Rich Galen

After Sullenberger told the flight attendants and the passengers to "prepare for impact" Stiles switched from the Engine Restart Checklist to the Evacuation Checklist. The flight attendants - Doreen Welsh, Sheila Dail and Donna Dent - called for the passengers to get their heads down and brace - but they didn't know that this was going to be an unscheduled water landing.

You know the rest. Everyone got out. Everyone was rescued. The crew has been honored from the Superbowl to New York City.

Here's the point, though. Larry King asked Jeff Skiles if that outcome was "a combination of miracles."

Skiles said, "No. We were doing what we're trained to do."

The cockpit crew. The cabin crew. The controllers. And, in the end, the dozens of boat captains who raced to the scene to get people out of the water, off the wings and away from the life rafts.

Everyone was saved because everyone did what they were trained to do.

Let's see if our elected and appointed officials in Washington, in state capitals, in county courthouses and city halls can do as well.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at