Jevon Castrillo was just a few years older than his son is now when his world forever changed.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, CeeCee Ross Lyles left this message for her husband and children, including 6-year-old Jevon.
In part she said, “I’m on a plane that's been hijacked. Please tell my children that I love them very much.”
Eighteen years later, Jevon says, “It doesn’t go away.”
CeeCee was born and raised in Fort Pierce where she worked as a police officer for six years, before becoming a flight attendant.
Her aunt said it was a career she always wanted to pursue.
“She gave it her all; it was a dream come true for her,” said Frances Watson.
On that fateful day, and after only about six months on the job, CeeCee was working on board United Flight 93, the plane that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
She was one of many who fought the planes hijackers, preventing an even worse tragedy. Her uncle says their bravery serving as a reminder of how we must live our lives every day.
“As Americans, we are a community and we have to do what they did on Flight 93 September 11, 2001,” said Rev. Dr. Kenneth Mills. “Different nationalities, different ethnicities, different religions but they came together.”
For CeeCee’s close-knit family, the day never gets easier but they look forward to getting the chance to share their CeeCee with the nation every year.
“In her final moments, she was not in a hole crying, fearful. She was thanking God for life, asking God for peace and thinking about her children, sending love to her family and her children and that gives us peace in our heart,” Watson said.
“I definitely believe that her spirit is in me,” CeeCee’s son Jevon added. “Every day I wake up and I strive to be a better dad than I was yesterday and I try to radiate her love to my son in the best way possible.”
On Wednesday September 11, 2019, CeeCee’s family will join the City of Fort Pierce to hold a memorial service to honor CeeCee and all those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.
The memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. at the Liberty Garden located at 600 N. Indian River Drive where a life-sized bronze statue of the Fort Pierce native overlooks the Indian River.