Brain Sweeney left his beloved wife, Julie Sweeney Roth, a heartfelt message that she cherishes to this day.
Tragedy struck the nation on September 11, 2001, when two planes were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Centre. Today, even after 18 years of the devastating attack, people are still in horror just thinking about the number of people who lost their lives during the attack.
And every year people remember these victims and cherish their life on earth. One among them was Brian Sweeny, a passenger on the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Centre. His final voice message to his wife has been forever immortalized at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
https://t.co/eBguDz5am7 I saw this on her this morning. Sounds like she has had great times after such tragedy. She’s remarried and has 2 boys.— Danielle (@Dani_Dambrino) 11 September 2019
The voice message was made public a year after Sweeny, a former U.S. Navy pilot from Massachusetts, sent it to his wife, Julie Sweeney Roth, and in order to preserve the heartfelt recording, the Museum built an installation around it and visitors can only listen to it through a telephone.
"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 told CNN back in 2004 recalling the incident. "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."
He seemed unusually calm and collected when he sent the message. "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," said the 38-year-old, just three and a half minutes before the aircraft went down, according to Bustle.
He also left a message for his mother, Louise. According to reports, Flight 175 was en route from Boston to Los Angeles, when hijackers took control of the aircraft with 56 passengers leading to the death of every individual on the flight.
Julie, 46, counts herself lucky to have received this message from her late husband during his final moments. Considering it as a gift to remember him, Julie told PEOPLE, "I was lucky Brian called and spoke to me on that message." Furthermore, she added.
"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." Despite the scary situation her husband faced, he seemed to have a very calm demeanor. "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," she added. Sweeney's wife made the recording public in the hopes of comforting other relatives of victims who lost their lives during this fateful attack.
"There are still times when I cry and I listen to his message," said an emotional Julie adding, "It’s still a part of me and there’s probably still a lot of healing I have to do."
Julie remarried and now has two children with her husband and has been volunteering at the 9/11 Tribute Museum for almost a decade. This family-run center highlights the tales of victims and survivors of the attacks and 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. "It’s one day at a time. That’s all this life is, one second at a time."