For those of us who believe in fate, it’s hard to imagine a more meant-to-be love story than that of Brielle Saracini and Sean McGuire, two lovebirds who celebrated their first wedding anniversary this past weekend.

While their marriage has really only just begun, the story of this couple’s life together actually started 17 years ago on September 11, 2001, when both of their dads were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

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Brielle and Sean were each just 10 years old on that awful day. In a twist of fate, Brielle’s father, Victor, was a pilot aboard United Flight 175, the plane that struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center— the same tower where Sean’s father, Patrick, worked on the 84th floor.

Each man left behind a family to mourn his loss, and while that could have been the end of the story—fate had other plans.

Just two years after the deaths of their dads, Brielle and Sean both attended Camp Better Days, a camp specifically designed for children who had lost loved ones on September 11th. The two middle schoolers met and became fast friends with a bond that was only strengthened by their common heartache.

In her wedding vows, Brielle reminisced, “I would spend my weeks at camp with you, falling in love with you more and more with each day we spent together, wishing our nights stargazing would never end. We grew up together, shaping each other, learning from each other, and grounding one another.”

This friendship-turned-love eventually led the two down the aisle. Their wedding date? September 9, 2017, almost 16 years to the day of the tragedy that brought them together. During the ceremony, the couple shared a moment of silence in remembrance of their fathers, and Brielle laid her dad’s captain hat on a front-row seat.

If this couple’s sweet story doesn’t make you a believer in the truth that beauty can come from even the most devastating of circumstances, then I don’t know what will.

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Perhaps Brielle said it best in her vows: “We met at a summer camp for children with broken hearts, but we built back up together. The biggest takeaway from 9/11—for me— was that you might be able to break down steel and structure, but you can never destroy love.”

On behalf of the destiny believers in the world, happy anniversary to Brielle and Sean, and here’s to many more happy years together!

Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward