Man pays tribute to 9/11 crews by pushing bar cart


The purpose of his trip, called Paulie’s Push, is to recognize the crews of the four 9/11 flights.

BRAINTREE, Mass – A former flight attendant who lost several colleagues when United Flight 175 was transported to the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, pays tribute to his friends on the 20th anniversary terrorist attacks pushing a Boston Airline beverage cart to Ground Zero.

Pushing a cart is familiar to Paul Veneto, 62, who spent 30 years as a flight attendant for five different airlines.

Flight 175 was his scheduled flight. He had landed in Boston the day before and 9/11 was his day off, he told the Patriot Ledger of Quincy. He was helping a friend build a concrete wall at the time of the attacks and didn’t even know at first that the second plane to hit the towers was his scheduled flight.

When he found out, “I was in shock,” he said. “I wanted revenge. I was angry and I knew there was nothing I could do.”

The purpose of his trip, called Paulie’s Push, is to recognize the crews of the four 9/11 flights. “They were the first responders. They were heroes. They were absolute heroes,” he said.

The trek will benefit registered nonprofits of the families of 9/11 crew members and Power Forward 25, a nonprofit that helps those struggling with drug addiction.

The Veneto knows this struggle all too well.

The attacks fueled his addiction to the opioids he had been prescribed for a back problem as he continued to work. But the 10th anniversary of the attacks sent him into a free fall and he retired.

It took him five more years to overcome his drug addiction.

He has been training for the approximately 350-kilometer walk since October, pushing the cart around his hometown of Braintree and Quincy, up to 26 kilometers per day.

His journey began on August 21.

He lost 30 pounds and quit smoking. He received training advice from Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray, two-time Stanley Cup champion Kevin Stevens and Becca Pizzi, a Massachusetts woman who five years ago completed seven marathons. in seven days on seven continents.

It’s been a struggle, but pushing a beverage cart was easy compared to what the flight crews went through on 9/11.

“It’s nothing to push this to New York compared to what they’ve done,” Veneto said. “This thing will end up in New York if I have to carry it on my back.” I know they would have done the same for me.

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