recommend the Presidential Medal of
Freedom. They believe the intended target was the
United States Capitol.
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