Asia Cottom lived eleven short years on this earth. Her tragic death on Flight #77 on 9/11 is forever etched in the hearts of the countless people who loved her. But her wise and influential life, her positive attitude, and profound faith in God are her true legacy.
You may love God with all your heart and soul, yet not understand what He is doing. In Asia’s New Wings, Clifton and Dr. Michelle Cottom, along with family and friends, walk beside you, sharing their thoughts and offering compassion to help you come to a place of acceptance, when trying to make sense of suffering great loss. The people in this book have learned to come to terms with what God allows, and are now in a place where they can help heal others. If you have gone—or are going through—the “valley of despair,” you will find comfort and empathy from those who care. You will also find hope and the strength to move forward as you rediscover your life.
What Asia's parents and all those who loved her went through, healed from, and learned will bring comfort and relief to those who travel down the road of loss. Reading and experiencing Asia's story will truly bring healing and life to all who turn these pages.
Clifton and Michelle Cottom live in Prince George’s County, Maryland and they have one son, Isiah. The Cottoms are the co-founders and executive board members of the Asia SiVon Cottom (ASC) Memorial Scholarship Fund.
“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.”-Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City.
When American Airlines Flight #77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, there were three District of Columbia Public School children on board. One was Asia Cottom, 11. Asia, along with her friends, teachers and the other passengers and crew on the plane, died in the crash. In all, 64 people on board and 125 people on the ground were killed.
The response to the 9/11 attacks was overwhelming. Like nothing before or since, this tragedy brought our nation together in grief. As parents of a child killed in the 9/11 attacks, we have been blessed to receive an outpouring of love and caring from people we have never met and probably never will meet. Parents across the nation identified with our loss and reached out to give us support, love and compassion. Aisa's legacy began on that Tuesday morning, but our story has continued to touch people around the world.
In the initial aftermath of the crash, we received hundreds of letters, cards and communications from around the world. This outpouring of love took us by surprise; we did not understand at the time how so many people were affected by Asia's death and how they personalized our tragedy as a symbol of the whole 9/11 event. However, when donations of money began to pour in, we had a decision to make. We did not want to use this money for ourselves, but wanted to honor Asia's memory. We decided that the money would best be used to fund scholarships, given Asia's love of learning.
Today, the Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship is funding college educations for deserving students. We continue to honor Asia's memory with the help of those who believe that "Never Forget" is important for the victims of 9/11 and our country.