The stories of our Run/Walk community members always inspire us. Each participant brings their own personal connection to 9/11 and this event—like Tom Frost, father of Lisa Anne Frost, a passenger on the ill-fated Flight 175. Tom Frost generously agreed to answer our questions about his daughter, life since 9/11, and why he’s chosen to participate in this year’s Nationwide Run/Walk on Sunday, April 25.
Your daughter, Lisa Anne Frost, was extremely community-minded and involved in many causes and charities, and her memory clearly lives on in the associations and institutions with which she was affiliated. How has her generosity affected you since her passing?
Lisa was involved in so many activities and acts of service at Boston University that the Dean called Lisa one of the most recognizable students on campus. When her mother and I sponsored the Lisa Frost Student Lounge in the School of Hospitality, it was well deserved. Lisa was valedictorian in May 2001. Scholarship programs in her name at Boston University and Trabuco Hills High School, the schools she attended, continue to help students. Money aside, all are honored to receive the Lisa Frost Memorial 9/11 Scholarship. In memory of Lisa’s love of feeding the less fortunate, I myself have been working with my church food bank for 18 years.
Tell us a bit about your involvement with the 9/11 Memorial Museum over the years. Why was it important to you to contribute to the Museum’s collection in honor of Lisa?
When I learned Lisa was a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it made me a 9/11 family member. It was not something I ever wanted, but I was up to the challenge to share Lisa’s life with Voices of 9/11 and the world, donating personal items that would help visitors and future generations feel a bit closer to Lisa. I can’t change what happened on that day, but I can make sure I do everything I can to help tell Lisa’s story. I am honored and grateful the Museum has displayed Lisa’s sixth-grade artwork and Brownie Sash with troop #175.
You’ve run in marathons, including the Los Angeles Marathon, to honor Lisa’s memory. What is it about running that makes you feel connected to her?
In February 1982, Lisa watched me run my first of 37 consecutive Long Beach Marathons. She was in a stroller. In 1999 I ran Boston Marathon when Lisa was a sophomore at B.U. Lisa was a volunteer at the May 2001 Boston Marathon. Lisa grew up watching me run 26.2 miles every year. On November 11, 2001, following her death, I finished my 17th year in memory of Lisa. My fellow Legacy runners all wore shirts with her picture on them. Lisa would have wanted me to run it. In April 2002, I was invited and ran my second Boston Marathon with a heavy heart in memory of Lisa and all lives lost on 9/11. She always runs beside me.
You’ve generously started a team for our virtual Nationwide 5K Run/Walk event this year. Have you participated in this event in previous years? What are you looking forward to about participating this year?
This is my first year doing the event, and of course, I have a connection with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The Museum needs support to provide future generations with knowledge of the events of September 11, 2001, and to continue to display the faces and lives of the innocent that were lost. To continue going to schools and community groups to tell their stories, letting people know it was a dark day in history. 9/11 changed the world, but it failed to break us. We recovered and came back strong. I hope to do my part to achieve the 20,000-mile goal for 20 years since 9/11. It is hard to believe it’s been that long.
By 9/11 Memorial Staff