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CoastLine: Melodie Homer on how losing her pilot husband on 9/11 shaped her life's work

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https://leroywhomerjr.org/about/leroy-homer/
First Officer LeRoy Homer fought to save United Flight 93 from terrorists on September 11, 2001. His widow created an eponymous foundation to help underrepresented youth find their way into aviation.

First Officer LeRoy Homer fought terrorists on United Airlines Flight 93 after they stormed the cockpit. While the hijackers intended to direct the plane towards Washington, D.C., they could not disable the autopilot function. So they sent the plane plunging into a Pennsylvania field, killing everyone on board. LeRoy Homer's widow, Melodie Homer, has allowed her grief to shape her life's work, which includes improving aviation safety and helping underrepresented young people fulfill their dreams of flying.

When Melodie Homer settled on Wilmington, NC as her family’s new home, she was looking for a pace a bit slower than New Jersey. Being close to the beach was a definite boon. In Wilmington, she and her children could start a new chapter.

Her foundation, the LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation, is named after her late husband, who died a hero on September 11, 2001. He was First Officer on United Airlines Flight 93. He fought terrorists after they stormed the cockpit. While the hijackers intended to direct the plane towards Washington, D.C., they could not disable the autopilot function.  So they ultimately sent the plane hurtling into a field at 563 miles per hour into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Everyone on board was killed.

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Melodie Homer launched her foundation just one year after she lost her pilot husband in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

On this episode of CoastLine, Melodie Homer talks about lessons she’s learned over the years from what is, for most, an unimaginable tragedy. We find out what she’s learned about the effects on her daughter, the mission of her Foundation, now the multi-generational legacy of LeRoy and Melodie Homer. And we discover why she is so passionate about helping underrepresented young people with a dream to fly.

Melodie Homer, President and Founder, LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.