Madeline Amy Sweeney

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Madeline Amy Sweeney
Born (1965-12-14)December 14, 1965
Valley Stream, New York, United States
Died September 11, 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 35)
New York City, New York, United States
Cause of death Terrorist engineered plane crash
Nationality American
Other names Amy Sweeney
Occupation Flight attendant
Spouse(s) Michael Sweeney (?-2001; her death)

Madeline Amy Sweeney (December 14, 1965[1] – September 11, 2001), known as Amy Sweeney, was an American flight attendant killed on board American Airlines Flight 11 when it was hijacked and flown deliberately into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, as part of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Flight 11[edit]

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.[2] 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').[3] She was feeling low about being at work and missing out on a chance to see their daughter, a kindergartner, off to school.[4]

"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.[5][6]

Sweeney was aged 35 when she was killed. She had been a flight attendant for twelve years. She was survived by her husband Michael and two children, Jack and Anna. They live in Acton, Massachusetts.[1]


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.[7]

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 being thought to have turned the cockpit 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.[citation needed]

At the National 9/11 Memorial, Sweeney is memorialized at the North Pool, on Panel N-74.[8]


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