Winter 2001/2002

A Special Man
Aboard Flight 93
Remembered by a Young Friend

"God Bless America and to those who willingly laid down their lives for this beautiful country!"

by Allan Bushnell III

I met Tom at church one day when I lived in California a couple of years ago. I remember so many little things about him; like the time his kids ran to hug him with a glow in their eyes as he simply told them he was going to take them out to lunch. He was a family man who found his greatest happiness in his daughters and his wife. Tom was the kind of person and father I would like to be in the future!

Tom taught me so many things while I had the priviledge of knowing him. His encouragement to me on my faith throughout my move to Hawaii and carrying on throughout my parents divorce helped me tremendously. I will always remember his advice, and that no matter where I am, God's love is always there with me the same! He reinforced in me to just keep trusting in Him and to keep on making God's name known!

Unfortunately, I will never get the opportunity to have him lead any group for me in my church, but I will remember his advice, which sticks out to me as much as any sermon I have heard ever did!

When I first learned what Tom had done on on Flight 93, I wasn't surprised to hear of his heroism. When all seemed to be lost as their plane was heading for its inevitable end, Tom showed courage and choose to team up with several others and do something to prevent another catastrophic crash into another landmark, possibly killing even more people. Tom made a call to his wife, Deena, explaining what he and the others were about to do in an attempt to preserve lives on the ground shortly before he would lose his own. She pleaded with him to sit down and not bring attention to himself, but he responded, "This plane looks doomed, and some of us are going to do something about it." He then pursued it with conviction and without hesitation.

Tom was a person who didn't worry about himself, but instead, was always there for others. He again displayed this quality even in those last moments before his plane was destroyed, something which all of us can learn from.

I didn't know him as well as others did, but I recognized early on that he was a man who had priorities beginning with his love for God, family, and his work. He truly knew what his trust and his hope was in.



Thomas Burnett Jr, 38 years old, was a senior vice president and chief operating officer of Thoratec Corp in San Ramon, California. He is survived by his wife, Deena and daughters, Madison, 5, Halley, 5, and Anna Clare, 3.
Nobody except the families and friends who lost people in this tragedy will know the pain his family feels, but we can all pray for them and the others who died. God bless America and those who willingly laid down their lives for this beautiful country! May God be with all of us each day as we move forward through these troubling times, not only remembering those who lost their lives in the air, but those also on the ground who too gave their lives so others could live!

I miss Tom and feel an emptiness knowing that he isn't here anymore.The loss of those who were on those flights is not easy to bear or understand, but with each other's help and prayers, we can come together to restore this nation and move on from this tragedy with a renewed sense of hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let us continue to pray for the Burnett family and all who died on September 11, 2001. They leave an void in the lives of their loved ones, but they also leave behind a legacy. Their earthly presence that touched all of us in some special way may have ended at 10:06 AM that fateful morning in a Pennsylvania field, but memories of their courage, like Tom's, will live on.

God Bless, take care, and pray with me continually for peace in our land.


Allan C. Bushnell III is 17 years old and lives in Kamuela, HawaiiI. He is a junior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy
and plans on becoming a radiologist or a psychologist.

A devout Christian, his friends comment on him being a good listener, which is helps him minister to others
when they have trouble or questions on how their faith can be strengthened. Allan says, "My friends and family, and anyone who needs help comes before my own well-being because I know that, through others, I get the strength I need to help myself as well ".

Allan remains highly involved with his faith even though he hasn't been able to find a church that, as he states, is "on fire" for Christ. He hopes that when he returns to California for college he will be able to get involved in a Church near his college that supports youth ministry.


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