BOSTON /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Continuing with the Commonwealth’s annual recognition of heroes on September 11th, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray today posthumously honored Marie Conley as the recipient of the 8th Annual Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery. Nearly 10 months following her tragic death, Conley was recognized for her heroism with the Sweeney Award, which honors an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary bravery without regard for personal safety in an effort to save the life of another in danger.
“Just like Amy Sweeny, Marie Conley gave her life to save another life. We will always be grateful to both of them for their courage and selflessness,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Marie’s loved ones should know that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts stands with them as we recognize her sacrifice and honor her heroism.”
“On September 11th, as we honor the great men and women that we lost eight years ago on that tragic day, it is also timely that we recognize brave heroes that have risked their own lives for others,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “Marie Conley risked her own life for that of a child, and such heroism deserves this recognition and honor.”
Marie Conley of Dorchester was struck by a car last October as she attempted to help a child cross Parish Street when on duty as a crossing guard outside the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester. Witnesses say when Conley, dressed in full uniform, saw the car was not slowing down, she clutched the child in her arms to protect him. Conley died from her injuries eight days after the accident.
Lieutenant Governor Murray presented the award to Conley’s brother, Boston Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn, during a 9:30 a.m. Commemoration Observation and Award Presentation Ceremony in the House Chamber of the Massachusetts State House.
“This recognition of Marie Conley is testament to her and who she was,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Kevin M. Burke. “It takes a special type of person to trade their life to save another.”
The Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery was created in the spirit of the heroism and bravery shown by Sweeney and so many other victims on September 11, 2001. Sweeney, known as Amy, was a flight attendant aboard American Airlines flight 11 when it was deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Before the crash, Sweeney managed to convey critical information about the five hijackers, including descriptions of four and their seat numbers to ground services by telephone. Sweeney was from Acton, Massachusetts, married and the mother of two children.
Prior to the Sweeney Award presentation, Lieutenant Governor Murray and other officials also participated in a flag lowering ceremony that included the reading of all names of Massachusetts 9/11 victims on the State House lawn preceded by a wreath laying ceremony at the 9/11 Contemplative Garden in the Boston Public Garden.