A retired flight attendant has almost finished his quest to honor the crews that were killed on 9/11.
Paulie Veneto, 62 who left Boston about two weeks ago pushing an airplane beverage cart, has arrived in New York for his final miles before he arrives at the site of the World Trade Center, according to his Instagram posts.
“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.
When he entered the Bronx’s Little Italy neighborhood Thursday, greeted by cheers, he spoke with NY1 about how he was getting ready for the nearly 220-mile trek.
He said he started to train a few years ago for his tribute walk by not only getting ready physically, but also learning how to push the cart, which is normally on a smooth carpeted surface, on a varying path.
“The difference here is I knew I was going out on the street and I had to learn how to push this thing in traffic, over railroad tracks, potholes and things like that,” he said.
The cart has images of every airline crew member who died that day.
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.
Veneto calls the trip “Paulie’s Push” and he is doing it to benefit the families of 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.
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