9/11 ceremony in Cleveland holds deep connection to visiting woman

Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-11 18:17:30-04

On Sunday, the fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, people gathered in Cleveland at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to pay tribute. While the ceremony connected with many, for one woman it hit especially close to home. 

September 11, 2001 is a day that Johnya Cousineau says changed her life. Cousineau is from upstate New York, and just happened to be in Cleveland when she stumbled upon the 9/11 ceremony held at the Soldiers and Sailors monument.

"I stumbled upon the ceremony and I kind of thought it was fate."

Cousineau was actually in the city on the day of the attacks.

She was meeting a coworker in the city, after planning to drive to Connecticut when her plane landed. When she got on a bus the driver told her about the first plane. They thought it was an accident... until she saw the second plane hit the tower. 

"I realized then that this was an attack on our soil. Didn't know who or why or what from but I knew it was an attack and that's scary."

Later that day she found her coworker and drove to Connecticut as they had planned. They listened to everything unfold on the radio. 

Cousineau said during today's ceremony she was overwhelmed with all of the memories that came flooding back to her.

She said that 9/11 will always stick with her, and that it changed her. 

"It makes me realize not to take anything for granted because you never know what's going to happen."