John Ogonowski grew up on a farm and never wanted to give up that life, even as he pursued a distinguished military and civilian flying career. While a young pilot for American Airlines, John began buying land in his hometown of Dracut, Mass., and eventually developed a second career as a hay farmer. John’s wife, Peg Ogonowski, was a flight attendant at American, and they knew her salary would not be enough to support their three young daughters and keep their farm going if something were to happen to John.
On Sept. 11, 2001, when life happens the unthinkable happened. Terrorists hijacked American Flight 11, commanded by Capt. Ogonowski, and flew it into the World Trade Center. In an instant, Peg found herself at the center of the worst terror attack in the nation’s history, her grief compounded by concerns about how she would manage without John.
The oldest daughter, Laura, then 16, was beside herself with the absence of her father. It is always sad when a family loses a member.
It is a 14 years since the 9/11 attack, however the experience since lives in our hearts and we say thanks to all those gallant firemen and women who were first on the scene, and to those families who have lost a love ones, we say be strong.