HOUSTON – As the country approaches the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the family of one of the heroes lost on United Airlines Flight 93 continues to tell their story and honor their legacy.
Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas’ father tells KPRC 2 that they will keep her memory alive.
They also share efforts to raise the next generation of Americans so that the world will never forget what happened on that fateful day.
It’s a day America will never forget.
And like thousands of other families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, the Catuzzis will never forget their daughter Lauren.
“She was a skydiver, she was a diver, she skied, she was very, very active, we couldn’t keep up with her half the time. You would have loved her. She had a great personality, ”says Lauren’s father Larry Catuzzi.
Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, 38, returned to California from her grandmother’s funeral in New Jersey. She was three months pregnant and desperately wanted to go home to her husband.
She boarded United Airlines Flight 93 to San Francisco.
That flight, later hijacked by terrorists and diverted towards Washington, DC, eventually crashed into a field in Pennsylvania rather than its intended target killing everyone on board.
But apparently it did not go down without a heroic fight.
“This group of 40 passengers and crew members crashed the cockpit and replaced the terrorists. There was no question about it, a very heroic act on their part because they already knew what had happened in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, ”says Larry Catuzzi.
Larry and his family also knew in their hearts that their daughter was somehow helping on that plane.
They knew she was part of the effort that saved thousands of lives that day.
“I’m sure on the plane, of course, she was one of those very encouraging activists on the plane. She was very calm and gave her cell phone to another passenger who was sitting with her in the aisle so she could call her parents, ”says Larry Catuzzi.
Larry says that 20 years have passed so quickly since the attacks.
Her family has continued to share and honor their daughter’s story by making more than 100 college scholarships on her behalf, donating to Texas Children’s Hospital, and building neonatal units in hospitals across the country including here in Houston.
They also built Lauren’s Garden on Historic Market Square at 301 Milam Street in downtown Houston.
It is a beautiful waterfall with stone elements and was built to honor the nearly 3000 victims who were lost on September 11th.
“It’s a beautiful park, and it’s used by so many Houstonians and people who visit Houston, so we’re very, very proud of it. Twenty years have passed by in a flash to answer your question succinctly, but we are very pleased that we were able to act on Lauren’s behalf, ”says Larry Catuzzi.
The families on Flight 93 have also launched educational programs in high schools across the country, including right here in Houston.
They were created to appeal to the younger generations who died during the 11/11 attacks.
To learn more about Lauren’s Foundation, go to https://lcgfoundation.org/.
For more information on Lauren’s book You Can Do It, click here.
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