Personal Stories Connect Military Community to 9/11

Personal Stories Connect Military Community to 9/11

(L-R) Master Sgt. Bubba Beason and Kathleen Santora while on active duty in the Middle East.

The 9/11 Memorial maintains strong ties with the military community. Ahead of the upcoming five-day Salute to Service in honor of Veterans Day, we highlight two stories from the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s oral history collection that show how the events of September 11, 2001 and the ongoing legacy of the attacks are intertwined with the personal stories of some who serve in the United States military.

Kathleen Santora enlisted in the US Army nearly one year after her brother, FDNY firefighter Christopher Santora, was killed in the line of duty on 9/11. She wanted to do something in response to the attacks, and began her military service the day after the first anniversary. Listen to a segment from Santora’s 2011 oral history where she reflects on how her decision to serve was her personal tribute to her brother.

Master Sgt. Bubba Beason was serving as an airline mechanic in the US Airforce on 9/11. He has made it a personal mission to make sure that those who serve in the Middle East have a tangible reminder of "why we are there" by transporting World Trade Center steel to Afghanistan. Listen to Beason discuss the power of the World Trade Center steel in an oral history that took place in 2010, before his seventh deployment to Afghanistan.  

By Jenny Pachucki, 9/11 Memorial Content Strategist