- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 13, 2001

The pilot of the hijacked American Airlines jetliner that terrorists crashed into the Pentagon was buried yesterday with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, a few hundred yards from his parents' graves.
Capt. Charles Frank "Chic" Burlingame III was a "true American patriot who paid the ultimate sacrifice," said U.S. Sen. George F. Allen, Virginia Republican, who helped persuade military officials to allow the pilot to be buried at Arlington.
Capt. Burlingame was one of 189 persons killed when terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11 the day before his 52nd birthday.
A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, former Navy pilot and 17-year Naval Reservist, Capt. Burlingame was initially denied his own grave at Arlington because he died before age 60, the eligibility age for reservists. Mr. Allen asked President Bush to grant an exemption.
Army Secretary Thomas White overruled the regulations and permitted the burial.
Yesterday, about 500 people civilians and uniformed military personnel attended his funeral in Fort Myer Memorial Chapel. Most then walked behind the horse-drawn caisson to the grave site west of the Tomb of the Unknowns.
A flyover by four jets, including three flown by American Airlines pilots, was canceled because of cloudy weather.
After a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps, the honor guard folded the American flag and placed it atop the wooden casket. Adm. Christopher Weaver presented it to the pilot's widow, Sheri Burlingame, an American Airlines flight attendant.
Concluding the service, Mrs. Burlingame placed a red rose over a bouquet on the casket and blew it a kiss. Then 15 other relatives added roses to the display. Some knelt and bowed their heads.
"Chic was among the very first casualties of this war" against terrorists, said Capt. Michael D. Marks, retired Naval Reservist and friend of Capt. Burlingame.
Capt. Burlingame grew up in Orange County, Calif., and had planned to celebrate his birthday there by attending an Anaheim Angels baseball game on Sept. 12. When he learned he could not get a good seat to the game, he told his wife not to join him aboard the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 77, according to his brother Brad.
Capt. Burlingame is survived by his widow; his daughter, Wendy Pattavina, and her son, Jack; his stepsons, John and Chad Harris; his brothers, Bradley M. Burlingame of Los Angeles and Dr. Mark W. Burlingame of Lancaster, Pa.; his sister, Debra A. Burlingame; an aunt, Mollie Horn of Crystal, Minn.; and an uncle, Wayne Burlingame of Roseville, Minn.
Capt. Burlingame's parents died about three years ago. Several family members walked to his parents' graves after the burial services concluded.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide