Madeline Amy Sweeney, known as Amy Sweeney (December 14, 1966 – September 11, 2001), was a flight attendant on board American Airlines Flight 11 which was hijacked and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the September 11 attacks.
On September 11, Amy Sweeney was asked by American Airlines to take an extra shift, because the other crew member who was assigned to the position was ill. Normally, she would only work on weekends.
During the hijacking, she used an airphone to call American Airlines flight operations center. She reached Michael Woodward, the manager on duty. She relayed information about the hijackers' seats, and described them as middle easterners. She also reported that two flight attendants, the pilots, and a first class passenger had been stabbed. She reported that the hijackers had jammed their way into the cockpit and that there was mace in the first class cabin, and how they couldn't breathe. She also said that the cockpit wasn't answering their phone. During the last minutes of the call, she said that the aircraft was flying erratically and that they were descending very rapidly.
Sweeney was 34 years old when she was killed. She had been a flight attendant for 12 years. She had a husband and two children, ages 4 and 6. They lived in Acton, Massachusetts.
On February 11, 2002, Sweeney was commemorated in a series of new annual bravery awards initiated by the Massachusetts government. The annual Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery is awarded every September 11 to at least one Massachusetts resident who displayed extraordinary courage in defending or saving the lives of others.
The first recipients were Mrs. Sweeney and fellow flight attendant Betty Ong, who had also relayed information about the hijacking to personnel on the ground. Pilot John Ogonowski also received a posthumous award for turning a radio switch on, which allowed ground control to listen to remarks being made by the hijackers. They were all residents of Massachusetts. Relatives of all three accepted the awards on their behalf.
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