LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – On Sunday morning in Lakewood a Colorado woman whose husband died on 9/11 will speak in a church service about choosing love over hate.
Sandy Dahl has tried to live her life that way since her husband Jason died while piloting United Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Shanksville, Penn., after passengers fought back against hijackers on board.
Dahl says that in life “everything can change on a dime and everything did on 9/11.”
Dahl called Jason her “other half.” She told CBS4 she thinks of him every day.
“He was the guy who never met a stranger. He was funny, he was warm. He lived like he knew he was going to die,” Dahl said.
Jason moved up his schedule on Sept. 11, 2001, so that he and Sandy could celebrate their anniversary on the 14th. That led to him being on that plane, which crashed after the hijacking, killing all aboard.
Dahl says she used to have nightmares about what went on on the plane, but she has “put those to rest.”
“I think what happened was pretty close to a miracle. It could have been so much worse. We would have had a memorial someplace else — it wouldn’t have been Pennsylvania,” she said.
In the past 10 years Sandy has attended countless dedications and accepted awards and recognition. She has sewn Jason’s picture on a memorial quilt.
She also runs a scholarship fund to make sure that Jason is never forgotten.
Sandy has learned that remembering can be uncomfortable.
“Sometimes when I’m with my old friends I feel like I’m the little black rain cloud because everybody else has been able to get on with their lives and move on and everybody else has been able to figure out a way to put it out of their mind, but I’m a big reminder,” she said.
The 9/11 widow says she can’t change the sadness, and that her lowest moments come at holidays.
She also told CBS4 she chose not to attend the ceremony in Pennsylvania on Saturday honoring the United 93 passengers and flight crew who were killed.
“I’m going to stay here and hold on to my loved ones,” she said.
Many other members of Jason Dahl’s family did attend the ceremony, including his son Matt, who was visiting the site for the first time.