On September 11, 2001, Brooklyn, N.Y. native Richard Pecorella lost the love of his life, his fiancé Karen Juday, who worked in the North Tower at Cantor Fitzgerald. Pecorella, who shared their love story in an oral remembrance after Juday’s death, died suddenly on Feb. 10, 2016. He was 63 years old.
Both Pecorella and Juday had been previously married, but after a chance meeting at a car racetrack in Pennsylvania they became inseparable and moved in together thereafter. A Las Vegas wedding was being planned for June 2002.
After 9/11, when StoryCorps launched its story-capture initiative dedicated to the victims of the attacks, Pecorella was an early adapter, recording a deeply personal and distinctively voiced remembrance of Juday. He too, was amongst the earliest contributors when curators with the 9/11 Memorial Museum began to gather materials illustrative of each and every individual killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the February 26, 1993 WTC bombing. He grasped the resonance of the spoken story with the authentic objects and photographs that complemented it.
In 2010, the 9/11 Memorial Museum inaugurated a listening station at its then-Vesey Street preview site, now the 9/11 Memorial Museum Store at Vesey, with an exhibit case featuring mementoes that Pecorella had donated in memory of Juday, along with audio wands enabling visitors to access his narrated reminiscences about their relationship.
"Karen, I will always love you and I will see you again," he promised in his oral remembrance. In tribute to him, whose continued support of the Memorial and Museum has been so valued, and in recognition of his devotion to Juday, below is the segment from his original StoryCorps interview.
By Jan Ramirez, Chief Curator and Vice President of Collections