Peg Ogonowski’s late husband, John, was the captain of American Flight 11 — better known as the first plane to hit the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.

“It was that moment of before and after,” said Peg, a former flight attendant. “There was my whole life before and then everything changed. It was a real line in my life that there will always be before 9/11 and after 9/11.”

It took two years before she stopped expecting John to walk through the door of their home on a Dracut, Massachusetts farm. “My mind played tricks on me,” she explained. “(I thought) that it was just somehow a mistake, even though I knew it wasn’t.”

She describes learning about Osama bin Laden’s death earlier this year as “a good day,” adding, “It just didn’t seem right that he was around with all the destruction he caused.”

After losing John, Peg assumed she’d never marry again — but that was before she met Bill Hatch. The two share a love of golf, and he wasn’t intimidated by the thought of being in a relationship with a 9/11 pilot’s widow.

Still, John is never far from her mind, especially when she’s among the blueberry bushes he planted on the farm they once shared together. “When [my daughters and I] go out there to pick blueberries, that is where we feel the closest to John– it’s almost as if his spirit still lives there,” she said.

“I think John would be pleased if he could come back and see the way his daughters have turned out, the way his farm is operated, and even if he could meet the man I married, I think he would say: ‘Well done.’ ”


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