Claude Daniel Richards, 46, was a member of the NYPD’s bomb squad. Richards, known as “Dan,” grew up in Bethpage and had lived for many years in Manhattan and in Bethpage. He died searching for survivors when the north tower fell. Richards, a former U.S. Army airborne ranger and a member of the presidential honor guard during the Carter administration, was single.
His work was his life, said his brother, Jim, who lives in Hempstead Town. “I think he would have liked to have had more of a family life, but he found his family with the bomb squad,” he said. He worked long hours, even on his days off, and was known for his meticulousness. He was a member of the United Nations international police task force in 1996 that served in Bosnia to disarm land mines, his brother said. To his family, he was Dan. “Even in the bomb squad, they would give it to Dan because they knew it would be done right,” he said. But Richards, one of seven children, would make time for family. Three weeks before Sept. 11, an older brother, Bill, a Vietnam veteran who had lost both legs, died. On his days off, Richards lived in Bethpage with his brother Bill to help him out. “One word to describe Dan is honor,” his brother Jim said. “Dan honored his family, profession and country with many unselfish acts.” Losing both brothers was “devastating,” he said. “It made us appreciate one another more.” – Ridgely Ochs