CeeCee Lyles was a mother of four who was living her dream job of being a flight attendant when a sudden event changed everything for her and her family.
Today, the United States of America remembers those we lost 19 years ago in the deadliest terror attack the world had ever seen. September 11, 2001, started out as a normal day for everyone. It was a regular Tuesday with people going about their day, but the scene soon changed into a catastrophe.
Terrorist group Al-Qaeda launched a coordinated attack on the United States at the cost of innocent men, women, and children. Within a few hours, 2,996 people had lost their lives with more than 6,000 injured.
Four passenger planes were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists as soon as they took flight: Flight 11 of American Airlines, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77, a jet and United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as the passengers tried to regain control of the flight from the highjackers. No one survived the crash.
While a few people were lucky enough to hear the voice of their loved ones for one last time, others left their final messages. Among them was a flight attendant Cee Cee Lyles from Flight 93. All she could think of during her last minutes was her family.
CeeCee was one of the 44 passengers and crew members who tried to overpower the hijackers and made the plane the only one which didn't hit the intended target - the US Capitol building. She tried twice to call her husband from the plane, reported The Mirror. Unfortunately, her calls were missed by her husband, Lorne Lyles, who had just come off his night shift and could not answer the phone.
Now, he's left with the heartbreaking voicemail of his wife who loved him until her last breath. In the recording, CeeCee can be heard saying, "Hi baby, baby you have to listen to me carefully. I'm on a plane that's been hijacked, I'm calling from the plane. I want to tell you that I love you. Please tell my children that I love them very much and I'm so sorry baby. I don't know what to say. There's three guys, they've hijacked the plane, we're turned around and I heard that there's planes that have been flown into the World Trade Centre."
"I hope to see your face again, baby. I love you," were her last words.
Remembering his wife's last call back in 2018 and speaking publicly about the events of 2001 for the first time after all these years, Lorne Lyle said, “I stayed away. It was reliving the events all over again,” as he revealed that he hadn't visited the site since the 10th anniversary of the attacks. “It took a lot of time to recover,” reported TribLive.
He recalled his conversation with CeeCee before she boarded the flight and how excited she was to be flying to her favorite destination, San Francisco. He revealed that although he missed the call the first time, the second time he picked it up but couldn't talk for too long.
In the brief conversation that they had, the couple prayed as CeeCee disclosed that they were going to overtake the control of the plane from the highjackers. She said, “Tell the boys I love them. We’re getting ready to do it now. It’s happening!”
The message that Lyle received was one of the only three recordings that the close ones of the victims of Flight 93 received, revealed Robert Franz, a park ranger at Flight 93 Memorial site. “I remember it like it was yesterday. I want to remember, It is her story. It is history,” said Lorne.
The grieving husband then revealed that he has channeled his grief into starting what his wife left. He changed his career like CeeCee from a police officer to a flight attendant for United Airlines.
Becoming a flight attendant was CeeCee's dream. “Part of my grieving process is finishing what she started,” said Lorne. The brave attendant was a mother of four. Jevon Castrillo was 6 years old, just a few years older than his son is now, when he lost his mother. Recalling the incident back in 2019, Jevon told CBS 12, “It doesn’t go away.”
According to Jevon's uncle Rev. Dr. Kenneth Mills, the members of Flight 93 depicted unity. “Different nationalities, different ethnicities, different religions but they came together,” he said.
CeeCee's aunt Frances Watson recalled her as a brave soul who in her final moments "was not in a hole crying, fearful." Instead, she was thanking God for everything that he had provided her with.
Jevon believes that his mother's spirit is still with him and as “every day I wake up and I strive to be a better dad than I was yesterday and I try to radiate her love to my son in the best way possible.”
Every year the City of Fort Pierce holds a memorial service for her right next to where her life-size bronze statue stands, overlooking the Indian River, which was installed in 2003.