Wife says he to be calm, told her to tell kids he’d it is in homebyRachel O'Neal|September 5, 2021 in ~ 3:12 a.m.

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Deena Burnett Bailey was acquiring breakfast all set for her three young girl in san Ramon, Calif., top top Sept. 11, 2001, when she observed on the news the an aircraft had crashed into the phibìc tower of the civilization Trade center in new York.

Her husband, Tom Burnett, was in new York on business, but she wasn"t instantly worried. Both her mother and also her mother-in-law called, and also she told lock she was sure Tom to be fine and not to panic.

"And then the second plane hit the 2nd tower," claimed Burnett Bailey, a Dermott native. "That"s really once I started to say, "OK, this is serious. I need to number out whereby he is.""

This week marks the 20th anniversary the the terrorist assaults on the United says that left 2,977 people dead, follow to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Two hijacked planes were flown into the human being Trade center in brand-new York, a 3rd crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and also a fourth plane, which Tom Burnett was on, went under in a Pennsylvania field.

Burnett, 38, traveled commonly for occupational as the nationwide director of a dentist implant company, and also Burnett Bailey didn"t constantly keep up through the details of his trips. His secretary always gave Burnett two duplicates of his itinerary -- one he took with him and also one the left at home.

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While his mam was browsing the residence for it, the phone call rang.

"I answered, and I simply said "Tom?" and he said, "I"m on joined Airlines flight 93 native Newark to mountain Francisco, and the airline has been hijacked.""

Burnett Bailey created the trip information top top a dry erase plank on she refrigerator.

"When he stated the aircraft was hijacked, I just kind that stopped and also froze. I perform remember speak to him -- it take it me a while come remember this -- yet I said, "Wow. You yes, really are having actually a bad week." and he said "Can you think this?" He simply sounded favor he was irritated like, girlfriend know, he"s trying to gain home and this is happening and also he was simply irritated.

"He said "I need you to contact the authorities. They"ve currently knifed a guy." and also he said he would speak to me back, and he hung increase the phone."

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Burnett Bailey had no idea who to call and also started thumbing with the phone book. She determined to contact 911. She was an initial connected to regional police, climate the sheriff"s office, then earlier to regional police and also finally the FBI. As she was talking to the FBI, her husband dubbed back.

She called him around the airplane hitting the world Trade facility towers, and he peppered her v questions. Go she understand anything about the hijackers? What did they want? Where room they going? What room they going to execute with United trip 93?

"Both of united state were really calm ~ above the second phone call," she said. "On the very first phone call, he appeared irritated. Top top the 2nd phone call, he was just really calm, especially when ns told him various other planes were being hijacked -- they are hijacking planes under the eastern Coast.

"I told him we don"t know who castle are, and we don"t know exactly how many, and also we don"t understand what kind of planes. And he simply started questioning questions, and also I can hear him relaying that info to the people about him. He was just an extremely matter the fact, and also I remember in ~ one point he claimed "It"s a suicide mission.""

In his third phone call, Burnett said his mam that that was placing together a plan with several various other passengers come take ago the plane. "He stated "Everything is walking to be OK. Don"t worry. We space going to do something.""

She told the the girls -- 5-year-old twins, Halley and also Madison, and also Anna Clare, 3 -- want to talk to him.

"He said, "Tell castle I"ll talk to lock later. I"ll be home for dinner. I may be late." but he was calm. The was an ext quiet 보다 usual, and it simply led me to think he to be thinking around what had to it is in done.

"He never ever sounded afraid. He never said goodbye. He to be just very adamant around helping me to know whatever would job-related out."

She believes she husband thought they to be going come take back the plane.

"I yes, really do. I think if he really felt the this was his end, he would have actually said goodbye, and he absolutely would have talked to the girls," she said. "I additionally think he would certainly have called his parental if he thought this to be goodbye."

During the third phone call, she listened intently because that background noises. She never ever heard anything, but the sound that the engine -- no other voices or conversations. That told her he would contact her earlier after castle retook the plane.

After she called 911, numerous police officers, firetrucks and also ambulances verified up at she house. She to be still make the efforts to acquire the girls ready for school. She remembers the firefighters took her daughters exterior to show them their truck -- something to odor them.

EMTs tried to examine her blood pressure, heart rate, and asked she questions about how she felt.

"I wasn"t having any of it. I simply wanted anyone to leaving me alone," she said. "I was simply waiting because that the phone come ring. The police that had been assigned wanted me to offer them the phone. Ns was like, certain not. If that calls, i am talk to him."

After her husband hung up from the 3rd call, she organized the phone because that several hours waiting to hear his voice again. A fourth call never came. Instead, a police officer that was with her told her there had actually been another airplane crash, and they thought it was she husband"s flight.

"I ran over to the television -- phone in hand -- and saw that they were showing video clip of this crater in the ground," she said. "There was absolutely no authorize that an airplane made the crater. There was nothing, nothing there. Ns realized in ~ that point that there to be no survivors.

"Even though my mind checked out that place, I retained saying, "Did everyone survive? go anyone survive?" and also the policeman just said "I don"t think so. Ns don"t think so." and also I simply kept looking, hope to view some sign of the aircraft in the video clip that lock were sending through the TV.

"And ns wouldn"t put down the phone. I just kept thinking that he would certainly call. He claimed he would call."

United Airlines trip 93 crashed near Shanksville in landscape Pennsylvania, never ever hitting the terrorists" to plan target. There to be no survivors.


Burnett Bailey knew she would need to tell she daughters the their dad to be dead, but she wanted to wait till the next morning -- offering her a opportunity to rest and also gather her thoughts.

Earlier the morning, she referred to as two friends and asked them to take it the girls to school.

"I did not desire them come be surrounded by the chaos all day because I did not know just how it to be going come play out," she said.

