How many knew about the black pilot who crashed his plane in Shanksville, PA Sept 11, 2001?
Maybe not his name or history, but just knew that the pilot was an educated black man who was married and a father. The short bio below will bring us all up to date as to who he was. We should all know and care!
LeRoy Homer, Jr.
In September, America marked the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. A tragedy that seems as if it only happened a short while ago. One thing that some people might observe and question is what the impact of 9/11 was on African Americans who bravely gave their lives for our country. The majority of 9/11 media focus has been on white families and white children.
Leroy Wilton Homer Jr. Was an African-American first officer operating the flight that tragically fell in an act of terrorism in Shanksville, PA on Sept. 11, 2001. Pilot Homer’s plane was the 4th attacked that day.
The Long Island, New York native dreamed of flying as a child. He was only 15 years old when he started flight instruction in a Cessna 152. By the time he was 18, Homer had obtained his private pilot’s license. That same year, he joined the Air Force and became a second lieutenant. He served in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield and later supported efforts in Somalia . During his tenure, Homer was named the 21st Air Force Air Crew Instructor of the Year. Homer achieved the rank of captain before his honorable discharge from active duty in 1995.
For his actions on board Flight 93, Homer received many posthumous awards and citations, including honorary membership in the historic Tuskegee Airmen, the Congress Of Racial Equality’s (CORE) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the SCLC Drum Major for Justice Award and the Westchester County Trailblazer Award.
Ironically, Homer was depicted by a white actor in the film, United 93, the drama that told the story of the passengers and crew, their families on the ground and the flight controllers on the day of the attacks.
Homer is survived by his wife, Melodie, and daughter, Laurel.
Time magazine last week published Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience, a photo-rich commemorative edition dedicated to 9/11’s 10th anniversary. No identifiable African Americans are pictured in its 64 pages.
America just does not get it. There are two kinds of sins: sins of omission and sins of permission. Let’s acknowledge and honor LeRoy Homer, Jr. For outstanding accomplishments and heroic deeds. Let’s not permit society to ignore this fallen hero. Please share this message with your family and friends.