Madeline Amy Sweeney

Madeline Amy Sweeney (December 14, 1965[2] – September 11, 2001), known as Amy Sweeney, was an American flight attendant killed on board American Airlines Flight 11 during the September 11 attacks.

Madeline Amy Sweeney
Born(1965-12-14)December 14, 1965
DiedSeptember 11, 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 35)
Cause of deathTerrorist-engineered crash of American Airlines Flight 11
Other namesAmy Sweeney
OccupationFlight attendant
Michael Sweeney (m. 1993)

Flight 11Edit

On September 11, 2001, Sweeney was asked by American Airlines to take an extra shift because the other crew member, who was assigned to the position, was ill.[3] Normally, she would only work part-time on weekends.

On September 11, at approximately 7:15 am, before the plane had taken off, Sweeney made a cellular telephone call to her husband Michael, from the plane (which he deemed to be 'highly unusual').[4] She was feeling low about being at work and missing out on a chance to see their daughter, a kindergartner, off to school.[5] At 8:46 am, Sweeney was on the phone with manager Michael Woodward when the plane crashed into the North Tower. Her last words are reproduced in the box below.

"I see water. I see buildings. I see buildings! We are flying low. We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low. Oh my God we are flying way too low. Oh my God!" (Flight 11 crashes).

Sweeney's last words on the inflight call with American Airlines manager Michael Woodward.[6][7]

At the time of her death, Sweeney had been a flight attendant for twelve years, and was survived by her husband Michael and two children, Jack and Anna. She lived in Acton, Massachusetts.[2]


Sweeney's name is located on Panel N-74 of the National September 11 Memorial’s North Pool, along with those of other passengers of Flight 11.

On February 11, 2002, Sweeney was commemorated in a series of new annual bravery awards initiated by the Government of Massachusetts. 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.[8]

The first recipients were Sweeney and her colleague Betty Ong, who had also relayed information about the hijacking to personnel on the ground. Pilot John Ogonowski also received a posthumous award for having thought to activate the cockpit radio, 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.[9]

At the National 9/11 Memorial, Sweeney is memorialized at the North Pool, on Panel N-74.[10]


  1. ^ "Sept. 11 changed two Acton families forever". Wicked Local. September 9, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Madeline Amy Sweeney Obituary". Boston Globe. September 14, 2001. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  3. ^ Rosen, Dan (September 9, 2011). "Ten years later, 9/11 still resonates in hockey". Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  4. ^ of Investigation, Federal Bureau. "T7 B17 FBI 302s of Interest Flight 11 Fdr- Entire Contents". Scribd Inc. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  5. ^ Lopez, Steve. "A decade later, returning to the scene of something unfathomable". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  6. ^ "Extract: 'We have some planes'". BBC News. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
  7. ^ "Calm as Death Drew Near for Flight 11". ABC News. 21 February 2004. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  8. ^ Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery - EOPS Archived August 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Tangeny, Chris (February 12, 2002). "Heroes' Moment Honors Trio on Flight 11 Will Recognize Courage". The Boston Globe. ProQuest 405443436.
  10. ^ "North Pool: Panel N-74 - Madeline Amy Sweeney". National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2011.

External linksEdit