On Saturday, Tom Burnett Lane in Pleasanton was decorated in honor of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The street is named after Tom Burnett who was chief operating officer of Thoratec Corp., based in Pleasanton. He was also a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked and crashed just outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania on 9/11.
Flight 93 was originally headed to San Francisco when members of al-Qaeda hijacked the plane and rerouted it toward Washington D.C. It’s believed that the hijackers were targeting the U.S. Capitol building.
Burnett is credited with leading a passenger effort to take back control of the plane. Evidence from the plane suggests that they were successful in breaching the cockpit, but the hijackers purposefully crashed the plane early before they could regain control.
Tom Burnett Lane runs along the Thoratec Corp. headquarters where Burnett worked. Pleasanton citizens started decorating the street in 2003, and since then, it has become a tradition to honor the heroism of Burnett.