In a twist of fate, Beverly Eckert the 9/11 widow of Sean Rooney, was killed in the Continental plane crash yesterday. She was heading to Buffalo for a celebration of what would have been her husband’s 58th birthday, said Mary Fetchet, a 9/11 family activist.
Eckert was flying to Buffalo to honor what would have been her husband Sean Rooney’s 58th birthday. She was scheduled to present a Canisius High School student with a scholarship created in his name. After the 9/11 attacks, Eckert became a passionate voice for all the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
At the White House today President Obama singled out Eckert after expressing condolences for all the victims. “She was an inspiration to me and so many others,” Obama said.
Eckert’s sister Sue Bourque told The Buffalo News that in the midst of the tragedy, there was some consolation. “We know she was on that plane and now she’s with him,” she said. Rooney and Eckert both attended Canisius High School in Buffalo, where they where high school sweethearts.
In 2004, she tearfully told ABC News it was a calling that fell to her after her husband died.
“I didn’t choose this role that came to me,” she said. “My husband was killed. I owe my husband, I owe his memory to make something of my life after Sept. 11.”
What a horrible tragedy but a beautiful love story. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones yesterday. 🙁