Lori's Story: 9/11 Victim's Sister Recalls 'Very Reverent Moment'
Lori Guadagno recounts when the FBI returned personal effects belonging to her late brother Richard, who was aboard United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001.
My name is Lori Guadagno. I was introduced to many wonderful people at the FBI because of the loss of my brother Richard on 9/11.
Richard was my brother, and he was just a beautiful individual inside and out. He worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 17 years. He was a dedicated federal employee. As well as creative, fun, passionate, full of life, and I miss him every day of my life. My brother was on the East Coast in September of 2001. He was there because it was my grandmother’s 100th birthday party, and he was the photographer for that event, which was a huge family reunion. He was the main photographer, so there wasn’t too many photographs documenting that really joyful occasion. Because he had that all with him when he flew back to California.
It was months after the fact, an FBI agent was going up just to see for himself what the site in Shanksville looked like. Behind the chain-link fence that kept everyone out of the impact zone, he saw something and it caught his eye. He knew that it was something that was very important and needed to be retrieved immediately. That it was a federal badge. FBI agents contacted my family.
Other articles were retrieved that were presented to me. They had these rolls of film. They processed approximately 40 prints that were on that, and they also found a barometer that he had purchased that weekend prior to 9/11 that was really important to him. When the FBI came with them, it was a very reverent moment. They brought so much sensitivity and so much respect.
They went through every single piece of film. They showed the canisters. They showed me the barometer and all of its pieces. The way that they did it was just so incredibly caring and respectful. We felt we were part of some sort of a family. And they understood what that loss was like. They understood what Richard’s contribution was to that big-picture story. And they just brought heart in something that just hurt so much, and I will never forget that, and it will matter to me the rest of my life.
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