Abby Bosco Honors Late Father, Who Lost His Life on 9/11, Each Day

Abby Bosco started writing initials on a piece of tape wrapped around the head of her stick as she starred as a defender for Suffern High School. Before each game, she’d inscribe “RB” in Sharpie to remind herself to always stay positive.

As she moved onto college lacrosse at Penn, she began writing “RB” on her wrist and cleats — the former washing off during games in the rain.

“The cleat was more of a permanent mark,” she said. “On my wrists, I would just rewrite it.”

Bosco turned to those initials in times of need — when she was acclimating to a new life at Penn, when the games got tense while she was on the field, and sometimes just to remind herself that life is a gift. That’s how her father always approached his life, and she wanted to do the same to keep his memory alive.

Richard Edward Bosco was an employee of Citi Bank meeting with Cantor Fitzgerald on the 105th floor of World Trade Center 1 the morning of September 11, 2001. At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the northern side of World Trade Center 1 and Cantor Fitzgerald was in the immediate impact zone.

Bosco, the 34-year-old husband of Traci and father of Richie Jr. and Abby, was among the 2,606 people that died in the terrorist attacks on September 11. The Bosco family lost an unrelentingly positive man who was nicknamed Spitfire as an ode to his high energy level.

Most importantly, Abby , then just 2 years old, lost her father and a lifetime of memories with someone she’d grow up to resemble.

“They grew up fast,” Traci Bosco-Myhal said. “When you go through such a tragedy at a young age, I feel like their childhood was cut short.”

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Abby Bosco Honors Late Father Every 9/11

“When you go through such a tragedy at a young age, I feel like their childhood was cut short.”

Now two decades removed from an unimaginable loss, Abby Bosco and her mother continue to hear stories about how Rich Bosco touched the lives of many in their hometown and beyond. Bosco-Myhal made sure her children knew the man their father was, and those close to the Bosco family have carried his memory with them even today.

Bosco heads to College Park for her fifth season of college lacrosse, and then she’ll be off to a successful career. While she wishes her father could witness her success on and off the field, she knows he’d be proud of the life she has built.

“There’s not a day where I don’t think about him,”Bosco said. “Going through this situation has made me so resilient. I’ve always wanted to push myself as hard as I could to be the best version of myself for him. I think his life getting cut so short has taught me how precious every single moment is and to make the most of the opportunities that you get in life.”

Those lessons were instilled in Bosco as soon as she lost her father. Her mother had the incredibly difficult task of being honest with her children about what happened to their father while raising them to not let the loss hold them back.

Bosco-Myhal decided she didn’t want to sugarcoat how her husband had died — not to mention the difficult road that laid ahead.

“From Day 1, my main objective was just to make sure that they understood, I didn’t want them to hold anything in,” she said. “I wanted them to be as happy and healthy as they could be as kids. I remember having a friend in the car, and Richie was just asking me question after question, and my friend said, ‘How are you answering these?’ I told her I have to, because that’s my job.”

All the while, Bosco-Myhal received condolences and gifts from friends and family across the country. She received letters from bankers around New York City who had interacted with her husband. She heard new stories about her husband’s impact on the Suffern community, where the two had met in high school.

His Citi Bank coworkers from Port Authority, where he’d often make visits, sent a glass bowl along with a letter that detailed his dream he shared with them of buying the bowl from a store in the nearby mall for his wife.

Inscribed on the bowl were the words “Live Well. Love Much. Laugh Often.”

“Rich lived his life like that,” Bosco-Myhal said. “It’s a testament to him.”

As Abby Bosco grew up, she’d be reminded of her father, even after she started to become serious about lacrosse, a sport her father never played. She had a math teacher that had once coached her father. Richie Bosco Jr. played basketball under the tutelage of some of his father’s former friends.

There were no shortage of ways in which Bosco’s father lived on while she grew out of tragedy. On the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, each of his children got letters from friends and acquaintances who had known their father detailing how great of a person he was and how proud they were to have known him.

Bosco never wanted to escape the pain of learning about her father. Instead, she welcomed the stories that helped her piece together the man whom she idolized and with which she had a short time.

“It’s a mixture of every emotion, but definitely more happiness than anything,” she said. “Obviously, I get sad sometimes when I read things about him, because I hear how great he was and I wish that I could have experienced it. I wish he could have watched me play and coach me. But I just get so happy to know that that's where I come from.”


Unfortunately, the Bosco family will have to remember, instead of experience, the life of Richard Bosco. Every year on his birthday in January, the family meets at Mt. Fuji Japanese Steakhouse to celebrate his life. On September 11, the family takes the day off work and visits the 9/11 Memorial in Rockland County and heads to breakfast afterward.

When Bosco went to college at Penn, she kept the traditions alive as best she could. She and five of her Quakers teammates went for Hibachi every year on her father’s birthday. On September 11, she and Laura Murphy walked to College Hall to help plant flags in remembrance of those who lost their lives on that day.

“It was definitely hard being away from home, and there were times where I just wanted to be left alone,” she said. “My team was so supportive. I’d come home and there would be a card on my bed. They always wanted to make sure that I was OK.”

There are, however, plenty of ways that Rich Bosco lives on that his daughter cannot control. She said she has little time to watch television because she physically can’t sit still, always needing to stay active. She starred in three sports (basketball and soccer included) at Suffern before deciding on lacrosse for college.

Over four years later, Bosco is an All-Ivy honoree (2019) who makes her impact all over the field, lining up at the draw and tallying plenty of draw controls and caused turnovers.

“[Her father] is where she got her energy and endurance from, 100 percent,” Bosco-Myhal said.

Whether through stories or embedded in her personality, Bosco will keep her father’s memory close for as long as she lives. The same goes for the rest of the Bosco family and anyone whose lives were touched by Rich Bosco.

Bosco-Myhal has kept the glass bowl in storage for the better part of the past decade, hoping that one day she’ll gift it to her daughter.

“It’s one of those things that you just don’t want to break or anything because it had such sentimental value,” she said. “I was nervous to ever use it. I don’t want to be the one to break it.”

That responsibility will soon fall on Abby Bosco, who has one more year left of college lacrosse before starting the rest of her adult life. She’ll continue to remember her father in a variety of ways — and whether or not she breaks the bowl, she’s the living embodiment of the words emblazoned on it, just like her father.

Live Well. Love Much. Laugh Often.