Twenty Years Later, 9/11 Survivor Remembers His Identical Twin Brother Killed In The Attack
Born just minutes apart, Richie and Ronnie Palazzolo were twin brothers who shared everything. They both ran marathons, cheered for their favorite football team— the Minnesota Vikings— and even followed the same career path.
Ronald Palazzolo holding cousin Christina Della Pelle with his brother Richard, New Years Eve, 1994 Courtesy of the Palazzolo family.
They worked as brokers in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Ronnie on the 26th floor at Garban-Intercapital, and Richie on the 105th floor for Cantor Fitzgerald. They were both there on the day of the attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001.
Ronnie survived, but Richie did not.
Ronnie, his older brother Michael, and Richie on Easter, 1967 in Queens, NY. Courtesy of the Palazzolo family.
In 2021, Ronnie came to StoryCorps to remember that day and reflect on the pain of losing his brother and best friend.
Top Photo: Richard Palazzolo outside their family’s home in upstate New York, in 2000. Courtesy of the Palazzolo family.
Originally aired September 10, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
This recording was made in partnership with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum as part of StoryCorps’ effort to collect one recording for each life lost that day.
The Things That Go Left Unsaid: Remembering A Son and Brother — The First U.S. Soldier Killed in Afghanistan
Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman was born at Andrews Air Force Base, where his father was stationed at the time. Like many military families, they moved around a lot during his childhood. This instilled an adventurous spirit in Nathan, while it challenged his older brother, Keith, who preferred more order.
The brother’s would go on to lead very separate lives — while living under the same roof.
Nathan Chapman, Lynn Chapman & Keith Chapman, March 1981 in Contra Costa County, CA. Courtesy of the Chapman family.
In 1988, at age 18, Nathan sat his parents, Lynn and Wilbur down to ask for their blessing to enlist. It would be the beginning of a significant and highly decorated 12-and-a-half year career in service, leading into the Special Forces, where his speciality was communications.
Two months after September 11th, Nathan would volunteer for a special mission. On January 4th, 2002, he became the first American soldier killed in combat, during the War in Afghanistan.
Lynn and Keith Chapman came to StoryCorps to remember a complicated dynamic between brothers, and the things that sometimes go left unsaid.
Keith Chapman and Lynn Chapman at their StoryCorps interview in Frederick, MD, on August 20, 2021. For StoryCorps.
Nathan Ross Chapman is survived by his wife, Renae, his daughter Amanda, his son Brandon, his parents Wilbur and Lynn Chapman, his brother Keith Chapman, and his half-brother Kevin Chapman. His other half-brother David Chapman has since passed away.
Top Photo: Nathan Chapman in Haiti, 1995. Courtesy of the Chapman family.
Originally aired August 28, 2021 on NPR’s Weekend Edition.
“You are going your own way”: A Father and Daughter Reflect On Leaving the Nest
When Sylvia Grosvold was 16 years old she came to StoryCorps with her father, Josh Weiner. They remembered her mother, Kari Grosvold, who had died by suicide when Sylvia was five years old.
Josh Weiner, Kari Grosvold and Sylvia Grosvold, age 4, in 2008. Courtesy of Josh Weiner.
Over the years, Josh and Sylvia have relied on each other more than your average father/daughter duo. Two years after their first conversation, Sylvia and Josh returned to StoryCorps ahead of Sylvia’s move from the family’s home in Portland, Oregon to begin her freshman year at Ithaca College. As Sylvia prepared for her big move, Josh reflects on living alone for the first time in his life.
They talked about the closeness they share, their hopes and fears for the future, and Josh’s sudden journey to single parenthood.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help at 1-800-273-8255.
The 2019 interview was recorded through The Dougy Center for grieving children. It is part of Road to Resilience, a project with StoryCorps in partnership with the New York Life Foundation which leverages the power of stories and storytelling to help children cope with the death of a parent, sibling, or loved one.
Top Photo: Sylvia Grosvold and Josh Weiner at their StoryCorps interview in Portland Oregon on July 9, 2021. Courtesy of Josh Weiner.
Originally aired August 27, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition.