TODAY   |  November 16, 2013

Erica Hill is #InspiredBy parents of 9/11 victim

Friends of Erica Hill’s turned a personal tragedy into a loving tribute in honor of the son they lost.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> our week-long "inspired by" series on "today." this morning it's erica's turn.

>> i'm excited to have the opportunity to tell you about the people who inspire me. liz and steve alderman. i felt an instant connection when he first met them and in awe ever since. not only the two amazing people i've ever met but the way they managed to turn a tragedy no parent should ever have to experience in a way to help over a hundred thousand people which is even more reason why i just love them.

>> peter was our youngest child. he was extraordinarily affectionate and loving. i mean, he would kiss hi mother in public.

>> he made everybody feel that he cared about them.

>> reporter: peter alderman was 25 years old on september 11th and he was in a meeting on the 106th floor and he was there when the planes hit. in the time it followed, it was really important to live, to find a way to honor peter 's life.

>> we knew that we could do nothing for peter . peter was gone. but if we could take people who had survived an act of terrorism and return them to life, we knew that that would be the perfect memorial.

>> reporter: there is something about liz and steve from the first time i met them that really stuck with me. part of it was the way they turned this terrible tragedy in their family into a triumph.

>> the peter alderman's foundation trained health care workers to treat their local traumatized population.

>> we are operating in two plays in cambodia and north of uganda and the slums of nairobi.

>> a child soldier , patrick, was forced to kill two of his sisters. he spent a number of years in the bush doing horrible things. when returned home, he had awful, awful problems in terms of functioning. today, patrick is really doing well. he is married. he has a child. he named the child after our worker at the clinic.

>> i think liz and steve have caught me it's okay to be angry about something, but it's also so much more powerful to take that anger and to turn it into something good.

>> this is an event that was to change the trajectory of our lives.

>> i always believed that if i lost a child, i would never be able to stop screaming, and you can't keep screaming. you either kid yourself liltly or figuratively or you put one foot in front of the other.

>> i'm inspired by them and their passion and their commitment to not let their son die in vain.

>> when you get involved in something that is bigger than yourself and outside of yourself, no longer grieve all the time.

>> we have had wonderful people who have come into our lives and we know that we really are leaving that mark for peter and that the world is a better place because he lived.

>> they are also involved in the foundation. jane is their cfo and administrative director. what i love what they do they only work in post-conflict structures and the infrastructure there to set up a clinic and they stay for ten years, in that time to get the clinic sets up and then leave and they go somewhere else where they are needed and the cost of returning someone to a functioning life which is their goal is $43.

>> all while honoringing their s son.