Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Richard Keane, left, victim of the terrorist attack on
New York's World Trade Center and his fifth and
youngest son Mathew who is in college.

Kuakini nurse
mourns missing
brother in NYC

Her pain would have been
doubled had another brother
been on a scheduled flight

By Rod Antone

When Kuakini Medical Center nurse Charlotte Keane first found out that her brother Richard was among the missing in New York last week, hopes that he would be found were still high. Richard Keane worked on the 99th floor of the first tower hit on Sept. 11 and Keane says that the family had heard that people saw him alive the next day.

"And everyone kept saying, 'You know Richard, he's probably running around helping people out,'" said Keane yesterday. "But later we found out that these were unconfirmed reports from people who were under high stress."

Yesterday made one week since the terrorist attacks and when Charlotte is asked if she thinks her brother survived she says, "No. Each day that goes by and I think no."

It is a feeling which Keane says Richard's wife shares as well.

"My sister-in-law felt that he really didn't survive the plane crash," she said. "It hurts sometimes when I say that."

Keane, 54, was an insurance executive with Marsh & McLenman Inc., a risk and insurance firm which occupied floors 93 to 100, located above the point of impact. Although Keane worked and lived in Connecticut, he was at the World Trade Center offices that morning for a meeting.

The company estimates that out of the 1,900 people who were working and/or visiting the offices that day, 313 were reported missing, and two confirmed dead, including one who was aboard a hijacked aircraft.

On Monday, company Chairman J.W. Greenberg provided the following statement: "This is a terrible time for all of us. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are lost or suffering from last week's horrifying attacks. We are thankful to many of you in New York and around the world for your extraordinary efforts and outpouring of caring and concern."

"You don't ever think that you'll be a part of something like this," said Keane.

Later Keane found out that she could have been looking for two brothers instead of one. It turns out her brother Gary Keane was scheduled to leave for a Sept. 11 business trip on United Airlines Flight 175.

While Gary never got on that plane and is safe, Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles crashed that morning into tower two of the World Trade Center. Richard Keane had worked in tower one.

"I didn't even know anybody personally that had a close call," said Keane of her life before last week.

Keane, who has been living in Hawaii since she arrived here in 1981 to work as a traveling nurse, describes her brother Richard as the "favorite" sibling among the eight brothers and sisters in her family. Keane says over the years Richard tried to bring everyone closer together any way he could.

Keane says her brother had been married for 31 years, has five sons ages 20 through 30 and two grandchildren, and still tried to be everywhere for everyone.

"He still tried to make every christening, every funeral," said Keane. "When he talked to you he would touch you, hold your hand, look you right in the eye."

"Everyone has a mission on this Earth and if anyone completed it, it was Ricky. He always felt like he didn't do enough to be with family."

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