20 years after the tragic events on 9/11, a retired flight attendant is remembering those who lost their lives, by making a unique and inspiring journey.
Former flight attendant, Paul Veneto (Paulie), recently left Boston on August 21 and headed for New York. But, instead of boarding a plane, he set out on foot to walk more than 200 miles, all while pushing an airline beverage cart, to honor the flight crews who lost their lives on September 11th.
His journey started at Boston’s Logan International Airport, the departure point for flight 175, that took off the morning of September 11th. Veneto, who became a Flight Attendant in 1981, was working out of Logan International in 2001. Veneto was off on September 11th and watched in shock with the rest of the world as things unfolded.
“I know I was in shock, obviously. When I found out it was 175, I knew them,” he said. “I knew my life at that point was never going to be the same.”
After the attacks, Veneto fell into drug addiction. This year was the first year when he finally felt healthy enough to walk the 200+ miles to New York City. “When I roll that cart into Ground Zero, I’ll be six years off the opioids on that day,” he said.
He plans to reach his destination on Saturday September 11th. “We all recognized what they did that day was very heroic,” Veneto said of his fallen colleagues. “They were the first, first responders of 9/11,” he said, adding that fight crews who lost their lives during the September 11 attacks are sometimes overlooked.
“For 20 years, these kids going to school, no one’s come up to them and said, ‘Your mother is a hero, or your father or your brother, whoever was a crew member, Nobody’s ever said that to them,” he said.
The idea to push a beverage cart came easily, he said.
“I know how important this was, and maybe it was them up there that gave me this idea. I don’t know, something just told me that this is what I had to do,” he said.
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