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September 13. 2001

Former Marlborough High teacher receives sad message from doomed husband.

News staff writer

MARLBOROUGH - When teacher Julie Sweeney got home fromschool Tuesday she heard her husband Brian's voice for the last time on heranswering machine.

Hey Jules, it's Brian. I'm on a plane and it'shijacked and it doesn't look good. I just wanted to let you know that I loveyou, and I hope to see you again. If I don't, please have fun in life, andlive your life the best you can. Know that I love you, and no matter what I'llsee you again.

Brian Sweeney, formerly of Marlborough, died yesterday whenthe 767 jet he was flying in was hijacked by terrorists and was one of twoplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center buildings.

His wife, Julie Sweeney, was a physical education teacherand the cross country team head coach for two years at Marlborough High Schooluntil the pair moved to Barnstable earlier this year.

The couple had moved to Cape Cod because Brian Sweeney hadgot a new job as a consultant in the area.

Brian enjoyed life, " said Julie Sweeney." He loved anything that was a challenge to him. He loved the outdoors. Hewas an amazing artist. He loved boating. He loved the beach.

Along with boating, Brian Sweeney loved old Jeeps, and hada few. He also loved his and Julie's two dogs.Living on the Cape was a dream for him, his wife of twoyears said.

Brian is the most incredible person I have everknown - that I'll ever know, " said Julie Sweeney. " He wastrusting, he was brave. I can't even put into words what kind of person hewas.

A memorial service will be held later this week on CapeCod, Julie Sweeney said.

Outside the Sweeney home in Spencer, where his parentslive, an American flag flew in the air, and family members and friends stoodtalking on the front lawn.

Reporters kept coming to the door, relatives said, but itwas too painful to talk about their loss any more. " Maybe in a few days," one family member said.

September 13, 2001

School mourns a teacher's loss.

By Bill Barnes
Hyannis News

The flags are athalf-staff throughout the Dennis-Yarmouth School System as students and facultyshare in the mourning of Julie Sweeney, a teacher and coach whose husband Brian,was killed when United Airlines Flight 175 slammed into the World Trade CenterTuesday.

Julie Sweeney, whojoined the D-Y system this fall, teaches health and is the assistantcross-country coach at the high school. Her husband was a business consultant.They had been married for 2 1/2 years and had no children.

The Sweeneys moved toBarnstable just a few months ago, and according to their neighbor in Barnstable,Wendy Smith, he was like a little kid, just so happy to live on the Cape.He just bought a boat.

She characterizedSweeney as an unbelievable American, a top-gun pilot and a top-guninstructor.

Shortly before 9 a.m.Tuesday, Sweeney attempted to call his wife from the hijacked airplane,according to D-Y acting school superintendent Tony Pierantozzi, and when hecould not reach her, he called his mother in Spencer to tell her what washappening aboard his flight.

In a press conferenceWednesday, Pierantozzi said that the Sweeney family had requested the media torespect its need for privacy.

He also said that toensure that the educational process could continue without disruption, therewould be no access by the media to students or staff on school property.

He said that so far ashe knew no other members of the staff or student body had suffered directly fromthe terrorist incidents, but that student support teams were in place to providecounseling as needed.

Students were notpermitted to watch television reportage in school on the disaster Pierantozzisaid, because it was felt that parents should have control of what they couldand couldn't see, that teachers had been talking to the students about theevents and their meaning.

On Tuesday, alarge number of students left school early or were taken home by their parentsin the wake of the terror attack, as many as 40 from the Nathaniel Wixon Schoolalone, but attendance was back to normal on Wednesday.

September 18

Residents mourn with Sweeney family

By Nicole Simmons
Metrowest Daily News Staff Writer

Daily news staff writer, Dorinda Bell, with Julie Sweeney

Daily news staff writer, Dorinda Bell, with back to camera,
hugs Julie Sweeney, whose husband, Brian, died on
Flight 175. Staff photo by Milton Amador.

- With tears in their eyes and hope in their hearts, almost 200 people gathered last night to honor the thousands who lost their lives last Tuesday, including former Marlborough resident Brian Sweeney.

A candlelight vigil organized by Marlborough resident Dorinda Bell and her 13-year-old son, John, started as an opportunity for teens to gather and express their grief.

With the arrival of Sweeney's family, however, the gathering turned into a memorial for him.

This has been absolutely overwhelming for me with the community of Marlborough coming together like this, said Julie Sweeney, Brian's wife of two years.

She wore his Navy jacket and carried an American flag folded in a triangle. Sweeney was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, a staff instructor for a year at the Top Gun Fighter Weapon School and served in the Gulf War. For the last six months he was a systems consultant with the Department of Defense.

The couple lived in Marlborough for two years before moving recently to Barnstable. Julie taught physical education and coached cross-country at Marlborough High.

Brian's wife, his parents, Louise and Len, and his siblings came to Marlborough just for the vigil.

I feel such a sense of home here, Julie Sweeney said, adding that she's received endless phone calls, letters and e-mails from Marlborough families, many of whom she doesn't know.

The Sweeney family was able to meet some of those people last night as they gathered at the Bell home at 290 Lincoln St. with candles light

The community definitely needs to mourn, said state Rep. Steve LeDuc, D-Marlborough, a Marlborough native who attended the vigil. People are itching out of their skin to express themselves.

LeDuc said there will be a city-sponsored memorial service next Monday at a location to be announced, but for many they needed to do something sooner.

Marlowe Peltak, a seventh-grader at the Middle School, said she went to the vigil with her mom, Donna, and some friends to show respect for those who died. She said she was shocked when she learned after school last Tuesday that planes had crashed into two World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

I didn't think it was real because I didn't think it would happen here, Peltak said.

At 8 p.m., the crowd walked around the corner to the basketball court at the Immaculate Conception School.

The group formed a circle and listened over a megaphone to a collection of sound bites from radio and television broadcasts. A Sweeney family friend asked that they stop playing the montage, however, because it was visibly upsetting the family.

The group - some sitting in strollers, others walking with canes - sang patriotic songs, including songs, Proud to be an American, The Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America.

Louise Sweeney said the cowards who attacked America couldn't stop the community from uniting.

They don't know our freedom, she said, crying. They don't know our love ... I ask us all. Don't let this end. Don't let this end.

Marlborough showed the Sweeney family its love at the end of the vigil when the crowd joined hands, forming a circle around the Sweeneys, and then all moved in around them, giving them a symbolic hug, some waving flags and giving the peace sign over their heads.

Please understand that Brian, my husband, was not afraid to die, Julie Sweeney had said earlier. He was my angel here and he will be my angel until the day I meet him where he is.

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