Veteran was about to fly on an airplane minutes before terrorist attacks 22 years ago

Jim Ulrich was on a Peoria airport runway when terror struck on Sept. 11, 2001
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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PEORIA HEIGHTS (25News Now) - Where were you on September 11th, 2001? The answer is something the nation still thinks about 22 years after the terrorist attacks.

Three-thousand people died in New York City, Washington D.C. and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Among the dead were 10 Illinois residents, including Charles Lawrence Chan of Peoria Heights, known as “Chip”.

They were all honored in “The Heights” on Monday.

“I remember it vividly. I was getting ready for work and had the TV on,” said Peoria Heights American Legion Post 1111 Commander Scott Corsaut.

“I remember specifically, I was tying my tie getting ready to head out the door to work. I think there was a lot of doubt that morning until we learned it was thankfully over,” he said.

American Legion Post 2 Commander Jim Ulrich said he was on the runway at Peoria International Airport the moment the first plane struck the North Tower.

“We were on the plane. We had left the gate,” said Ulrich.

“We were on the runway waiting our turn to take off when the pilot said, ‘I’ve been ordered back to the gate and I don’t know why.’ Today, we’re bringing that back to the attention of the people,” said Commander Ulrich.

Roses were placed in a bucket with a picture of the Twin Towers on the front. One for each Illinois resident.

“Take time to reflect and vow to never forget,” said Ulrich, crying. “You’ll always be in our hearts.”

“One family. One soul. One people. We are a power of one,” said Corsaut. “We are united. We are America.”