A "Guardian Angel" at the Memorial

  • January 21, 2022
A bearded man in a white tuxedo stands between his father, on the left, in a black and white tuxedo, and his mother, on the right, in a turquoise dress
Gary Herold on his wedding day with his parents.
A woman with dark, cropped hair and black glasses stands against a cement wall wearing a light gray sweater, dark gray jacket, and blue blouse
Memorial security guard Linda Beecher

Linda Beecher is one of those people whose job is so much more than a paycheck. As one of our security guards, she keeps watch over the Memorial and protects the names inscribed on the parapets.

During one of her shifts, Linda crossed paths with John Herold, whose brother Gary Herold was killed on 9/11. John was so moved by their exchange  - which truly exemplifies humanity, compassion, and kindness - that he sent us a note of gratitude for Linda and the work she does. 

With his permission (and minor edits for clarity), we proudly share that note. 

Good morning, 

On 9/28/2021, I stopped by to see my brother Gary Herold’s name on the Memorial. The day before, I had placed his picture and a small badge on his name. To my surprise, it was still where I had placed it. 

My wife and I approached the picture and a loud voice said, “Please do not touch the picture or lean on the Memorial.”

We backed up and said that we understood. After paying our respects, I walked over to the Memorial worker, Linda, and told her that I appreciated her taking such good care of my brother’s picture and the Memorial. 

We spoke and I explained that I had placed the photo and badge the day before and was surprised it was still there. She was also surprised it remained overnight. 

As I spoke with Linda, she continued to guide guests to not touch the picture. It occurred to me that Linda was protecting my brother as if she knew and loved him. It made me tear up to think that someone who never knew Gary would now be his protector and look after him. 

I asked her if I could give her a badge like the one I placed on Gary’s name and she said she would like that. I later pinned the badge on her jacket. 

I wanted the Memorial administration to know that on 9/28/2021, there was an angel protecting my brother and her name is Linda. I will always remember Linda and the time we spent together. 

Some people are right where they need to be, doing just what needs to be done. 

Her name is Linda and I love her for protecting the Memorial. My wife said that Linda was watching over Gary the way our mother used to. 

Feeling blessed to have met Linda and to know Gary is being well taken care of. 

 John Herold

Through their dedication, staff members like Linda showcase the many ways we look out for one another, in good times and bad.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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