On this eve of the 12th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our nation, I’d like to share with our Victory Girls readers the story of a little girl named Juliana Valentine McCourt.
Four-year-old Juliana, nicknamed Miss J, and her mother, 45-year-old Ruth McCourt, boarded a plane in the early hours of September 11th, 2001, headed for a much-anticipated mother-daughter vacation to Disneyland. Accompanying the pair, Ruth’s friend of more than ten years, Paige Farley Hackel, unable to reserve a seat on the same aircraft as Juliana and Ruth, United Airlines Flight 175, found a seat on an alternate plane, American Airlines Flight 11. Both planes, carrying hundreds of passengers on each, took off toward their destinations. The trio’s plan was to meet up at Boston’s Logan International Airport, and then on to the Happiest Place on Earth. None of them would reach their intended destination.
Soon after takeoff, both planes, with Juliana, Ruth, and Paige aboard, were hijacked by Islamic terrorists. Paige’s plane was first to strike the north tower of the World Trade Center. The plane flying Juliana and Ruth would follow, the terrorists slamming it directly into the south tower. In a heartbreaking twist, Ruth’s brother Ronald Clifford, attending a business meeting that day, was standing near the World Trade Center, engulfed in the smoke pouring from the first tower strike. He watched helplessly as the second plane, he would later learn, carrying his sister and niece crashed into the south tower.
“I think when I was on the floor saying the Lord’s Prayer…when the second plane hit, just in a strange way maybe Ruth guided me out of there,” he told ABC News shortly following the attack.
David McCourt, husband to Ruth and father to Juliana, who he said was filled with love and a desire for peace, spent many of the next twelve years battling severe depression. In January of 2002, David considered suicide.
“Ruth and Juliana were my life and my passion,” he told an audience at a New London synagogue. “I was going to end it all. If faith could justify taking these two beautiful creatures, I just didn’t want to go on. But something kept me going. It’s been a journey of spiritual awakening to go from where I was. If you don’t have the spiritual awakening, you don’t survive.”
David finally moved on and remarried. But his fight was not over. This past July, 71-year-old David, after having battled metastatic melanoma for years, finally succumbed to the disease. I like to think he’s reunited with Ruth and Juliana now, somewhere above the clouds, in a place where there is infinite love and eternal peace.
In all, eight children were murdered by Jihadists on September 11th, 2001. They are:
- Christine Lee Hanson, 2, Groton, Mass.
- David Brandhorst, 3, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Juliana McCourt, 4, New London, Conn.
- Bernard Brown II, 11, Washington, D.C.
- Asia Cottom, 11, Washington, D.C.
- Rodney Dickens, 11, Washington, D.C.
- Dana Falkenberg, 3, University Park, Md.
- Zoe Falkenberg, 8, University Park, Md.
Rest in peace, Ruth, Paige, little Juliana, and the thousands of others we lost on that horrific day in September. Let us never forget.
And one last thought. To the Obama Administration and its propagandizing media pushing a third war in the Middle East: What you are proposing is aiding and abetting a group of Syrian “rebels” whose ranks include members of Al Qaeda, the very same terrorists who attacked us on that fateful day in September of 2001, taking the lives of Juliana, Ruth, Paige, and scores of other innocent Americans. In my mind, that is nothing short of treason.