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Fallen Comrades

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Guadagno:

On behalf of all of us at the U.S. Department of the Interior, I extend my deepest condolences to you on the loss of your son, Richard, in the tragic terrorist attack this past Tuesday. No words can even begin to provide comfort in a painful time such as this, but I want to you to know that we share your sorrow and your burden and our thoughts and prayers are continually with you.

I also want to express our gratitude for Rich and his life. Rich was a beloved colleague to those who worked with him and a model professional whose skill and dedication were greatly admired within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As Refuge Manager at Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, he played a key leadership role in the conservation of the our Nation's fish and wildlife. I know you are proud of him. We are too.

All Americans suffered a terrible loss on Tuesday but none as much as the families of those who were victims of this senseless attack. While we may never fully know what happened on board the hijacked aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania on which Rich was traveling, I have no doubt that he displayed the greatest courage. He is one of our Nation=s heroes.

Sincerely,


Gale A. Norton