Who Was Brian Sweeney? 9/11 Victim Who Left Heartfelt Message to His Wife Before Tragedy

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which took place on September 11, 2001, and in which nearly 3,000 people were killed. One of the victims was Brian Sweeney, who was a passenger on Flight 175.

Many passengers aboard the planes called their loved ones during the hijacking, including Sweeney, who called his wife, Julie Sweeney Roth, and told her to "go have good times," in a message that Julie says is "powerful."

Who was Brian Sweeney?

Brian David Sweeney was a passenger on the United Airlines Flight 175 that was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The flight had departed from Boston, Massachusetts, and was headed towards Los Angeles, California.

In a talk at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Brian's wife Julie recalled how she met Brian at a bar in Philadelphia. She said he stood out from the suited men by wearing a denim shirt and a baseball cap, and at 6'3" was "a force to be reckoned with."

Julie said they got along and within seven months, Julie had moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts, and she and Brian were married.

Sweeney had been a pilot in the Navy and had worked as an instructor at TOPGUN, Miramar, California. He was medically discharged from the Navy in 1997 after an accident that had left him partially paralyzed.

In February 2001, Brian and Julie moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Julie was a high school teacher and where Brian had worked as a defense contractor from home three weeks of the month and worked in Los Angeles for one week each month.

Sweeney is remembered for the emotional voicemail he left for his wife after the plane was hijacked. In the message, he said: "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."

In an interview with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Julie Sweeney Roth spoke about how much the message Brian left meant to her: "You hold out this hope, especially for someone like Brian, who—this is a silly way to put it—was a warrior, and you just didn't believe that something like this could take him away.

"So you hold out hope until it's validated somehow. And all I needed was that message and I think he very selflessly left it. I don't think he left it until he knew that he wasn't coming home. "

Julie went onto say that the message soothed her and that she finds it very powerful: "When I got it, it was just so Brian. It was his final request of me, and his final way to let me know that he was gonna be okay and that he believed that he would see me again. And that's all I needed to know.

"I'm thankful for it, so thankful for that message because at least I know without a shadow of a doubt, what he was thinking. The calmness in his voice soothed me, so I do have that. And because it's on a message I'm able to share it with anybody that wants to hear it. And it's very powerful. He made very powerful statements with that message."

Julie has since remarried and had two children. She currently works as a substitute teacher and volunteers at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

9/11 Memorial
An American flag is seen in a person's name at the North reflecting pool at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza on August 10 in New York City. Brian Sweeney is remembered for the powerful message he left for his wife after the plane he was on was hijacked. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty