September 11 Speakers

"Witness to History" Presenter Biographies Navigation


Thursday, September 9 (5:00 PM-6:30 PM)

“A Monumental Task”: The Military and Civilian Air Response on September 11, 2001

Richard Kettell—Senior Air Traffic Control Manager, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center (Cleveland ARTCC)

On September 11, 2001, Rick Kettell was the senior FAA official in charge of Cleveland ARTCC, the busiest air traffic control facility in the world. When news of multiple hijackings reached him, Kettell established a command post at the facility and actively monitored the flight path and altitude changes of Flight 93—even hearing radio messages accidentally broadcasted by the hijackers. Kettell has since retired from the FAA, but remains active in teaching managers at the FAA Learning and Leadership Institute.

Retired Lt. Col. Kevin Nasypany—Primary Mission Crew Commander, Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS)

When Major Kevin Nasypany arrived at NEADS command in Rome, NY on the morning of September 11, 2001, he was preparing for a scheduled NORAD exercise. As word of hijackings reached NEADS, the exercise was quickly abandoned and Nasypany became responsible for scrambling fighter aircraft to defend United States airspace. Today, Nasypany is retired from the United States Air Force and New York Air National Guard and lives in Florida with his wife.

Benedict Sliney—National Operations Manager, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

On September 11, 2001, Ben Sliney began his first day as the FAA’s National Operations Manager, although he had 27 years of experience in air traffic control and FAA management. When the scope of the terrorist attacks became clear, Sliney made the decision to land every plane in the air over the United States—the first time in US history that such an order had ever been given. Sliney later left the FAA to practice law and appeared as himself in the film United 93.

Friday, September 10 (3:00 PM-4:30 PM)

A Field of Honor Forever: Creating the Flight 93 National Memorial

Henry Cook—Retired CEO, Somerset Trust Company

Henry Cook was the CEO of Somerset Trust Company for more than 30 years, including on September 11, 2001. Following the crash of Flight 93, Cook served as a juror in the second round of the memorial design selection, led Somerset County’s Flight 93 fund drive, and was a commissioner on the Federal Commission for the memorial. He is currently the president of the Somerset Volunteer Fire Department and works with the 9/11 Trail Alliance.

Gordon Felt—Brother of passenger Edward P. Felt and President of the Families of Flight 93

On September 11, 2001, Gordon Felt’s eldest brother, Edward P. Felt, lost his life aboard United Airlines Flight 93. During the development phase of the Flight 93 National Memorial, Gordon served as a member of the Flight 93 National Memorial Federal Advisory Commision, President of the Families of Flight 93, and member of the Flight 93 National Memorial Executive Committee. Today, Gordon is a retired special educator living in central New York with his wife.

Donna Gibson—President, Friends of Flight 93 Board of Directors

Donna Gibson is the president of the Friends of Flight 93 Board of Directors and also serves as a volunteer ambassador for the National Park Service. Her involvement with Flight 93 National Memorial began a decade ago and led her to take on a leadership role with the memorial’s non-profit partner. She is serving her final year as president of the board of directors, but will remain a member of the board after her term as president ends.

Carter King Laughlin—Senior Vice President, National Park Foundation

King Laughlin began his work at the NPF in 2007, when he led a national capital campaign to fund the construction of Flight 93 National Memorial. This campaign succeeded in raising more than $40 million from over 110,000 individuals and corporations. In addition to Flight 93 National Memorial, Laughlin has worked on campaigns to raise funds for the National Museum of the United States Army and Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens.

Paul Murdoch—Architect, Flight 93 National Memorial

Paul Murdoch is the founder and president of Paul Murdoch Architects, a Los Angeles-based firm that specializes in sustainable architecture. The American Institute of Architects honored Murdoch and his wife Milena as “Architects of Healing” for their role as designers of Flight 93 National Memorial. Today, Murdoch and his firm continue to design public infrastructure projects in Los Angeles.

John Reynolds—Chairman, Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission and Founding Board Member, Friends of Flight 93

A longtime employee of the National Park Service, John Reynolds served as the chairman of Flight 93 National Memorial’s Federal Advisory Commission and was a founding board member of the Friends of Flight 93. He was deeply involved in all aspects of the Commission’s work, including establishing the boundary of the memorial and creating the memorial’s design. Today, Reynolds serves on the boards of the Fort Monroe Authority and the Chesapeake Conservancy.

Sunday, September 12 (10:00 AM-11:30 AM)

“Large Plane Down!”: First Responders to Flight 93

James Broderick—Patrol Trooper, Pennsylvania State Police

James Broderick was working the 7:00am-3:00pm shift at the Somerset station of the PA State Police. When Flight 93 crashed, Broderick was the first state trooper to arrive on the scene. He retired from the PSP after 25 years and is currently the police officer for Salisbury-Elk Lick School District, as well as a part-time Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Kevin Huzsek—Paramedic, Somerset Area Ambulance Association

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Kevin Huzsek and his ambulance crew responded to reports that a commercial airliner had crashed near Shanksville. Huzsek was the first paramedic on to arrive at the crash site and quickly determined that there had been no survivors. Today, Huzsek is a paramedic with Boswell Fire Department and is also a police officer for Somerset Borough Police Department.

Rick King—Assistant Chief, Shanksville Volunteer Fire Company

On September 11, 2001, Rick King was at his home in Shanksville when he heard Flight 93 approaching and felt his front porch shake from the impact. King ran to the fire station and drove a fire engine to the crash site; he was the first fire officer to arrive on location. Today, King still lives in Shanksville and is employed at Snyder of Berlin.

Sunday, September 12 (12:30 PM-1:30 PM)

“A Crime Scene”: The Flight 93 Crash Investigation

Roland Corvington—Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC), Federal Bureau of Investigation

Roland Corvington worked in the Pittsburgh Field Office of the FBI on September 11, 2001 and was attending a training session when he learned of the ongoing terrorist attacks. He received word that a plane had crashed near Shanksville, PA and drove to the crash site, where he served as the senior FBI official. After retiring from the FBI in 2010, Corvington served as the Assistant Vice President and Director of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness for Saint Louis University and was a commissioner on the Board of Police Commissioners for the St. Louis County Police.

Wells Morrison—Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation

On September 11, 2001, Wells Morrison worked in the Pittsburgh Field Office of the FBI. He was one of the first FBI agents to respond to the crash of Flight 93 and served as the Deputy On-Scene Commander during the crash investigation. Morrison retired from the FBI in 2002 and currently works as the Director of Security for a golf and residential community in South Carolina.

Last updated: December 16, 2021

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