They Wished to be on the 9/11 Plane

By | November 16, 2023

[November 16, 2023]  Sometime in early 2002, two Soldiers from my Engineer unit said something that shocked me.  They said that they wished they had been on one of those planes that Muslim terrorists used to kill nearly 3,000 innocents on 9/11.

Several officers and I were sitting around talking about preparing to go to war in Iraq.  This red-haired young man and his friend acted as message runners for me; they stayed close to me in case I needed something.  One of them said something totally unexpected.  All of us stopped talking and looked directly at him.

My operations officer asked the Soldier to repeat what he had just said.  “I wish that I had been on one of those hijacked planes.” And he said it so matter of factly.

We were all curious why someone would say something like that, especially to a senior group of officers, a comment that certainly took courage.  One of my officers asked if they were joking; they weren’t.

I asked for an explanation, not as their commanding officer but simply as a human being with a soul.  Why would someone say such a thing, saying they would want to be on an airplane that crashed, killing all aboard?  I was truly curious until they told me why.

These two very young Soldiers, both maybe 18 or 19 years old, said they wanted to be on those fatal flights because they might have prevented the hijacking. That’s right.  They would be willing to risk it all.  That is one view that was rare and also refreshing.

Were they pulling our collective legs?  I don’t think so.

Seeing young folks who were not the classic cowards we see so often today was uplifting.  They were interested in action, not words.  Good for them.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “They Wished to be on the 9/11 Plane

  1. Eddie Gilliam

    Excellent job. Bravery is a great character to have and not afraid to use it. A soldier in battle in the bible combat gear was a helmet to protect the head, sword for combating the enemies, the breast plate that protect the chest and heart the vital parts. However, the breast plate did not have a back plate to cover the rear..Why. because true soldier don’t run in battle, they keep advancing forward. Are you a soldier or runner 🏃‍♀️. A few good men. No man left behind, aim high. These are the military Motto

  2. Fred Weber

    So many stories and so little time. I have a lot of respect for Gen. S. and those that make comments here supporting all we do to make the world a better place. Sometimes that means simply staying out of trouble and do what you do the best you can do.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. –Plato

  3. Gibbbie

    “I wish that I had been on one of those hijacked planes.” And he said it so matter of factly.

  4. Cow Blue

    Gen. Satterfield sure can tell a story. Quick and to the point. But there is much to this story that is not so obvious. What did he do to follow up? Did he get this kind of reaction from other soldiers? These are the kinds of things I’d like to know more about. Gen. Satterfield, you are a true hero who has been with other American heroes. For that, thank you. So many of us American owe you and our military service members so much. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  5. Maureen S. Sullivan

    CLASSIC Gen. Satterfield. Making a hard point and a lesson that we all need to hear.

    1. mainer

      Yes, indeed. That is why I come to, to read about those things that give hope, to learn, to be entertained, and to be a better person. 😁 Let’s keep this website going by support Gen. Satterfield. As he has noted in the past, he will never ask for money but we can get a copy of his books – listed above at the end of the article – and leave a review on Amazon or wherever you find his books. support him, please.

  6. Jonnie the Bart

    A few years ago, I think Gen. Satterfield mentioned this event. I’m glad he expounded upon it today. Thank you, sir.

  7. Frank Graham

    We are not yet lost. There is hope for our young, even if this was 20 years ago. It shows a glimmer of hope.

    1. Unwoke Dude

      Right Frank, and I hope the youth today pay close attention. But we see how far our educational system has fallen in the last 50 years, and it has entered a death spiral over the last 10 to 20 years. Tear it down first, then rebuild. If you are today a teacher or educator of any sort, then stop the madnss. Better yet, just quit and never come back. We no longer trust teachers. If you are woke, get out of America.

      1. Idiot Savant

        — and Unwoke Dude hits one out of the park with this comment, the best of the day.

    2. Yusaf from Texas

      Maybe is not good enough. If you want to find out more about how to make yourself and others good people, then read Gen. Satterfield’s book “55 rules for a good life” AND you will then find yourself on a better path. That is the way to adopt noble goals. ✔

          1. docwatson

            Hi Lynn, when is your next war movie review? I’m a big fan.

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