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Never Forget: Parents honor the memory of a Colorado Springs flight attendant killed on 9/11

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 10:38 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - This Saturday marks two decades since the 9/11 attacks. An entire generation has been impacted by what happened that day. Nearly 3,000 people were killed, including a flight attendant who called Colorado Springs home at one time.

11 News Anchor Adam Atchison sat down with the parents of Kathryn Yancey LaBorie to talk about the grief they still feel and why it’s so important to honor this anniversary. Twenty years later, two hearts are still broken.

“I can’t believe it’s possible,” Gene Yancey said in a somber tone. “It’s just as raw in our hearts as it was almost that day.”

For Gene and his wife Florela, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil is personal. Their daughter Kathryn loved flying. After graduating Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs in 1975, she took a marketing job at an airport in the Denver area.

“She loved that job, and then she decided to go to Florida and the next thing we knew she was going to work for the airlines,” Florela explained.

Kathryn became a flight attendant. Her parents say her friendly personality made her a perfect fit for her job.

“Everybody was her friend,” Florela added. “You spoke to her and you thought you’d known her forever.”

In 1975 she got her first set of wings.

“Her second set of wings when she met God,” Gene said as he sat by his wife’s side. “She had another set of wings given to her, I’m sure.”

Kathryn was the head flight attendant on United Flight 175 on Sept. 11, 2001. Thirty minutes into the flight, terrorists hijacked the plane and crashed it into the south tower. Everyone on board died.

“She lived her life the way she wanted to live it,” Florela said of Kathryn.

Time may have passed, but for many like the Yanceys the memories haven’t.

“I think about her in the morning when I wake up and at night when I go to bed,” Florela stated.

Each year Kathryn’s alma mater at Mitchell High School make sure her memory doesn’t fade. They remember her. Her family hopes that everyone stops this 9/11 to ponder the sacrifice so many American made. It was a somber September morning, a day that changed everything.

“I think remembering 9/11 is something that we never, never need to forget,” Florela said.

Mitchell High School is scheduled to hold an annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony honoring all of those who died on Friday.

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