.- When Thomas Burnett stepped onto the ill-fated United flight 93 on September 11th, 2001, the California businessman may have already had a premonition that he was going to do something singularly unique with his life.
Burnett is believed to have led a group of his fellow passengers in overtaking terrorists who had planned to fly the Boeing 757 into the White House. Instead, the plane went down in a rural Pennsylvania field.
Thomas’s widow, Deena Burnett recently told Spirit Daily that prior to that fateful day, her husband had begun to delve much deeper into his Catholic faith, frequenting daily Mass and praying the rosary often.
"I've often thought about the prayers he must have said on that airplane,” she said, “and I think that he was praying to the Virgin Mary…I think that his last prayer would have been a Hail Mary."
A few years before, Thomas had begun skipping lunch to attend daily Mass. Deena told Spirit Daily that "He said, 'I feel like God is calling me to do something, and I don't know what it is. But I know it's going to have a great impact on a lot of people.'”
“The reason I've been going to daily Mass”, he told her, “is because I feel like if I can be closer to God, then I'll know what His plan is for me."
Adding that Thomas frequently talked about what that plan might be, she said that "…to say he was intuitive is an understatement, and I knew if he felt something was going to happen, I better listen to it and trust him. One of the things we brainstormed about was that he thought it had something to do with the White House."
About a year before the September 11th disaster, they both admitted to each other that they had a feeling one of them was going to die young—most likely Thomas. Although they had no idea about the details, Deena says that he “just felt that whatever God's plan was for him, it had something to do with the White House and was going to impact a lot of people."
When the details of the hijacking started to come out, it became clear that Thomas had led the charge to take back the plane. After calling his wife from the plane, his last words to her were a simple request to pray.
Deena said that her husband’s attitude was always one of putting everyone else first, and himself last "and he really lived his life this way," she added.