ST. LOUIS – A 9/11 survivor is helping prepare flags for installation at Art Hill in September to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. “Never forget” are two words Krista Salvatore will always remember. She was in 2 World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Salvatore is sharing what it means to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“Debris falling, people hanging on the side of the building. It was bad,” she said.
Salvatore was just 22 years of age and in New York City for three weeks of job training when the World Trade Center was attacked.
“I think about it every day. I mean, I think about 9/11 every day it changed my life,” she said.
As she was coming down the stairs from the 61st floor of Tower 2, Salvatore saw droves of first responders rushing up the stairs; fearless of what fate may lie ahead.
“They were rushing up and I just remember making eye contact with them as they were going up,” she said. “I mean, they were going into a burning building. They knew exactly what they were going into and they were determined to try and save lives.”
Salvatore often wondered why was she one of the lucky ones?
“One of the things I heard is, ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ You survived for a reason and I really struggled with that. I thought I’d have to cure cancer just do something really amazing,” she said.
Salvatore is giving back by volunteering her time and shared her story with FOX 2 before helping the group Flags of Valor continue preparing more than 7,000 flags to be placed on Art Hill in Forest Park come Labor Day weekend.
“Every flag has a story. Every one of those people has a family. Just, really, it’s very humbling and puts things in perspective,” she said.
Salvatore’s daughter, Morgan Pusatera, wasn’t born yet but knows what commemorating the events of 9/11 and honoring those who keep us safe means to her mother.
If it wasn’t for the efforts of first responders, Salvatore’s family may have never been.
“I love my mom and I love supporting anything that she wants to do. So this kind of thing makes me very happy that she wants to remember what happened that day and I’m very glad that she’s able to speak about it,” Pusatera said.