NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA) — Sept. 11 is a day that evokes strong emotions across the nation; hitting a little too close to home for some in Arkansas.
John and Heather Hudec lost two people on this day in 2001, one was a woman who graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
But instead of just remembering her today, this couple is helping build her legacy.
“The smoke, the confusion, everything going on … I just can’t imagine the horror that those people had to go through,” said John Hudeck, who lost a friend during the 9/11 attacks.
It’s these moments that rocked our nation on Sept. 11, 2001.
“It was fairly emotional, and it still is every year,” John said.
Eighteen years later, Americans are still feeling the impact of the two planes that crashed into the Twin Towers in New York.
“Sara was on one of the first planes,” he said. “She was a stewardess on one of the first planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.”
John Hudec is the owner of Boar’s Nest in Rogers.
He and his wife are donating a portion of Wednesday’s proceeds to the Sara Low scholarship program at Batesville High School.
“She was always nice to everybody,” said Heather Hudec, who knew Sara Low for years. “She was the girl that had the smile that lit up the room.”
Heather graduated both high school and college in Arkansas with Low; one of the many people who died in the 9/11 attack.
“It was probably 2:30 that afternoon that we got the phone call that Sara had actually been on the plane,” she said. “It hit really really close to home. You know? You don’t think about something that happens in New York City really affecting small-town Arkansas.”
It’s not just Low the couple thinks about on this day.
Heather’s husband John lost a friend who was working inside the “Windows of the World” restaurant, which sat on top of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
“James was a great guy, and he knew his business. He and I had a lot of long conversations about wine. We enjoyed doing that a lot,” he said.
While it’s a hard scene to think about, Heather said it’s important to remember the kindness shown the day after the tragedy.
She said, “Try to remember where we were at on Sept. 12, when we were all banding together and nobody cared about where you were from, what religion you were, and just trying to be as kind as possible. Give back as much as you can. We decided this was a small way that we could give back.”