Refuge Manager Richard Jerry Guadagno

Refuge Manager Richard Jerry Guadagno

United States Department of the Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service - Division of Refuge Law Enforcement, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, September 11, 2001

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Richard Jerry Guadagno

Refuge 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. He is survived by his parents and sister.

He was posthumously awarded the Department of the Interior's Valor Award.

On the morning of September 11th, 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 four hijacked planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

After the impact of the first plane into the World Trade Center's North Tower, 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 South Tower unexpectedly collapsed as a result of the intense fire caused by the impact. The North Tower collapsed a short time later. Seventy-one 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 on 9/11.

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 9th, 2005, all of the public safety officers killed on September 11th, 2001, were posthumously awarded the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor by President George W. Bush.

The contamination in the air at the World Trade Center site caused many rescue personnel to become extremely ill and eventually led to the death of several rescue workers.

On May 1st, 2011 members of the United States military conducted a raid on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden.

Please click here to visit the memorials of all of the law enforcement officers killed in this terrorist attack.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Terrorist attack
  • Location Pennsylvania
  • Weapon Aircraft; Passenger jet
  • Offender 19 suicide attackers

Most Recent Reflection

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I came across your memorial page on the day after the anniversary of September 11, and I realized that no one had left a reflection for you this year. I didn't feel like that was right. Though we all still commemorate you on this day and throughout the year, we should voice that commemoration.

I never met you, Rich. I was very young when you passed away. But my dad did. He was a fellow federal wildlife officer, and he counted you as one of his close friends. It devastated him when you were taken away, and even today, he still feels those scars. He mourned you with your family, and they supported each other in the years to follow. And, as I was growing up, he told my brothers and I about how you lived your life, how duty and joy guided everything you did, and how you ultimately gave your life in service of the highest cause.

Rich, your memory has played a part in making me who I am today. It helped drive me to become a firefighter, and it inspires and humbles me as I strive to enter law enforcement. Because of this, I feel like I ought to thank you. Though I never met you, I feel like I know you. I could only hope to live half the life you did. You are a hero of no compare, and your story should be a guide for us all. Thank you, Rich, and rest easy. We'll continue to hold the line, and we'll continue to hold your memory.

Anthony Larrañaga
Son of a Friend

September 12, 2018

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