'A field of angels'
Author to host book signing in Jackson for memoir on 9/11 and United Airlines Flight 93
June 6, 2013
Lillie Leonardi was one of hundreds of law enforcement personnel, including FBI agents and other first responders who gathered in a field near Shanksville, Pa., only hours after United Airlines Flight 93 plowed into the ground there on Sept. 11, 2001. Like everyone that day, she saw the devastation of the plane crash and the loss of human life.
She also saw what she has described many times as hundreds of angels appear on the field near the crash. Despite the shock of the aircraft crash and the angelic vision, the former community outreach specialist performed her duty along with everyone else sent to the site.
“It took me a moment to get a grip. I sucked it up, and I did what I had to do,” she said in an interview with The Jackson Sun. For 13 days, amid myriad other duties, she served on and off site as liaison between the FBI and the United Airlines Humanitarian Team.
The events of that day became in her mind “a film that repeatedly rewinds and plays back time and time again.” Diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), she retired from her position with the FBI in 2008. In addition to writing books, which sprang from personal journals she started keeping as a part of the healing process, Leonardi is a regular blogger for the website Huffington Post.
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