NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Wednesday’s remembrance of the 9/11 terror attacks brought memories, tears and sadness to many people.
But one couple decided to transform the horrors and sacrifice of that day into love and a new life together, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported Thursday.
It was an unusual scene near ground zero. CBS 2 had to get a closer look to figure it out.
“Well, I just … we just got engaged,” Tim Parlatore said, referring to his popping of the question to Andrea Bereck.
It was a moment of celebration after 12 grueling hours of participants getting a taste of Special Forces military training to help raise money for the Green Beret Foundation. It’s called the 9/11 memorial GORUCK Challenge.
“So this is a piece of steel from the World Trade Center 9/11. It weighs about 20-30 pounds and for the past 12 hours we were holding it through all the trekking and traveling, push-ups, crawling, climbing through the Hudson River … going over the Brooklyn Bridge,” Goruck participant Jon Shetrit said.
“It was to commemorate 9/11. We have people here who were there on that day. We have veterans,” former Navy officer Parlatore said.
On 9/11 Parlatore was a senior at the Naval Academy and was deployed to Iraq after the attacks. On his rucksack he wears specially made dog tags in honor of those who died.
“These are all of my friends, classmates, shipmates, teachers, people that I’ve known that have been killed since 9/11,” Parlatore said.
He said the surprise proposal is a step in the healing process.
“I tried to make things a little better here, in an effort to try and take some of the bad memories and replace it with a good memory,” Parlatore said.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless and stunned and so happy, and so happy to spend a life with him,” Bereck added.
While they don’t have a date yet for the big day, Parlatore and Bereck said they dream of tying the knot on the USS Intrepid.
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