Historical Notes Brian Sweeney was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and lived in Barnstable with his wife, Julie. He had served as a U.S. Navy pilot and flight instructor. Brian was also a self-taught artist with an interest in Norse mythology and Viking history. He worked for Brandes Associates as a systems consultant. On September 11, Brian boarded Flight 175 for a business trip to Los Angeles. He was 38 years old.
Curator's Comment While growing up in Massachusetts, Brian Sweeney had an interest in Norse mythology. He crafted his first Viking helmet in high school and forged a second from scrap metal while serving in the U.S. Navy, where he became an F-14 pilot. On 9/11, Brian was on a business trip with the defense contractor Brandes Associates, traveling to Los Angeles aboard Flight 175. During the flight, he called his parents and his wife, Julie, informing them that the plane had been hijacked and saying that he loved them.
After Brian’s death, family and friends honored him with a traditional Viking funeral. On September 30, 2001, they gathered on a beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, set a wooden boat on fire, and cast it out into the bay. According to Norse mythology, this burning at sea speeds the soul’s rebirth so it may journey to “the other side,” Valhalla. HIDE