The Book Praise Events The Author

To the families of 9/11 victims,

My name is Lynn Spencer, and I am an airline pilot and a mother of three, and more recently the author of Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama that Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11, which Simon & Schuster released on June 3. I am writing this letter for several reasons. I would like to explain what this book is — and isn’t — about. Also, I want to share my reasons for writing this book.

Touching History is not about what happened on four hijacked flights, or at the Pentagon or the World Trade Center, but rather how certain individuals and groups in aviation and defense responded to the hijackings. It is factual and not dramatized. It is about the human spirit, fear, dedication, and courage of the men and women who rose to the challenge that day. It shares stories that will hopefully bring comfort in knowing that there were so many who tried valiantly to change the devastating outcome of those flights. Through Touching History, I hope also to help our country gain understanding and confidence in our airlines, air traffic system and our air defense community. The book does not contain any gratuitous information and there are no pictures.

You, as the families of the 9/11 victims, have borne (and will always bear) the brunt of the emotional fallout from this national tragedy. I “own” no piece of 9/11 except for the sense of failure that I have felt along with my fellow pilots: 9/11 happened because four cockpits were penetrated. The pilot group, along with controllers and the military, bear guilt for what we could not do on September 11. This is my only ownership, and I realize it is insignificant compared to yours. We pilots have 9/11 stickers on our flight bags that say “Never again…Never forget.” We never will. This book was written to share that air perspective which, to date, has yet to be explored and understood. I began researching this project shortly after the release of the 9/11 Commission’s report, which left me with more questions than answers, and a general sense that it was “not enough.”

It is my greatest hope that this book helps our country heal, but not forget, and promotes a better understanding of what happened on September 11


Lynn Spencer


9-11 Families for a Safe & Strong America



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