Repaying Our Heroes, Public School Records Revealed
On January 15, 2009, a US Airways jetliner with 155 people aboard lost power in both engines after taking off from La Guardia Airport. Unable to return to La Guardia, the experienced pilot decided to avoid densely populated areas and directed the plane to the Hudson River. That wise decision led to an emergency landing in the icy water and subsequent rescue of all individuals aboard, including a baby. New York Governor David Paterson invoked the movie “Miracle on 34th Street” when describing the incident, noting that this pilot “without any engines, was somehow able to land this plane, and perhaps without any injuries to the passengers.” Aviation experts upheld the pilot’s maneuvers as skillful and brave.
So how does the public school that educated the pilot over 40 years earlier repay our hero? It honored him not with a plaque, but with the publication of his academic records. According to Fox News, the pilot’s school records appeared online a day after the crash and rescue, including a childhood photo, testing history, and IQ. The release of this information was no doubt unexpected and perhaps unwanted. Given the pilot’s age (he is in his late 50s), one might have imagined that his school records would remain obscured, hidden in some warehouse or long ago discarded. But such obscurity was not meant to be and some privacy claims may be undermined by his newfound fame. A hero’s welcome this is not. But all is not lost for our hero, President-elect Obama invited the pilot, his family, and crew to today’s momentous inauguration.