Richard P. Gabriel Sr.
Hometown: Great Falls, Va., USA
Occupation: Managing partner, Stratin Consulting
Location: Passenger, American Flight 77, Pentagon
Richard Gabriel, 54, of Great Falls, was a Vietnam War veteran who had been awarded a Purple Heart after losing a leg in battle and spending several days alone in the jungle. When he died aboard American Airlines Flight 77, his daughter, Patricia, said, he was on his way to Australia to do business for the firm he founded, Stratin Consulting Co.
"He had a big presence and strong personality," she said. "When he came into a room, everybody felt his presence."
Gabriel was a native of New York and a graduate of Manhattan College. He received a master's degree in business from Columbia University after the war and worked for General Foods and other companies before starting his consulting company, she said.
He was an avid reader of history books and loved spending time with his family. He is also survived by his wife, Ann, and four sons.
Patricia Gabriel said she was working in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday when the attacks occurred. When she heard that they involved a flight to Los Angeles, his first stop, "the first thing I thought of was my father."
-- Valerie Strauss
Source: The Washington Post, AP and washingtonpost.com
The profiles in this feature were written in the months following Sept. 11, 2001.
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A day after the 9/11 attacks a makeshift memorial was created on the Arlington Memorial Cemetery fence. Seven years later, the first 9/11 memorial is opening.