11 Days of Heroes to September 11th: Brian Sweeney

Image from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Brian Sweeney was a former pilot and instructor for the U.S. Navy and got a job with a defense contractor. On 9/11, his wife, Julie was pulled away from the high school classroom where she was teaching to answer a phone call from her mother-in-law. She was told her husband was on the hijacked Flight 175, which was the plane that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

When she returned to their home, she found a message on her answering machine from Brian, who called on an Airfone from the back of the plane before it crashed:

Jules, this is Brian. Listen, I’m on an airplane that’s been hijacked. If things don’t go well, and it’s not looking good, I just want you to know I absolutely love you, I want you to do good, go have good times. Same to my parents and everybody, and I just totally love you, and I’ll see you when you get there. Bye, babe. I hope I call you.”

Sweeney was a Gulf War veteran and was described as a “warrior” and embodied strength and courage to many.

Image from the New York Times