Remembering 9/11 and LeRoy W. Homer, Jr., or The Recovering Attorney’s American History Moment

LeRoy W. Homer, Jr. a name I will readily admit I have never heard uttered on television, radio or seen printed in the MSM— that is not until this morning.   Allow me to introduce (or for some Dear Readersre-introduce) you to this September 11, 2001 American Hero.

LeRoy W. Homer, Jr. (August 27, 1965-September 11, 2001), was the First Officer of United Airlines Flight 93, the aircraft that was hijacked and crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

Homer grew up on Long Island, New York where he always dreamed of flying.  He was 15 years old when he started flight instruction on a Cessna 152.  Working part-time jobs after school to pay for flying lessons, he completed his first solo flight at 16 years old and obtained his private pilot certificate at the age of 18 in 1983.

In 1983, Homer entered the United States Airforce Academy as a member of the class of 1987.  Upon graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Airforce.

He served in Operations Desert Storm and Shield and later supported operations in Somalia.  In 1993, he was named the “Twenty-First Air Force Aircrew Instructor of the Year.”  Homer achieved the rank of Captain before his honorable discharge from active duty in 1995.

LeRoy W. Homer, Jr. continued his career by joining United Airlines in May of 1995.  On September 11, 2001, Homer was flying as First Officer with Captain Jason M. Dahl on United Flight 93, which was hijacked by 4 terrorists while in flight from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco.

The aircraft was crashed by the terrorist only after the crew and passengers gallantly tried to regain control (“Let’s Roll”).

For his actions on board Flight 93, LeRoy W. Homer, Jr. received many awards posthumously, including honorary membership in the historic Tuskegee Airmen.  Homer is survived by his wife Melodie.   The couple married in 1998 and their daughter Laurel was born in 2000.

Homer’s wife and family in his honor have established the LeRoy W. Homer, Jr. Foundation.  The Foundation honors LeRoy’s love of flying by encouraging and financially supporting young women and men with an interest in flying.

*On an interesting note, in  the 2006 film, United 93, the part of LeRoy W. Homer, Jr. was portrayed by the white actor Gary Commock.

*I did not see the film United 93.  In an attempt to verify an astounding and incredulous misrepresentation of the facts ( a white actor portraying LeRoy Homer) surrounding the ill-fated flight, I attempted to locate a photo of the actor Gary Commock.  I was unsuccessful.  However, I did locate a picture of  B. Gugshahe (sp?), the actor who portrayed Homer in the 2006 television version of United 93.  B. Gugshahe is an actor of color.

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