I am recently retired as a Driver/Engineer from the Santa Clara Fire Department. I have 22+ years as a career firefighter.
I was a volunteer/reserve Firefighter 5 years before I was hired with the City of Santa Clara. I worked for the city for 22 years. I retired with a feeling of some unfinished business.
After a vacation in New York early September 2001, I flew home from New York September 10 early AM. During the flight I saw three middle eastern men across the aisle and one row back from me. We were seated approximately the middle of the plane. As soon as we leveled off and the seatbelt sign went off, two of the men got up. One man went to the front area near the cockpit door and the other went to the rear of the plane. Call it instinct, intuition, FBI profile training, whatever you want, I just knew something wasn’t right. The flight attendant quickly asked the men to return to their seats, one replied “we just wanted to stretch out.” Later I heard that dry runs were done just before the attack to know how much they could get away with.
Over the last 20 years, I continue to feel that I could have or should have done something. No real answers ever made me right about what and who I saw that night on the plane. While I’m driving across the country, I will honor the 343 and say my final farewells to each and every one of them.
My name is Kent Clerk, and yes I have spent my whole life being called “Man-super”. I am an active member of the SCFD Vol/Res Division, with 33 years of service. I am also a USN Vietnam Riverboat Veteran, with 18 months on the rivers between 1968 & 70. Ten years ago, I helped send off the 2011 Bay to Brooklyn ride from Santa Clara Station #2. Age and intelligence says I can’t ride across the US, but I can sure help by being a Support Driver. To me, that’s what being a “Volunteer “ means. The lives of everyone lost on 9/11 have always weighed heavy on me because of my inability to directly support the families and friends. This cross country ride allows me to offer in some way, support for all those lost, and the surviving families. I am proud to help support the “ Ride to Remember”--
SCFD V/R B/C
Retired RF/ Mechanical Aerospace Engineer
SCFD V/R B/C
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