The United States banded together after 9/11, but two of the victim's families have now become one for life. Sixteen years after Brielle Saracini and Sean McGuire both lost their fathers in the terrorist attack, the couple got married.
Brielle's father, Victor, was the captain of United Flight 175, the airplane that struck the South Tower, while Sean's father, Patrick, was working on the 84th floor of the South Tower when the plane struck, according to Philly.com. The couple first met at Camp Better Days in New Jersey, a summer camp for children who lost a parent on September 11, when they were just 12 years old. “We met two years after 9/11, just kids who used to hang out together and match up against one another in pool and basketball, who eventually fell in love,” Brielle told Philly.com.
At one point, Brielle was diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin's lymphoma and Sean slept on a cot in her hospital room for a month, according to Cosmopolitan. Over a two year period, she beat the disease twice, and when Brielle was finally given a clean bill of health, she and Sean played catch in a park that overlooked the new World Trade Center Freedom tower. Except, when Sean threw the ball to Brielle, there was an engagement ring taped to it. On September 9, 2017, the two were married just outside of Austin, Texas (though the couple did not deliberately choose a weekend that was so close to 9/11, they weren't afraid of it either). “It felt like a fairy tale—a dream wedding that was absolutely perfect, destined by fate,” Brielle told Philly.com.
The couple honored both of their fathers in the ceremony. “We had a nice moment of silence in our ceremony to recognize their presence in our relationship and in our lives,” Brielle said to Philly.com. “It was important for us to do so, to properly honor them and pay respects to how they raised us and shaped us.”
In her vows, Brielle talked about her friendship with Sean over the years and how they have supported each other. She said, "We met at a summer camp for children with broken hearts, but we built back up together. The biggest takeaway from 9/11—for me—was that you might be able to break down steel and structure, but you can never destroy love."