Each year on Sept. 11, neighbors and friends adorn the doorway of 51 Garden St. with flowers, candles, and cards in memory of one-time resident, Sara Elizabeth Low, a flight attendant who went to work as usual and boarded American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles that fateful day in 2001.
Sara, who hailed from a close-knit Arkansas family, loved to fly and was following in the tradition of her father, Mike Low, a pilot. She joined American Airlines in the spring of 1999 in New York before transferring to Boston in the fall of 2000.
Sara was among those on board on AA Flight 11, the first plane to crash into the north tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and after witnessing the carnage aboard the flight, she relayed crucial information to those on the ground, which sounded the first alarm for both the airlines and the government.
The hijackers had quickly gained control of the flight early that morning and released pepper spray or some other irritant in the first-class cabin, forcing the passengers and flight attendants toward the rear of the plane. The hijackers claimed they had a bomb.
In the moments just after the first hijacking, Sara gave her calling card information to her fellow flight attendant so she could place calls from the on-board phone on AA Flight 11. Minutes later, Sara and the rest of the crew contacted the American Airlines office in Boston via an AT&T Airfone to report an emergency aboard the flight.
The first emergency call lasted approximately 25 minutes as Sara calmly relayed real-time information about events taking place aboard the airplane to authorities on the ground while tending to passengers and co-workers at the same time.
According to the information relayed by Sara and the Flight 11 crew, the passengers in coach were under the impression that there was a routine medical emergency in first class. Because of these swift actions and the exchange of crucial information, ground control was able to confirm the hijacking and moved all the traffic out of this aircraft’s way as a result.
For her heroism, Sara Elizabeth Low posthumously received the Association of Flight Attendants’ highest award for safety