In September 2001, John Milton Wesley was engaged to Sarah Clark, a 6th grade teacher at D.C.'s Backus Middle School who boarded flight 77 chaperoning children to a National Geographic Conference in California.
More than a decade after her death, Wesley says it's not 9/11 that's painful - it's the day before.
“The 11th I can pretty much get through. The 10th is difficult,” Wesley says. “Because you're thinking about the last things you did. Last night was the football game, the 10th was the last time was the football game, and I remember her telling me I could actually watch the game in the room where she was.”
During a D.C. Day of Service and Remembrance event for 9/11, there are still tears. But Wesley says he's found comfort comforting others and volunteering with seniors and Alzheimer’s patients.
“That was one of the first things I asked Sarah after her passing,” Wesley says. “What is there that I can complete for you. And I've tried to do those things.”
On Tuesday, District leaders urged residents to get involved and give back.
“We as Americans each have a unique role to play, we all have gifts and talents we can utilize in our neighborhoods and communities and I think service is the best way to capitalize on that,” Patricia Evans ServeDC executive director.
Wesley, who 11 years ago was preparing to exchange marriage vows with his beloved Sarah, has taken another vow to continue volunteering in her honor.
“It is what was so important to her,” Wesley says. “Volunteerism and one of the ways I've experienced healing is by volunteering.”
To learn how you can volunteer, click here.