After college was dismissed, a friend picked increase the girls and brought them home early on that evening. By the time, there were hundreds of people on her front lawn -- news trucks, satellite trucks, police officers, paramedics, firetrucks, reporters.

"I took them upstairs, and I remember sit on Anna Clare"s bed and the girls were looking out her home window toward the street and asking who are all of these people? Why were they there? What is going on?"

She said she establish she couldn"t wait to answer their questions, fearing someone else would certainly tell them your father was dead.

"I said, "Girls, carry out you remember when I was talk to daddy on the call this morning?" and they said, "Yes. Whereby is Daddy? that is an alleged to it is in home." and I said, "Well, her daddy had a little problem ~ above the plane. There to be some bad people ~ above the aircraft that do the airplane crash. And when that crashed, anyone on plank died, including your dad."

"They started yelling "No! No! No!" among them climbed onto mine lap, and also Madison asked me if we could contact him top top his cellphone. And also I claimed "No. He"s in heaven through Jesus. He"s an angel now." and one that them said "But the didn"t say goodbye." and I explained to them that there was no time to say goodbye and this was not what the wanted. And also he would certainly be right here if it had been his choice, yet it was not his choice.

"We speak a tiny bit about what it intended to it is in an angel, and Madison inquiry if we can send that a letter and if that would get it in heaven," she recalled. "It to be clear they didn"t completely understand what to be going on and what death meant, and they didn"t understand he was not coming back."

To save his storage alive with the girls, she would certainly talk a lot about their father. Throughout dinner, she would certainly tell her daughters they to be eating his favorite chicken dish. Or if they to be driving, she would suggest out her husband"s favorite the shade of blue.

"I would just look for ways for the girl to understand him and also remember the in means that castle perhaps had actually not psychic him."

The family members moved to tiny Rock in ~ the end of June 2002 to it is in closer to she parents. Burnett Bailey waited due to the fact that she want them to complete the school year in California, speak "they"d been through enough."


Burnett Bailey met Tom Burnett in Marietta, Ga. She to be a brand-new flight attendant through Delta Airlines, and he had actually just bring away a job as a regional manager at a dentist implant firm and was searching for an apartment in the area.

She and around 20 the her flight attendant classmates to be celebrating finishing training in ~ a restaurant. He to be there having actually a drink. Her roommate began talking come him and also invited the to their table. The group ended up walking to another bar, and he went with them. Through the finish of the night the roommate provided him all of their phone call numbers.

He ended up calling her apartment and also left a message, inviting Burnett Bailey and her roommate over because that dinner. She dubbed him ago and i agree to meet him at a restaurant. They ended up closeup of the door the restaurant.

It was a long-distance courtship. He relocated twice throughout that time and also was generally required to travel.

"There to be times as soon as I would get off work and get on an plane that he to be on, and also our date would be sit in very first class city hall a movie and also having dinner, and then he would certainly go come his hotel and I would certainly fly earlier home."

They dated practically three years prior to they married April 25, 1992, in ~ a little Catholic church in McGehee. She became a stay-at-home mother when they had actually the pair girls in 1996. 2 years later, Anna Clare to be born.


"One of the points that Tom had been really great at is we had actually talked around what I should do if anything taken place to him, and what he need to do if anything occurred to me," Burnett Bailey said. "One that the things he constantly said is i will need to have help. "And ns think moving earlier to Arkansas to have the aid of your household would it is in the best thing you could do.""

In 2006 she married Rodney Bailey, an insurance certified dealer who has a son, Tanner, native a previous marriage. Lock met v a shared friend and also fell in love.

"That was Tom"s idea too," she said. "I remember conversations that we had about single-parent homes and expectations because that education and experiences that we want our children to have, and also he once said come me if anything ever before happened come me, "Not only would I desire you come remarry, i would suppose you to."

"That made the easier. The made it a lot easier due to the fact that I knew the he want that for the girls and me."

Now, Halley has actually graduated native Pepperdine University with a finance degree and also Southern Methodist University with a master"s in company administration. She functions at a private equity firm in Dallas as an asset manager analyst.

Madison acquired her undergraduate degree at Texas Christian University and her master"s level at Vanderbilt, and also is a decided language pathologist in the Katy Texas institution District.

Anna Clare graduated from Pepperdine v a level in interpersonal communications and is in software sales in Dallas.

"You would never recognize they were children of 9/11," Burnett Bailey said. "It"s not something that comes up in conversation. That is not something lock tell world about. Ns am pretty sure a the majority of their friend know about Tom. However it took them quite a if to uncover out."

The girl remember their father mainly through conversations, videos and photographs, yet they have some unique memories. A couple of years ago, Anna Clare asked she mother around whether among her memories yes, really happened. She recalled she father recording her ~ she sneaked out of bed. She jumped back in bed, traction up the covers and also pretended come snore.

"She said, "I opened my eyes and Dad"s confront was about 5 inches from mine, and I started laughing and also he started laughing, too." and I said, "That in reality happened, and the factor I recognize that taken place is due to the fact that your daddy believed it to be so funny the you were snoring the he come downstairs and told me about it.""

Now, twenty years after 9/11, Burnett Bailey said she is thankful that civilization still want to hear she story.

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"There space times once I read my very own story, and I think, "Wow. I can"t believe I"ve live this,"" she said. "It"s a lot. It"s a lot to lay under at night and also close mine eyes and let that run v my mind -- everything that emerged on the day, whatever that has actually happened in the 20 years since. I think it"s a beautiful reminder that what faith in God and also family and friends deserve to do in her life. I additionally think it is a exorbitant tribute come love in a marriage.

"Even despite my life has actually taken on a brand-new direction and also a brand-new joy, those memory transcend death."