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U.S. News
Lyz Glick: Widow of Flight 93 passenger Jeremy Glick

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

By Cindi Lash, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

To the rest of the world, her husband is a mythic hero, one of the patriots who fought to thwart the hijackers of United Flight 93.

Little Emerson Glick was just 3 months old when her father, Jeremy, died aboard United Flight 93, which crashed in Somerset County. Since then, her mother, Lyz, has vowed to make sure that Emmy remembers her father not just as a hero of a hijacked airplane, but as a man who thought that everything about his daughter was magnificent. (Steve Mellon, Post-Gazette)

But at home in Hewitt, N.J., with her 15-month-old daughter, Emerson, Lyz Glick points to his photograph and talks about everything else she treasured about her husband, Jeremy -- his sense of humor, his observant, confident nature and his absolute conviction that their daughter's every gurgle or coo was extraordinary.

To Lyz Glick, keeping those memories crisp and vibrant as Emmy grows up is as important as one day telling their daughter about the day Jeremy died, leading the battle aboard Flight 93 to take back the plane.

"I don't want to see what her dad did on Sept. 11 as the defining point in his life. The country knows him that way, but the country didn't know him as a father and husband," she said. "He is a real person to me, and that's the goal for her."

Jeremy Glick, 31, used a GTE Airfone to call his wife from Flight 93. After telling Lyz he loved her and needed her to be happy, he spoke of a plan to regain control of the plane. He joked about arming himself with his butter knife from breakfast. Lyz told him, "You need to be strong."

Now it is Lyz who must be strong. On days when she's wanted to lie in bed and weep, she's remembered her pledge to provide Emmy with the happy, secure childhood that she and Jeremy had planned.

"She gets up, so I have to get up. She's a baby, and she doesn't realize the strength she gives me," Lyz said of the energetic toddler with a half-dozen teeth, an endless supply of hugs for their three dogs and a growing vocabulary that includes "Da-Da."

"It's fascinating to watch her, but bittersweet, too," she said. "I can call my best girlfriend and say, 'Emmy took her first steps.' But it's not the same."

For Lyz, time's passage has been "surreal," with last Sept. 11 sometimes feeling like yesterday, sometimes like decades ago. At first, she read or watched every media report about that day and its aftermath. Now, newspapers go unread and her TV remote clicks past reports that are likely to upset her.

"It is my strong belief that, with everything that was going on that morning, Jeremy's plane should never have taken off," she said, noting that Flight 93 was late taking off and could have been grounded. "But I try not to dwell on it. I don't find [anger] productive and I believe, in the afterlife, that the terrorists will have what is coming to them."

In the weeks after Jeremy's death, Lyz, 32, found it difficult to be at home without the man she'd met in high school and married in 1996. In October, she, Emmy and the dogs joined her parents in Kiawah Island, S.C.

She stayed until after Thanksgiving, when her heart signaled her to go home. Now she is striving "to be as healthy as possible" and is raising Emmy in both her Christian faith and Jeremy's Judaism, with help from Jeremy's family.

"This is where he is. It's very comfortable now," she said. "It's a very peaceful feeling that I do have because I believe it's not the end. I know it's not."

Still, first occasions without Jeremy have been bleak.

At Christmas dinner, she left the table after her first bite of beef filet triggered flashes of her meat-and-potatoes-loving husband. Wary of another potentially rocky period between her Aug. 31 wedding anniversary, Jeremy's Sept. 3 birthday and the Sept. 11 observances, she took a quiet trip with friends.

But she is back at work, teaching online classes from her home for Berkeley College in New York. She's shopping again in her old, familiar grocery after briefly switching to a new store, where she learned to stop filling her cart with the gallons of milk, steak and regular soda she used to pick up for Jeremy.

She makes a point not to clutch Emmy too close or to be fearful about trips to New York, although she admits to "driving very quickly" across the George Washington Bridge. With Emmy, she flew to California this summer -- then was shaken when, out of the blue, Emmy pointed to the Airfone and chirped: "Da-Da."

"It was very strange. But I have faith that he's seeing us, that he's seeing it all,' she said. "I know there will be that first question about Sept. 11 some day ... that [Emmy] will hear people talk about him saving the White House or the Capitol.

"But I know my husband's actions that day weren't all about being a superhero, but about trying to get home to us, to her," she said. "That's what I want her to remember."

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