Project 2,996: Linda Gronlund

2009 September 11
by lurker1






Linda Gronlund

September 13, 1954 – September 11, 2001

Linda Gronlund, Greenwood Lake, N.Y., was a passenger on United Airlines flight 93 bound for San Francisco on September 11, 2001. As one of the 40 passengers and crew on that flight, she was among the few killed that day who had some understanding of what was about to happen.  She placed a call to her younger sister, Elsa, leaving her the message that they had been hijacked by terrorists and that she knew about the World Trade Center planes.  Part of the transcript of this message relates what is likely the feeling of many on Flight 93 and captures the tragedy of that day:

 “Mostly, I just wanted to say I love you … and … I’m going to miss you … and … and Please give my love to Mom and Dad, and … mostly, I just love you and I wanted to tell you that… I don’t know if I’m going to get the chance to tell you that again or not…  I love you and I hope that I can talk to you soon. Bye”.

Linda was an accomplished sailor, scuba diver, car mechanic and gardener, but had a particular passion for with cars. For her high school graduation in 1972, she built a car with her father: a maroon, fiberglass car on a Volkswagen chassis that looked like a Lamborghini but still had a VW engine. She called it the “Aardvark.”   In college she studied to be an oceanographer and graduated magna cum laude from Southampton College of Long Island University with degrees in English and Marine Chemistry.  After law school at the American University in Washington, DC., she worked with a private law firm, but she soon combined her legal career with her passion for cars by joining Volvo’s North American office, and by 1990 she had moved to BMW North America.  She ultimately became a manager of environmental compliance in BMW’s engineering department.

On September 11, 2001, Linda Gronlund was traveling with her boyfriend, Joe DeLuca, to celebrate her birthday two days later with a vacation tour of California vineyards. Many of her friends and co-workers believe that she might have been among the heroic passengers that diverted Flight 93 away from potential targets in Washington, DC.  United Airlines Flight 93 was the only aircraft that failed to reach its intended target due to the actions of its passengers. The plane crashed in a field in near Shanksville, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, 150 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.

Whatever her role that day, she was there at the moment when the cowardly tactics of the terrorists ceased to ever be effective again.  She was 46 years old.

8 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 September 11 10:08 am
    justrand permalink

    great tribute, lurker1

    Linda Gronlund was there at the moment when the terrorists were finally confronted with Americans who knew the score. And the result, though tragic for the loss of Linda and so many others, was a victory for America! God bless her, and all the heroes of thst flight. They saved countless lives in our capital, and let our enemies know that we will never again go quietly.

  2. 2009 September 11 10:13 am
    janzam permalink


    Enjoyed reading your comments by this woman who appeared to “love life” so much.

    It is indeed sad to remember those who had so much before them, cease to exist because of someone else’s ideology of what is “right” and “wrong.”

    Thanks for remembering Linda Gronlund!

  3. 2009 September 11 10:14 am
    INC permalink

    That phone call–just grabs at the heart.

  4. 2009 September 11 10:40 am
    janzam permalink

    I’m glad, though, that this woman had an opportunity to reach out to a loved one, when she sensed she might not be disembarking from that flight alive. When you’re allowed to consolidate your truest thoughts, in final moments, that is a good thing.

  5. 2009 September 11 10:46 am

    Im done reading/viewing these for today. Cant take it anymore. See everyone tomorrow.

  6. 2009 September 11 10:57 am
    justrand permalink

    Eph Rove, if you can, please come back at 6…we’ll have an open thread then. And there are several other threads up now you could comment on.

    jus’ sayin’ 🙂

  7. 2009 September 11 3:25 pm
    TLS permalink

    What a precious gift that message must have been to her family!

  8. 2009 September 11 3:31 pm
    JustMary permalink

    I cannot imagine making or getting that call. So painful for both, but you know how when someone dies those left behind always wish they could have said goodbye? Theirs is a rare gift.

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