The September 11 attacks: Two years later

Charlotte Keane recalled that her brother Richard used to joke about his lack of size and football skills, remarking that he had the cleanest uniform on the team. Richard Keane was killed in the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Victim’s sister hopes
9/11 losses still resonate

Richard Keane died in the north
tower of the World Trade Center

Two years have passed since Kuakini Medical Center emergency room nurse Charlotte Keane lost her brother, Richard, on Sept. 11, 2001.

Remembering Hawaii's victims

Here are the people from Hawaii who were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks:

>> Georgine Rose Corrigan, Honolulu antiques and collectibles dealer, was on United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, N.J., when hijackers commandeered the plane and it crashed near Pittsburgh.

>> Maile Hale, 1993 valedictorian at Kaiser High School, vice president of Boston Investor Services, was attending a conference at the Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center.

>> Heather Ho, executive pastry chef at the Windows on the World restaurant. She was on the 107th floor of the north tower of the trade center. The 1987 Punahou School graduate had just taken the position in New York in May.

>> Richard Y.C. Lee, a 1986 Punahou School graduate, was vice president and director of equities technology for Cantor Fitzgerald e-speed, located on the 103rd floor of Tower One.

>> Christine Snyder, Outdoor Circle arborist and Aikahi Park resident, was also on United Flight 93.

"To a lot of people, it's just become the reason why they don't get on a plane as fast anymore; it's an annoyance," Keane said yesterday. "They forget how tragic it was for the families, and instead it's just become increased security and it's become the reason for a war."

At Kuakini's request, Keane contributed photographs of her brother and of Ground Zero quilts made by women across the country to a memorial at the hospital. She hopes the pictures will help people remember not just the buildings lost, but "the thousands of lives and all those people that had loved ones, friends, co-workers."

One shows a smiling Richard Keane -- husband, father of five, grandfather of two -- who was killed at the World Trade Center, where he was attending a 9 a.m. meeting.

The 54-year-old senior vice president for Marsh & McLennan, a risk and insurance firm, worked in Hartford, Conn., and had not been to the company's World Trade Center offices, which occupied floors 93 to 100, that year until that day.

His wife, Judy, had no idea he was at the World Trade Center that day. Charlotte Keane recalls the 2:50 a.m. call from her sister in Albany, N.Y., who told her, "We're under attack." Charlotte Keane turned on her TV, saw the second plane and immediately thought, "Ricky."

Charlotte Keane called his office, and she realized Richard Keane was out of the office because the message machine said the date was Sept. 10. She said she felt some relief when she learned the planes that had crashed into the center came from Newark and Boston -- airports Richard Keane would not have flown from.

But when Charlotte Keane looked at a photograph of her mother with her brother, "I just knew when I saw them together smiling, I knew Ricky was dead," she said.

"It was like a cold hand touched my arm."

Keane dismissed the thought as ridiculous and went to work, where she got the dreaded call.

For weeks her brother went unaccounted for, and was eventually proclaimed dead. But confirmation came after the completion of the Ground Zero cleanup, when something found had been positively identified by DNA samples.

Since 9/11 her brother's widow has tried to accomplish what she thought her husband would want.

Judy Keane appeared on "Oprah," held anti-war candlelight vigils and asked President Bush not to go to war over the terror attacks.

Richard Keane would not have wanted it. Though he served in the Marines, a draftee during the Vietnam War, "he was the peacemaker" and tried to settle family squabbles, Charlotte Keane said.

He was all about helping others, she said. He had joined the priesthood and had been a social worker.

Richard Keane left a surprising gift. Inside his car parked at the New Haven train station was his laptop containing two works in progress, which his family hopes to have published.

"Letters to My Sons" are letters sent to his sons, now in their 20s and 30s, filled with pearls of wisdom, while "Raising Cain" is about his life growing up in a big Irish family.

Charlotte Keane has changed her life since her brother's death. She now works just three days a week and devotes most of her time to writing. And though 9/11 is still painful for Keane, it helps to get hugs, like the one a co-worker gave her after viewing the memorial yesterday.

"I see the flags on cars and buildings," she said. "Makes you feel like you got a big hug."


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