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'I'll never forget': NHP trooper recalls how 9/11 inspired him to enlist in Air Force

'That moment changed my life forever'
Posted at 8:36 AM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 12:07:43-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Friday, September 11, 2020, marks 19 years since the worst act of terrorism ever on U.S. soil took place.

Almost two decades after the attacks, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk remembers the day like it was yesterday.

Buratczuk was working at a small airline in Massachusetts, going through his daily work routine.

Until he got a call from his boss telling him to turn on the TV.

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“As soon as I turned on the TV, I saw the plane hit,” Buratczuk recalled.

American Airlines Flight 11 had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City.

“Some of the flights left from Boston, which was just an hour from where we were, and it really just hit home that this attack happened in our backyard,” he said.

Nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost leaving New York City and the nation was left in a state of panic.

“I’ll never forget when it happened. Air travel stopped,” said Buratczuk. “I couldn’t really grasp it right away. That moment changed my life forever.”

The September 11 attacks inspired Buratczuk, and many other young Americans, to join the military and serve our country.

“It had a toll on me and everyone else,” explained Buratczuk.

“Just how dare you," he said of the people that attacked the U.S., "How dare you do that on our soil? [You] come to our country, the land of the free, and do something like this?”

Buratczuk spent four years in the Air Force during the global war on terrorism.

He was stationed in San Antonio, South Korea, and at Nellis Air Force Base, before becoming the public information officer for the Nevada Highway Patrol Southern Command.

On the 19th anniversary of the attacks, Trooper Buratczuk says, it's our job to understand the impact that day had on our country and prevent it from ever happening again.

“I always want to remember the civilians who were killed for doing nothing more than getting up and going to work in the morning,” Buratczuk said.

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“It’s just one of those things you never forget," he said.

"You can never forget. If you forget something like this, down the road, it could be repeated.

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