A tweet posted earlier today reminds us of how lucky we are to enjoy life, to love and to go about our daily tasks every day.
It was just 16 years ago that 19 militants affiliated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the U.S. It marked the most deadly attack ever on U.S. soil. It seems like just last year, as Americans still try to gain their composure each year while this country remembers that day and the thousands who lost their lives.
A passenger on United Flight 175 left his wife a message just minutes before he died. Brian Sweeney wanted to tell his wife Julie how much he loved her.
Phone call from Brian Sweeney, passenger on Flight 175, to his wife pic.twitter.com/bA2uEubRFB
— Prof.Frank McDonough (@FXMC1957) September 11, 2017
I would hope I could be even half as articulate and composed in such a horrific situation. His words will inspire millions for a long time
— John Kim (@johnkim) September 11, 2017
Every 9/11 I try to hold it together but there is always one story that makes me break down. This has me sobbing. RIP Brian.
— Jane Spence (@Fjriderbabe) September 11, 2017
— Cameron Yarde Jnr (@CameronYardeJnr) September 11, 2017
Damn, if that doesn’t give you chills, you better check to see if you have a heartbeat
— robert hanks (@voldvm) September 11, 2017
I’m still stunned–all these years later. Such strength in so many victims.
— Barb Dignan (@barbdignan) September 11, 2017
Mr. Sweeney’s message is displayed at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. All 65 people onboard the flight lost their lives and there’s a still-unknown number who died after it was used as a weapon and flown into the in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
“Hey Jules, this is Brian. Ah, listen… I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked… if things don’t go well, and they’re not looking good, I want you to know that I absolutely love you,” Mr. Sweeney told his wife.
“I want you to do good, have good times, same with my parents. I’ll see you when you get here. I want you to know that I totally love you,” he continues.
“Bye, babe, I hope I will call you,” the message ends.
That call was made about three-and-a-half minutes before the airplane struck the trade center’s south tower. Brian David Sweeney, 38, a former U.S. Navy pilot from Barnstable, Massachusetts, made two phone calls during his last moments on Earth.
Sweeney called his mother, too.
“We assume he was calling from the back of the plane, because he said, ‘They might come back here. I might have to go. We are going to try to do something about this,’ ” Julie recalled in 2004.
Louise Sweeney, Brian’s mother, did not divulge the contents of her message because it was personal, but she did reveal that he told her that he loved her.
Julie has since remarried, apparently with Brian’s blessing.
Excuse me, I need to get a tissue now…
Photo by Robert Giroux/Getty Images