Brain Sweeney left a heartfelt message for his beloved wife, Julie Sweney Roth, that she cherishes to this day.
19 years ago today, fear gripped the nation as two hijacked planes were crashed into the World Trade Centre. Although our memories of September 11, 2001, has been tarnished by the devastating attack, people have been honoring the lives of victims every year on this day and cherishing the time they spent on this planet. One of these victims was Brian Sweeney, who was a passenger on the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Centre. Moments before he died, Sweeney left a voice message for his wife which has been forever immortalized at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
Your breath is checked, for a second, reading this. pic.twitter.com/jSgt335PoS— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) September 11, 2017
Flight 175 was en route from Boston to Los Angeles when hijackers took control of the aircraft with 56 passengers in it. Unfortunately, it led to the death of every individual on the flight including Sweeney. Somehow the former U.S. Navy pilot from Massachusetts managed to leave a message for his loving wife, Julie Sweeney Roth, and the final goodbye was made public just a year after he passed away. Hoping to preserve the ardent and heartfelt recording, the museum reportedly built an installation around it and visitors can hear the message through a telephone. Recalling the heartbreaking phone message in 2004, Julia told CNN, "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.'"
The doting wife was not sure if her husband was planning to do something to stop the hijackers or hiding from them while leaving the message, because he ended his message abruptly. "Whether he was doing something or whether [the hijackers] were coming back, I don't know that...It was more speculative than fact as far as why he hung up the phone quickly — whether it's because they were charging the cockpit, or whether they were coming back to where he was and he didn't want to be seen on a phone," she continued.
When you hear the message, one thing that stands out is how calm and collected Sweeney was while recording his voice. Informing his wife of the terrible situation he's in, the 38-year-old says, "Hey Jules, this is Brian. 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. 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. Bye, babe, hope I will call you." This message was recorded just three and a half minutes before the aircraft went down, according to Bustle.
That Brian Sweeney voicemail is amazing, in terms of its grace, courage & selflessness. I am in awe #911Anniversary— The Panic (@Gunntwitt) September 11, 2017
Sweeney also managed to leave a message for his mother Louise but she was not willing to share the details of the conversation with the world as it was too personal to discuss with media, she told CNN. Julie counts herself lucky to have received this lasting message from a man she loved with all her heart. "I was lucky Brian called and spoke to me on that message," she told PEOPLE, adding that she considers the message a gift from her late husband. "He told me what he believed and I grasped onto that with all I had, and I’ve embraced life — I am living it as I know he would want me to do."
Even during the distressing moment, Sweeney made it a point to speak to his loved ones. "The priority to him in those moments were to let his loved ones know that he loved us and that it was okay to move forward and do what we needed to do," said Julie. "Though he believed he would see us again, he wanted us to know it was all going to be okay no matter how it turned out." In the hopes of comforting relatives and close ones of victims who lost their lives during this fateful attack, Julie made the recording public. "There are still times when I cry and I listen to his message. It’s still a part of me and there’s probably still a lot of healing I have to do."
She has since remarried and has two kids. Julie has been volunteering at the 9/11 Tribute Museum, a family-run center that highlights the tales of victims and survivors of the attacks, for almost a decade. It has reportedly helped her heal quite a lot. "Moving forward does not mean you have forgotten your past. I don’t use the word closure, I don’t believe in it, people throw it out there all the time. You don’t ever close the door to something like this," she said, adding, "It’s one day at a time. That’s all this life is, one second at a time."