A former United Airlines flight attendant plans to push a full-sized airplane beverage cart nearly 220 miles from Boston to New York City to commemorate colleagues who died during the terrible events of 9/11.
Ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Paul “Paulie” Veneto, 62, plans to push the 30kg beverage cart from Boston Logan airport to Ground Zero in NYC in a fundraising effort to help raise money for the victim’s families.
It is a remarkable feat considering Paulie nearly lost his life to opiate addiction after struggling to come to terms with what happened to his old flying colleagues on 9/11.
“After almost 15 years of numbing myself out from the thoughts of that day, I have finally been freed from addiction since 2015. I can now finally give tribute to my fallen crew members,” Paulie, who had to retire because of the events of that day, says.
“I am doing this because I want these crew members’ families to know how courageous they were that day.”
Paulie says he worked flight UA175 in the months leading up to 9/11 and had worked alongside some of his colleagues who perished that day. “Of course we were all impacted, but us in Boston where these planes left, we were really impacted,” he says.
Flight 175 was hijacked between 08:42 am and 08:46 am. Flight attendant Robert Fangman made a phone call to a United Airlines maintenance base in San Francisco and reported the hijacking, saying that both pilots were dead and a flight attendant had been stabbed.
The plane crashed into the South Tower at exactly 9:02:59 am with the loss of all 65 people onboard (excluding the hijackers).
American Airlines flight AA11 around 15 minutes earlier into the North Tower killing all 92 people onboard. Flight attendants Amy Sweeney and Betty Ong were hailed as heroes for their attempts to alert authorities by making calls to American Airlines throughout the hijacking.
American Airlines flight AA77 was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon, while the passengers onboard United Airlines UA93 managed to revolt against the hijackers resulting in the aircraft crashing into a field in Pennslyvania.
“I want the public to understand that under those conditions that morning, what those crew members did, nobody could have trained for. They really need to be recognized as Heroes. They were the very first First Responders.”
His journey will get underway on August 21. More details can be found here.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.