Retired Flight Attendant Walks 200 Miles to World Trade Center in Honor of Fallen 9/11 Colleagues

"I can now finally give tribute to my fallen crew members," wrote retired flight attendant Paul Veneto, who arrived at Ground Zero after walking more than 200 miles pushing an airline beverage cart

Retired Flight Attendant Walks 200 Miles with Beverage Cart to WTC in Honor of Fallen Colleagues
Photo: Paulie's Push/Instagram

Paul Veneto regularly worked the route taken by United Airlines Flight 175, but he had the day off when the plane crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The retired flight attendant, 62, spent the past three weeks walking from Boston Logan Airport to Ground Zero in New York City, pushing an airline beverage cart the whole way to honor his fallen colleagues.

"I'm standing here right now by Ground Zero getting ready to leave and I am a little emotional," Veneto told Today. "I accomplished what I set out to do, but it feels surreal as I walk by these names on the walls here."

After trekking more than 200 miles, Veneto arrived at the World Trade Center at around 1:15 p.m. on Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terror attack that claimed nearly 3,000 lives. He began his journey on Aug. 21, traveling southwest down the east coast to Manhattan, where he joined thousands in honoring the lives lost.

Documenting his pilgrimage on an Instagram account called Paulie's Push, Veneto stopped along the way to visit other flight attendants, first responders and members of local communities.

He was even joined for part of the journey by one flight attendant who tracked his journey on the Paulie's Push website.

Veneto kept the flight crews of 9/11 close to him throughout the voyage by decorating his cart with their photos. "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 Associated Press before his departure last month.

Proceeds from Paulie's Push will go toward the families of his fallen coworkers, as well as the nonprofit Power Forward 25, which helps those struggling with addiction. It's a cause close to Veneto's heart as a recovering opioid addict.

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"That day [Sept. 11, 2001] sent me into a tailspin of opiate addiction that almost cost me my life," Veneto wrote on his website. "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."

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