Ex-flight attendant pushes drink cart from Boston to NYC to honor 9/11 friends

9/11: 20 years later
Paul Veneto

Paul Veneto pushes a beverage cart along the Boston harbor, Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021. Veneto, a former flight attendant who lost several colleagues when United Flight 175 was flown into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, is honoring his friends on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks by pushing the beverage cart from Boston to ground zero in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

NATICK, Mass. — The retired flight attendant pushing an airline beverage cart more than 200 miles from Boston to New York City to honor colleagues who died during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks is well on his way.

Paul Veneto resumed his 20th anniversary journey Monday after a night at a Natick hotel. He started his trek two days ago at Logan International Airport. The 62-year-old plans on pushing the cart to ground zero by Sept. 10.

The walk, called Paulie’s Push, will benefit the families of his former colleagues as well as Power Forward 25, a nonprofit that assists people dealing with addiction. Veneto himself is in recovery.

The attacks fueled Veneto’s addiction to the opioids he had been prescribed for a back problem while he continued to work. But the 10th anniversary of the attacks sent him into a tailspin, and he retired.

It took him five more years to beat his drug habit.

Pushing a beverage cart around has been easy compared to what the flight crews experienced on 9/11.

“It’s nothing to push this to New York compared to what they did,” Veneto said. “That 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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