Youngest Victim of 9/11 Almost Wasn't on Plane

Christine Lee Hanson's family originally planned to travel on Sept. 10
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2021 7:00 AM CDT

Eight children were among the 2,977 people who died on 9/11. Christine Lee Hanson was the youngest of them, and NBC News revisits her story. The 2-and-a-half-year-old was on United Airlines Flight 175, which was traveling from Boston to Los Angeles, in what the 9/11 Memorial & Museum notes was her first plane ride. Christine was accompanied by parents Sue Kim and Peter; the trio were headed to visit family and go to Disneyland. That they were on that specific flight "killed me," explains Peter's mother, Eunice. The family had originally been on a Sept. 10 flight, but bumped it a day later due to because of Peter's work as VP of sales for a software company. "For over a year, I couldn’t talk about it," says Eunice.

The NBC piece is as much about Christine—a child who "bubbled," says her grandmother—as the horror of how the day unfolded for them. They received two calls from Peter: In the first, he told his father, Lee, that he thought the plane was being hijacked. Lee immediately called law enforcement and learned a plane had hit the World Trade Center. The couple turned on the TV, then got another call from Peter, who said the plane was about to crash. His last words: "Don’t worry. ... Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" Says Eunice, "We had the television on at the time, and we saw the plane crash into the second tower. Lee hung up the phone and he was never the same." Lee died in 2018. As for Eunice and her own grief, "I have become used to living with it." (Read more 9/11 victims stories.)

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