For Immediate Release - September 11, 2011

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION HONORS WEST SPRINGFIELD RESIDENT WITH MADELINE AMY SWEENEY AWARD

Lieutenant Governor Murray presents ninth annual award in memory of 9/11 hero, recognizes civilian bravery of mother who sacrificed life during recent tornado

BOSTON - Sunday, September 11, 2011 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's annual September 11 recognition of local heroes, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray today posthumously honored Angelica Guerrero of West Springfield with the ninth annual Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery during a ceremony at the State House.

Angelica Guerrero died after shielding her 15 year old daughter Ibone in the bathtub of her family home in West Springfield as it collapsed during the tornadoes that struck western and central Massachusetts on June 1, 2011. Angelica is survived by her husband Juan Guerrero, and daughters Ibone and Fabiola, 19. Lieutenant Governor Murray presented the award to Angelica's husband, children, and other family members during today's ceremony.

"Ten years ago, the nation came together as one, dedicated to service and selflessness following the tragic events of 9/11," said Governor Deval Patrick. "In that same spirit, today we recognize our heroes in the Commonwealth, including Angelica Guerrero who courageously gave her own life to save her daughter."

"On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, communities across the Commonwealth and the nation remember the great lives lost on that day," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "We also remember the selfless acts of kindness and courage exemplified on 9/11 by so many heroes, including Madeline Amy Sweeney. As we continue to honor her memory, we recognize today Angelica Guerrero, an incredible mother with a giving spirit, who sacrificed her life to protect her daughter."

The Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery was created in the spirit of the heroism and bravery shown by Sweeney and other victims of September 11. The award honors individuals who demonstrate extraordinary bravery in an effort to save the life of another in danger. Sweeney, known as Amy, was a flight attendant aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked on the morning of September 11, and later crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Before the crash, Sweeney conveyed critical information about the plane's hijackers to ground services. An Acton resident, Sweeney was survived by her husband and two children.

"Angelica Guerrero displayed the true spirit of Madeline Sweeney when she selflessly shielded her daughter from certain death," said Massachusetts Public Safety and Security Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan. "Despite the risk she saved a life while sacrificing her own, some might call her actions parental instinct; I call it an extraordinary act of bravery."

State Senator James T. Welch and state Representative Michael J. Finn nominated Angelica Guerrero for this year's Sweeney Award. The 39 year old mother was one of three individuals killed when tornadoes struck central and western Massachusetts on June 1, 2011.

"Angelica Guerrero gave the ultimate sacrifice to save the life of her daughter during the June 1 tornado, said Senator Welch. "It was a privilege to nominate Angelica to be a recipient of the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award. I am proud that we are able to honor the bravery and sacrifice of one of our citizens."

"It was an honor for me to nominate Angelica for her incredible act of heroism," said Representative Finn. "Her selflessness was truly amazing. My condolences go out to her family for their loss, but they should take great pride in her memory for the courage she showed during this tragedy."

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