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Senate considers medals for Flight 93 victims

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate is considering honoring the passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93 with a Congressional Gold Medal for taking "heroic and noble action" before the aircraft crashed in western Pennsylvania on September 11.

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"The passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, "recognizing the potential danger that the aircraft they were aboard posed to large numbers of innocent Americans, American institutions, and the symbols of American democracy, took heroic and noble action to ensure that the aircraft they were aboard could not be used as a weapon."

The bill says the passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 757 committed "the ultimate act of selfless courage and supreme sacrifice ... possibly saving countless lives in the nation's capital."

The Gold Medal is Congress' highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements. The first Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to George Washington by the Continental Congress in 1776.

Other past recipients include Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas Edison, Robert F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II.

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