A Massachusetts man is honoring the flight attendants on board the planes that were hijacked on Sept. 11 ahead of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Retired United flight attendant Paulie Veneto is pushing a beverage cart from Logan International Airport in Boston to Ground Zero in New York to honor the crew members.
“The only thing I know is I’m going to be in Ground Zero on Sept. 11. I know that deep down in my soul. I’ll carry it on my back,” he said.
Veneto, 62, is using his more than 200-mile journey to raise money for the victims’ families and their foundations and collect donations for those struggling with addiction.
"I pushed one all over the world at 30,000 feet. The difference now is I’m not hitting elbows and knees. Now I’m hitting potholes," he said.
He said his main goal is to pay tribute to those flight attendants who showed unbelievable strength and courage under the worst conditions.
"They were heroes, absolute heroes under those conditions. So, I know that what I’m doing is giving some relief to these crew members' families that suffered for 20 years," he said.
Veneto first spoke with sister station WCVB 20 years ago after he had returned to Boston on United Flight 175 the night before the attacks.
"When you know them close, it's been hard. It’s been real hard," he said at the time.
The horrors of that day started a nearly 15-year battle with opiate addiction that almost ended his life. He has been sober for six years.
"I’m living proof that if you hang on long enough — and don’t quit five minutes before the miracle — that it’s possible," he said.
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