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Australian September 11 victim honoured on World Red Cross Day

Thursday 8 May 2014

National Museum and Red Cross commemorate Yvonne Kennedy

The National Museum of Australia and the Australian Red Cross today commemorate World Red Cross Day by honouring the life of Yvonne Kennedy, one of 10 Australians killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Yvonne Kennedy was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on September 11 2001. Yvonne died as she was nearing the end of a world tour taken to celebrate her retirement after 25 years working for Australian Red Cross.

The Australian Red Cross is this year celebrating its centenary and on 8 May, World Red Cross Day, it pays tribute to the Australians who dedicate their lives to helping others. These generous volunteers include the late Yvonne Kennedy.

The Kennedy family donated a number of items to the National Museum in Canberra, including Yvonne's Red Cross badges, medals and pins (view the Yvonne Kennedy collection highlight). Many of these items can be seen in the Museum’s Journeys Gallery, alongside Yvonne’s personal belongings retrieved from the ruins; and a White House condolence card.

"We are very proud as a family of our mother Yvonne's dedication to the Red Cross' ideals, particularly that of humanity. We hope that World Red Cross Day encourages everyone, especially our leaders, to keep these ideals top of mind, just as Yvonne did," said Yvonne’s son, Simon Kennedy.

National Museum senior curatorial fellow, Carol Cooper said the collection “provides national recognition and a lasting tribute to Yvonne Kennedy as a courageous and loving woman, and a passionate worker for the welfare of others”.

“Yvonne embodied the Red Cross person, fiercely committed to improving the lives of vulnerable people,” said Red Cross CEO, Robert Tickner.

“It is touching that her life is being commemorated in this way at the National Museum, during Australian Red Cross’ centenary year.” 

“We never would have made it to 100 years without the support and generosity of hundreds of thousands of Australians who have given so much to help others. We are privileged to have had Yvonne as one of our supporters.”


To arrange interviews please contact (NMA) Hilde Hooper, (02) 6208 5091 / 0434 931109, media@nma.gov.au or (ARC) Katie Isaac, 0408 858 255, kisaac@redcross.org.au