Remembering Amy

Remembering Amy

Alicia Curran and her father, Aram Jarret, are pictured with a sketch of Amy Jarret. Amy died aboard United Airlines Flight 175 on Sept. 11. (Breeze photo by Lauren Clem)

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Amy Jarret knew how to travel light.

The 28-year-old flight attendant loved to travel, often jetting off to faraway locales like Hawaii and Australia in between her regularly scheduled routes from Boston to California. When she traveled with family, she often joked about their bulky luggage, teasing them as she held up her own small bag.

“She always said that was the best way to travel. To travel light,” said Alicia Curran, Amy’s sister, during an interview at her North Smithfield home last week.

Amy was killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers crashed the United Airlines plane where she was serving as a flight attendant into the second tower of the World Trade Center. Twenty years later, her family said the loss is still sometimes hard to bear.

“They never found, of course, anything of Amy’s,” said Curran. “We never believed that they would.”

Next Monday, Sept. 13, the town will commemorate Amy’s life during a service at the North Smithfield memorial site on the corner of North Main Street and Victory Highway. Organizers said they hope to remember a woman who gave so much to her local community along with all those who lost their lives on Sept. 11.

Amy, the daughter of Aram Jarret and Marilyn Trudeau and stepdaughter of Bruce Trudeau, grew up in Woonsocket before moving to North Smithfield in her 20s. Her sister and father said she was active in the theater and pageant communities growing up, working behind the counter at the Stadium Theatre and competing for the title of Miss Teen Rhode Island.

Amy attended Mount Saint Charles Academy, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and participated in the drama club. She graduated in 1990 and went on to study marketing at Villanova University, though her father, Aram, said it wasn’t the only college that had a special place in her heart.

“She loved football. She loved Notre Dame,” he said, adding she used to travel to Indiana for games.

Upon graduating in 1994, he said, Amy found herself in a tough job market and began working as a flight attendant for American Airlines. Her family said she was perfect for the job, with a friendly, helpful demeanor and a knack for organizing and planning. She later took a job with United Airlines, where her coast-to-coast schedule allowed her to spend time at home with her family on the weekends.

“She had a wonderful sense of humor. She would come back with stories,” Aram said.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Curran was at home with her newborn son, Cade, when she learned of the first attack on the World Trade Center. While she was rocking and feeding her baby, she said, she watched the second plane crash into the tower on TV.

“I can remember sitting there with my baby and saying, ‘What a beautiful morning.’ Puffy clouds,” she recalled.

Aram, who now serves as North Smithfield’s municipal court judge, was in Old Saybrook, Conn., for a meeting of the New England Association of Chiefs of Police, where he served as legal counsel at the time. A group of participants, he said, were sitting and watching the news in a communications van when the second plane hit the tower.

“While we’re sitting there watching live, the second plane came into the screen on our view and flew into the second tower. I had no idea I’m watching my daughter die,” he said.

After they learned from Amy’s boyfriend that it was her flight, Curran said, the rest of the day was a blur. That evening, United Airlines sent representatives to Aram’s house in North Smithfield to confirm her death.

In the years since, the family has made several trips to Ground Zero in New York. The hardest visit, Curran said, was less than a year after the attacks, when the site was still a hole in the ground. More recently, she has brought her sons, Cade, 20, and Declan, 18, to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum so they can learn about their aunt’s legacy.

“They have no memory of 9/11 other than what we have told them and talked about Amy,” she said.

This weekend, the family will visit New York for a special 20th anniversary commemoration of the attacks. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony is only open to families, and Cade will participate in reading the names of the victims, Curran said.

Both Curran and Aram said they think schools should have more discussion of 9/11 so that the legacy of individuals like Amy is not forgotten by the next generation. While much of the world has moved on from the attacks, Aram said the families of the victims are still seeking to gain closure. Those believed to have planned the attacks are still awaiting trial in Guantanamo Bay, and the Jarret family is one of hundreds that have filed a lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia, accused of funding the operation.

“That’s stuff that’s leftover that people don’t realize is still going on,” Aram said.

Today, Amy is remembered in a memorial stone at the North Smithfield intersection and a scholarship in her name at Mount Saint Charles Academy. Curran said she sees Amy in her children, both of whom bear a special connection to the aunt they never got to know.

“She was there when my son was born, and then my second son, he was born on her birthday. All I have to do is look at them,” she said.

Aram said he often thinks of Amy when he sees a young girl playing or riding her bike. Both Aram and Curran said they’re glad the town is gathering on Monday to hold the memorial service, which they plan to participate in after they return from New York. In that way, they said, Amy’s legacy continues.

“That’s why we commemorate her on 9/11. That’s a way for us to acknowledge that she’s no longer here,” Curran said.

“In that sense, Amy’s still alive,” Aram added.

The memorial service will take place at 6 p.m. at the corner of North Main Street and Victory Highway. Participants are asked to park in the Slatersville Plaza parking lot across the street.

To donate to the Amy Jarret ’90 Memorial Scholarship at Mount Saint Charles Academy visit at tinyurl.com/y8y6kvew .

Comments

I was a business school classmate of Amy's at Villanova and I remember her very fondly. She was so well liked and respected at Villanova. I think of her often and I looked for her photo at the 9/11 museum. If you haven't been there, please go. God bless Amy and her family and thank you for this fine tribute.