A retired flight attendant has a trek ahead of him, walking more than 200 miles in the memory of the flight crews who perished on 9/11.
Paul Veneto, 62, is pushing an airplane’s beverage cart as he walks between Boston and New York City in advance of the 20th anniversary of the attacks on America, The Associated Press reported.
“It’s a long way to New York, but I will drag that thing. I will do whatever I have to do to get it there,” he told WFXT earlier this year as he prepared for his tribute walk.
The cart has images of every airline crew member who died that day.
“I look on top of this cart, I see these crew members’ faces, every time my legs hurt, it’s cold, rainy, they’re smiling back at me, the pain goes away,” Veneto told the AP.
He told WFXT that it has bothered him that the crew members aren’t always recognized for being heroes.
“I always thought of the families of these crew members. Holidays would come and their birthdays and especially the anniversary, you know, they weren’t just killed up on an airplane. What they did up there was extraordinary under those conditions. It was unbelievable,” Veneto told WFXT.
“The whole country came together after 9/11 and people don’t realize it started up there. There were trained assassins they were up against, hand-to-hand combat. I can’t even imagine, but what they did was show what America is really about,” he said.
He started his tribute Saturday but was delayed because of Tropical Storm Henri’s drenching of the area, the AP reported.
Veneto calls the trip Paulie’s Push and he is doing it to benefit the crew members who died on 9/11, as well as Power Forward 25, a nonprofit that helps people who are dealing with addiction.
Veneto is recovering from an opioid dependency he said was partially caused by the attacks. He said he used the drugs to numb the memories of that day.
Veneto normally flew the United Flight 175 leg between Boston and New York. He was off on Sept. 11, 2001, when the plane was flown into the World Trade Center’s south tower, the AP reported.
Click here to follow Veneto’s journey.