When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

10 September 2006

In Memoriam: Michael Robert Horrocks

As part of The 2,996 Project, bloggers around the world are marking the five-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by writing memorials for the victims of the attacks. Bloggers sign up for the project and are assigned, at random, a person to profile.

Today at enrevanche, we remember Michael Robert Horrocks.

michael robert horrocks family
Michael Robert Horrocks with family:
wife Miriam, children Michael and Christa

Michael Horrocks was born in 1963 in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. He attended Hershey High School and West Chester University (where he was quarterback of the college football team), then served as an officer (a pilot, and, later, a flight instructor) in the United States Marine Corps, where he was known by the congenial nickname, "Rocks."

On retiring from the Marine Corps, Michael was hired by United Airlines.

On September 11, 2001, Michael Horrocks was the First Officer (co-pilot) of United Airlines Flight 175, a regularly scheduled flight from Boston's Logan Airport to Los Angeles.
According to news reports confirmed by a family member, Horrocks called his wife before the plane took off and joked that the pilot--Victor Saracini--was "some guy with a funny Italian name."
Source: United Airlines Flight Attendants Association 9/11 Memorial

While we will never know exactly how or when Michael Robert Horrocks died, it is an absolute certainty that he was not at the controls when his plane struck Tower 2 of the World Trade Center at 9:03 AM on September 11, 2001. United Airlines Flight 175 was carrying 56 passengers (including the five hijackers) and nine crew members, making a total of 60 actual human beings; all died.

Michael Robert Horrocks is survived by his wife Miriam, and his children Michael (Mick) and Christa, as well as an extended family and a network of professional friends and colleagues around the world from his time in the military and in the airline industry.

At Michael's funeral, he was remembered as an avid outdoorsman, a proud family man, a quiet but intense Marine and professional pilot, and a man who could always be trusted to do the right thing.

His brother Bill remarked,
[Michael's] word was as good as gold. If he said he was going to do something you could be 100% certain he was going to do it. He never took himself too seriously, always allowing his friends and family to poke fun at him or make him the butt of the joke. He had a quiet confidence, a coolness that everyone admired and gravitated towards. He always handled pressure with ease and was ready to step up to any challenge, but rarely issued one.
And here, from the family web site, is a poem that Christa Horrocks wrote for her father.
About Daddy
by Christa

Daddy was a great man.
He was such fun to play with and be with.
I know he’s watching over us in heaven and he’ll be there until we join him one day.
I’m glad Daddy taught me all those nature things. Because Daddy’s everywhere.
He’s in the trees, the ground, the sky, the leaves, the ocean and the air.
I can breathe Daddy in with a big deep breath.
Daddy made me feel happy and playful.
He would want all of you to be happy and playful too.
When Daddy was away, he would send us big hugs through the phone.
Now we want to send Daddy big hugs ! HUGGGGGG!
And we love you up to the moon and back!
A trust fund has been established for his children:

Christa and Michael Horrocks Trust
c/o Commerce Bank
3609 Winding Way
Newtown Square, PA 19073


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