06/25/02 11:34 AM
The flight wings of an American Airlines stewardess killed Sept. 11 were worn into battle above Afghanistan
and then presented back to her family by Army aviators at a ceremony here May 21. Sara Elizabeth Low was killed when her
plane crashed into the World Trade Center.Her father, Mike Low, sent her flight-attendant wings to Afghanistan with a
letter to the commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne).
"I ask this favor of you. Would it be possible to have some soldier, some good man or woman carry these wings with them in our
war against terrorism?" Low wrote.
"These wings were pinned on me by our daughter Sara's wingmate and roommate from Boston on the day of her memorial. I wore them that day and to Boston twice as we closed
out our Sara's apartment and her life. I wore them to 'Ground Zero', where the evil invaders of our country and our lifestyle hurled themselves into hell and killed 5,000 innocent
civilians. They are of sturdy medal, having resisted a lot of tears and sweaty palms, without tarnishing. My intent was to return them to Karen, but I want them to travel to the
action first for Sara," Mike wrote. When the letter was read to the "Night Stalkers" of the 160th SOAR, it was Staff Sgt. Mark Baker, MH-47E Chinook crew chief, who stood up and
asked to wear the wings into combat.
"As soon as I heard the letter, I knew I wanted to wear them," Baker said. "I thought it would be an honor, and it was."
Baker said that wearing the wings made the fight more personal, and his fellow soldiers made sure the wings were always
on his chest, pinned to his body armor.
1st Lt. Marie Hatch, public affairs officer, HHC, 160th SOAR (Abn.), said the wings were a symbol of the memory and pride of Sara Low.
That they represented the perseverance and spirit of a father who lost his daughter to fight, and also of the perseverance and spirit of
the American people to fight.
"We took that symbol into the fight, and every day, what it represents inspired and strengthened us," Hatch said.
The wings have now resisted more than tears and sweaty palms -- also the harsh conditions of Afghanistan: extreme weather, harsh
flying conditions, enemy bullets, and Rocket Propelled Grenades, Hatch said. The wings on Baker's chest traveled on more than
20 missions, rescuing, re-supplying, inserting and removing special operations forces. As the wings were returned at the
Fort Campbell ceremony, tears fell. Family, friends, and fellow Night Stalkers mourned the loss of Sara Elizabeth Low,
the victims of the terrorist attacks, and the soldiers who have fallen, fighting back for America's freedom.
Baker returned the wings to Sara's father inside a framed print, signed by each crew
member who flew on a mission with the wings. The plaque read: "Sara Elizabeth Low's spirit
lives on and it is in her memory, represented by these wings, that we find a heightened
sense of purpose, unwavering commitment, and strength to continue to fight for freedom.
Night Stalkers Don't Quit."
In return Low offered Baker a warm hug and handshake, and he removed the picture of
Sara and general's coin he wore around his neck, and placed it around Baker's neck.
"You are heroes in the purist definition of the word," Low said. "You have honored the
memory of these great Americans. You have given us a great gift of brightness in darkened
As Baker and Sara's family met for the first time, he said he couldn't hold back the tears. It
seemed no one could as the ceremony came to an end. Soldiers and civilians alike stood to
honor Sara, the victims of the terrorist attacks, and fallen Night Stalkers, while the words
of "God Bless the U.S.A." hung in the air.
Even in death she fights......Now that was a real RANGER!!!! HOOOAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Rangers, Lead the Way!
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
......and I went......
Edited by ErichRaulfestone (06/25/02 11:45 AM)