Widows accuse Pa. congressman of stalling air-safety law

Jennifer Fitch, Herald Mail Media

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Two widows of airline pilots who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks charge that a simple solution to increase flight safety is hinging on cooperation from Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania.

The husbands of Ellen Saracini and Melodie Homer were flying United Flight 175 and United Flight 93, respectively, when they were hijacked by terrorists.

Now, the women accuse Shuster, R-Pa., of holding up legislation that could potentially deter someone from trying to storm a cockpit.

The nation repeated “never again, never again” after September 11, 2001, Homer said. “In the years since then, it seems the promise we were given has been forgotten,” she said.

Saracini lives in Bucks County, Pa., where her congressman, Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, has introduced H.R. 1775 [to read H.R. 1775, please click here] that would require airlines to install “secondary barriers” in planes.  Read More »

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Special dog unites 9/11 victim’s family, TSA agent

By Theresa Juva-Brown Lohud.com

TSA agent David Wills and his explosive-sniffing dog Riverso attend the annual Joe Riverso memorial at Stepinac High School. Photo Carucha L. Meuse, The Journal News

TSA agent David Wills and his explosive-sniffing dog Riverso attend the annual Joe Riverso memorial at Stepinac High School. Photo Carucha L. Meuse, The Journal News

Saturday was a special day for the family and friends of Joseph Riverso, who died on September 11, 2001.

Not only did they remember Riverso during a memorial football game at Stepinac High School, they met the Transportation Security Administration canine, “Riverso,” named in his honor and the dog’s caretaker, TSA agent David Wills. The yellow Labrador retriever is trained to detect to explosive material and was part of a TSA program to name its special canines after 9/11 victims. Joseph Riverso, 34, worked as bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center.

Maria Riverso, Joseph Riverso’s sister, called Wills an “extraordinary individual” for driving from Indiana to White Plains last weekend to finally meet them after first reaching out two years ago.

“We all felt meeting Dave was like meeting up with an old friend,” she told The Journal News.

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Medal awarded to honor brother killed in 9/11 attack

Blue Mountain Eagle

Gerry Iken of Prairie City has been honored with a replica Congressional Gold Medal, commemorating the loss of his brother, Michael Patrick Iken, in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The U.S. Mint recently prepared three original gold medals, one for each of the sites hit on Sept. 11, 2001 – The World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Penn. – in accordance with the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act. The originals will be placed at the memorials at each location.

Duplicates were given to family members of those lost on 9/11.

Iken, who teaches history at Prairie City High School, said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden selected him to be a recipient in recognition of his attempts to teach his students about the events of 9/11.

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