Nightly News   |  September 11, 2011

‘If he was still here, what would he think?’

NBC Summer Intern Charlie Greene lost his father on Sept. 11, 2001 in the crash of United Flight 93. He shares what he’s learned about himself and about life since then.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> after this emotional day around the country, we're back here from new york tonight with something of a personal story for us. you're about to hear from a young man named charlie green . charlie was one of our summer interns at "nightly news" and as interns go, he was just like all the others. smart, well mannered with a good work ethic. but we later learned he was different in a big way. he was a 9/11 kid. his father, don, had been killed when united airlines flight 93 crashed in shanksville , pennsylvania. so we asked charlie if he wouldn't mind talking about how that staggering loss had changed the way he looks at life.

>> my father, don green, was on united flight 93 . flying was totally his thing. that's what he did for a living. he was multiaviation industry. his father was a pilot. he learned to fly at 14 before he had his driver's license. it was his passion. he was the one who could have landed that plane. i know in the bottom of my heart if he could have been in that cockpit he would have been and would have landed that plane safely. we've always said the sum of each individual passenger's legacy is nowhere near as great as the influence they had on this country as they boarded that flight and became one and took a tremendous -- premtremendous risk. they acted when it's hard to tell if any of us would have done the same thing. when we go to shanksville , we have to deal with those 40 people who came together and did something so great. and then people wanting to memorialize that action. but we also have to deal with our individual loss. i lost my dad. throughout the past ten years, i've tried to think more of these anniversaries as less of remembering a loss and more of remembering a life. when he was my age, he lost his mother. shortly thereafter, lost his father. so i've always seen his life as a source of courage for me. if he could do it, if he got to where he was, a man that i looked so much up to, then i could get that, too. i've always said that i'd rather have him for the first ten years of my life setting up the foundation for the rest of my life than anything else. and i consider myself so lucky to have had that for the amount of time that i did. one of the things that i like to do is as these anniversaries come and go is to think if he was still here, what would he think of where i am right now. that's been something that's kept me strong. hopefully he'd be proud of where i am, where my family is, and i think he would.

>> our friend charlie green in his own words about his own family's loss. we also got to see charlie today taking part in the ceremony from shanksville , reading some of the names. just one of three somber and simultaneous events on this september 11th day.