Encyclopedia > Talk:Madeline Amy Sweeney

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Talk:Madeline Amy Sweeney

The original comment that started this article:

  • "Amy was a wonderful person to work with. She inspired me to enjoy my life, work hard and have fun with my job as an American Airlines Flight Attendant, because it was the best of the best." - Anonymous user

(This comment was moved to the article's discussion section, because it is anonymous and unverifiable. This is the consensus among the Wikipedia users Oliver PEREIRA, Ortolan88 and Eloquence. It is still presented here, with a typographical correction, out of respect for Mrs. Sweeney.)

Other points of debate:

Should this article be moved to the Memorial Wiki (http://sep11.wikipedia.org)?

In favor: Tarquin

Against: Ortolan88, who writes:

Madeline Amy Sweeney played a significant role in the events of the day by communicating with the ground while the attack was going on and an article on her is quite appropriate, as is the discussion of the award in her name. There is also an article on another stewardess Karen Ann Martin who was killed, apparently trying to stop the attacks. The articles on these two, and other airline crew and passengers known to have fought back, definitely belong in the main wikipedia. As it is, both stewardess articles have too much sadness at the loss and too little detail on their roles in the attack. I also started an article on flight attendants because of the discussion here. We should distinguish between people who died in the attacks and people who died playing significant roles in the attacks. Using the talk pages to discuss article contents, I remain Ortolan88

I think we have a lack of historical perspective here, which is only to be expected given how recent these events are, and how . The best thing to do might be to come back to this page & others similar in 10-20 years' time. How many veterans of WWII battles have encyclopedia articles? -- Tarquin 11:01 Jan 24, 2003 (UTC)

Bill Mauldin has one, Lee Marvin, Robert Dole, probably many others. Audie Murphy[?] and Colin Kelly[?], should have one. This lady did brave things, and moreover, useful, significant things that had impact at the time and continue to do so. That feeling of sadness that she died may pass, but I'm betting that the authority and responsibility of flight attendants will still be affected by her actions long into the future. Ortolan88

We should distinguish between people who died in the attacks and people who died playing significant roles in the attacks. -- agreed. -- Tarquin

I support keeping the article in the Wikipedia. I'd never heard of her before seeing this article, but I think that people who do significant things should go down in the history books - and encyclopaedias - so that people can learn about them and benefit from the lessons of the past. I would say that if she has faded from public consciousness in ten to twenty years' time, then that's all the more reason to keep an article on her. Historically significant things are still significant even after people have forgotten them, and encyclopaedias are an excellent way of preserving what mere human brains may lose track of. Furthermore, I'm hoping that in ten years' time, the Wikipedia will have grown so much that people will be more relaxed about how famous a person has to be to be covered... -- Oliver PEREIRA 04:01 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)

I disagree that this person warrants an entry. Are we going to make entries for every fireman, policeman, and person who stopped to help someone on the streets that day? Chadloder 04:03 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)

Just added to article. She was apparently the first to report the terrorist attacks, provided seat numbers and other information on the hijackers that led to link with Al Qaeda. Be as snide as you want, but that doesn't change the fact that she was a big part of the story. Ortolan88


She was not a "big part of the story", and I'm not being snide. I'm pointing out that we need to draw the line somewhere. I'm sure she was a fine person, but I don't think she warrants an entry. She was a brave woman who died doing her job, and I have nothing but respect for her and sympathy for her family. However, unless you want to include tens of thousands of entries for every person who played a part on 9/11, I think you need to draw the line somewhere above her level of involvement. Chadloder 04:46 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)

Snide is as snide does. A big part of the story on that day was the resourcefulness of passsengers and crew in combatting the hijackers. While the government was fooling around and accomplishing nothing (the planes to protect the Pentagon were based on Cape Cod!), private citizens and air crew, using cell phones, initiated such a flurry of activity that by the time the fourth plane was about to head for the Pentagon, passengers and crew rushed the hijackers and sent the plane into the ground. This stewardess was the first in a long chain of people that day who actively and immediately combatted the terrorists. There were several big stories that day:
  1. the attacks themselves
  2. the immediate response, such as described in this article
  3. the rescues and losses.
  4. the government response
If you want to fight irrelevant articles, there are plenty, but this isn't one of them. Ortolan88

I agree with everything you've said. I still don't think each private citizen who did something useful that day needs to have their own article (Sweeny included). This is interesting information, but I think it belongs in a page about 9/11. Chadloder 05:03 Jan 26, 2003 (UTC)

There aren't articles on each private citizen who did something worthwhile that day. There's an article on this one who did something significant. Believe me I don't sentimentalize about it. I'm all for moving the bulk of the 9/11 articles out of the wikipedia, but not all of them. It is history. To move this one out would be confusing the baby with the bathwater. The immediate response of private citizens is part of the story and shouldn't be lost just because it is also a human interest story that lofty folk like to look down on. Ortolan88


The distinction between great people and unimportant people has been dead as long as Aristotle's theory of drama. The only important issue for determining where the article should be placed is whether it is factual. A factual article about a seemingly unimportant person belongs in the main wikipedia. This is not a print endeavor that must prune because of space considerations. The investment in a main article is the same as one in memorium or any other category.

The reasonable analysis of the article is that if it is meant to be biographical, then it should begin with biographical information. When was she born? Were? Where did she go to school? It is no matter if the information is banal. If in truth the contributor could not care about biographical information, then the article should not be named after her. It is an article about an event. It is an addendum to the September 11 story and probably belongs in the Memorial Wiki (http://sep11.wikipedia.org). It cheapens the memory of people such as Ms. Sweeney to treat them as mere appendages to history. the librarian

Well, this can be applied for pretty much for most of the September 11 victims, can'y it? Par example, all of the Flight 93 victims have a biography article of their own. So do quite a few of the Cantor Fitzgerald victims (quite a few of which also have anonymous quotes, etc ). Should'nt these be shifted across as well?? Arno

I have waded through the Cantor Fitzgerald pages and formatted the victim pages similarly to this one, i.e. with anonymous quotes moved to the Talk page as "Tributes and Comments". I have no position on the move to sep11.wikipedia.org, but I am firmly convinced that anything we cannot check / verify with reasonable effort needs to be moved away from the main articles. Let me know if you come across more victim pages with anonymous quotes. --Eloquence 22:34 Jan 27, 2003 (UTC)


Eloquence, you don't think that you're being just a little bit pendantric with changing that reference to the original quote with the page link? Arno 06:23 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I've changed about 30 Sep. 11 pages to use that style, and I intend to use it throughout the 'pedia. It is neutral and unobtrusive. --Eloquence

In other words, no. A similar answer no doubt applies for the question as to whether this is blindly bureaucratic.

BTW, is the punctuation neutral and unobstrusive as well?Arno 06:29 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I don't see anything wrong with the punctuation -- do you? --Eloquence

Yes, there is. Rather conveniently, I have to leave. But do try to spot the spacing problem. Arno 06:42 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Ahh, had I realised the link was part of the above compromise, I'd have let well enough alone. I disagree with the link (in general) but I'll give way on this page. Martin 09:15 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thanks, Arno



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