NewsCovering Colorado


Parents of flight attendant killed in attacks: God will judge them for what they did

Kathy Yancey Laborie grew up in Colorado Springs
Posted at 10:15 AM, Sep 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-12 12:43:05-04

Gene and Florela Yancey watched along with the rest of the world as the 9/11 attacks unfolded on television.

"The first plane went into the north tower and I was shocked," said Mr. Yancey. "Then the second plane went into the south tower. That was Kathy's plane United 175."

Their daughter Kathy Yancey Laborie was the lead flight attendant in first class on United Flight 175 leaving Boston for Los Angeles that morning. The five terrorists who hijacked the plane were just steps away from their daughter.

"She had offered them a glass of champagne or something to drink they rejected it," Mr. Yancey said.

The flight took off at 8:14 a.m. from Logan International Airport in Boston. By 8:47 a.m. the flight's transponder code had changed several times.

"When they announced on the TV that flight 175 from Boston was lost and unaccounted for and United was very worried about it I said to Gene, 'That is Kathy's flight. I know it is.' He said, 'How do you know?' I said, 'I know it is. It's the first flight out of Boston.' Right after that, the phone rang and I answered it," said Mrs. Yancey. "It was United and they said she was identified as one of the staff on that flight."

Along with the rest of America, they watched the horrific images after the first plane, American Airlines flight 11, hit the north tower. Then 17 minutes later, United flight 175 carrying their daughter and 64 other people slammed into the south tower.

"It was just horrifying," said Mr. Yancey. "It was something I didn't want to believe or could hardly believe. It was Kathy's flight and that's the way she would refer to it as "her" plane."

The couple believes their daughter did everything she could to stop the terrorists.

"They had to go through her to get to the cockpit," Yancey said.
But she couldn't stop them. No one could stop them. Her life and so many others ended at the hands of evil.

"I can't forgive and I can't forget he took our daughter," said Mr. Yancey.

"God will judge them for what they did which was horrific," said Mrs. Yancey.

It's been 20 years since that horrible day but they want everyone to keep talking about their daughter, keep remembering her, and keep honoring the life she lived.

"When she got her wings at United in Chicago she later received another set of wings from God," said Mr. Yancey.