Son shares memory of parents passing in Flight 93 attack


ALTOONA,Pa. (WTAJ) — One man who lost two family members in the attacks on 9/11 shares memories in which he’ll never forget.

Hamilton Peterson from Bethesda, Maryland is the son of a couple who sacrificed their lives on Flight 93. For the 19th year in a row, the name of Petersons’ parents were read aloud followed by a moment of silence at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. He says “it was a bit of an unusual experience in that historically, the 9/11 anniversaries at Shanksville where Flight 93 crashed have been quite populated.”

This year he visited the memorial with his son Payton who he says reminds him of his father – an intelligent man… And one who held a full life. Peterson adds “ironically, he had speculated in previous years that he thought his time might be near.”

On their way to a family reunion in Yosemite California, Donald and Jean Peterson arrived at the Newark airport early. “They were originally scheduled on a flight that I believe was 45 minutes later,” says Peterson.

Being 45 minutes early put Donald and Jean on a flight that went down in history. The Petersons and 38 other souls are the heroes who made the decision to sacrifice their lives to save many others. Peterson says “when we think of the heroes, both at the Pentagon and also at the World Trade Center, they were people who gave their lives to save strangers and that is the kind of America that I know. The unity and the respect for fellow humanity, and to me, that’s another tribute to our country, especially in these difficult times.”

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