Refuge Manager Richard Jerry Guadagno
United States Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service
End of Watch: Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Tour of Duty: 17 years
Cause of Death: Terrorist attack
Date of Incident: Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Incident Location: Pennsylvania
Weapon Used: Aircraft; Passenger jet
Suspect Info: 19 suicide attackers
Manager Richard Guadagno was killed when the commercial airliner he was a passenger on was hijacked while he was returning from vacation. The plane crashed after passengers, who had heard about the other hijackings, attempted to re-take control of the plane in flight. During the re-taking effort, the plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. Although it cannot be proven, there is reason to believe that Manager Guadagno was among those who attempted to re-take control of the plane.
Manager Guadagno had been employed with the United States Department of the Interior for 17 years, and is survived by his parents and sister.
He was posthumously awarded the Department of the Interior's Valor Award.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, seventy-two officers from a total of eight local, state, and federal agencies were killed when terrorist hijackers working for the al Qaeda terrorist network, headed by Osama bin Laden, crashed two of four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City. After the impact of the first plane, putting the safety of others before their own, law enforcement officers along with fire and EMS personnel, rushed to the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center to aid the victims and lead them to safety. Due to their quick actions, it is estimated that over 25,000 people were saved.
As the evacuation continued, the first tower unexpectedly collapsed due as a result of the intense fire caused by the impact. The second tower collapsed a short time later. 71 law enforcement officers, 343 members of the New York City Fire Department and over 2,800 civilians were killed at the World Trade Center site.
A third hijacked plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania when the passengers attempted to re-take control of the plane. One law enforcement officer, who was a passenger on the plane, was killed in that crash.
The fourth hijacked plane was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing almost 200 military and civilian personnel. No law enforcement officers were killed at the Pentagon.
The terrorist attacks resulted in the declaration of war against the Taliban regime, the illegal rulers of Afghanistan, and the al Qaeda terrorist network which also was based in Afghanistan.
On September 9, 2005, all of the public safety officers killed on September 11, 2001, were posthumously awarded the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor by President George W. Bush.