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Raleigh man and 9/11 ‘hero’ displays on how assaults formed his life

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — The 9/11 terror assaults thrust Cary native John Cerqueira into the nationwide highlight after he helped carry a lady in a wheelchair down 68 flights of stairs within the north tower of the World Commerce Heart.

On the 20th anniversary of the assaults, Cerqueira mirrored on the occasion that modified the course of his life and helped him reevaluate his priorities.

“I cared, a lot much less about monetary rewards or skilled success and standing than I did relationships and that grew to become actually my focus, relationships,” Cerqueira advised ABC11’s Steve Daniels in an interview.

Cerqueira was 22 years previous and a current NC State College graduate dwelling in New York Metropolis in 2001.

The nation hailed him a hero for serving to carry Tina Hansen to security on 9/11.

He appeared in Folks journal and on the Oprah present.

“Going by all of these completely different interviews was a very good alternative to simply flesh out what I assumed and what I felt,” Cerqueira mentioned. “It began serving to me course of, the place I slot in the entire expertise as much less of a sufferer and even psychologically, anyone who was much less susceptible to survivor’s guilt.”

The fear assaults prompted introspection and produced classes that Cerqueira makes use of now to information his life.

“The chance afforded to us to give attention to anyone else’s well-being, was releasing, and it truly was calming and made us extra highly effective, and it actually began this realization for me that we’re most fulfilled once we serve different individuals,” he mentioned.

Cerqueira lives in Raleigh along with his spouse, Melissa, and their 9-year-old daughter, Hannah Grace.

He defined how his private journey after 9/11 now helps information different individuals in his work at a gross sales coaching and administration teaching agency.

“While you cease specializing in what you get, your issues, your wins, it is truly a possibility to be just a little extra free and extra fulfilled,” he mentioned. “It is a guiding message that I exploit each day to reorient me once I’m feeling just a little off-kilter.”

FULL SPECIAL: Remembering 9/11 Twenty Years Later

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