ABOUT IN THE SHADOW OF A BADGE
Former law enforcement professional Lillie Leonardi has always lived with her feet planted in two separate worlds—the metaphysical and the physical. In the Shadow of a Badge: A Memoir about Flight 93, a Field of Angels, and My Spiritual Homecoming takes readers on a dramatic journey of what happens when Leonardi’s two distinct realities intertwine.
During her work at the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and as a result of the fateful events of September 11th, 2001, Leonardi was forced to confront her connection to the divine—something she has struggled with since youth. Her stirring personal account of the 12 days she spent acting as an FBI liaison carries readers into a world that combines the factual and logistical with the angelic and mystical.
After witnessing what she describes as a “field of angels” during her first hours at the crash site, Leonardi must finally reconcile the opposing sides of her life. Readers walk with her through the diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), experience the guilt and fear that grip her, and share in the remarkable transformation of her soul as she discovers that forgiveness—of self and others—can be the best remedy.
As an inspiring example of what it means to be called to service, Leonardi shows that it’s never too late to find your spiritual path and life’s purpose.
ABOUT LILLIE LEONARDI
After serving for more than 25 years and as a result of medical issues related to her Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis, Leonardi retired from law enforcement and now endeavors to pursue her lifetime passion for writing.
From 1998 to 2010, Lillie was employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Pittsburgh Division as its Community Outreach Specialist. During her tenure with the FBI, Lillie’s primary focus and research related to violence prevention. She also worked under the auspice of the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Pennsylvania, and served with a prestigious group of instructors. Lillie provided training on various subjects including community policing, crime prevention, cultural diversity, hate crimes, responding to a major incident, threat assessment, and violence reduction.
On 9/11 and in the following days, Lillie was utilized by the FBI to address law enforcement, government, and social service agency representatives assisting with evidence recovery and preparations for two Flight 93 memorial services. She not only served as primary liaison to the United Airlines Humanitarian Response Team—presenting at daily briefings and interacting with surviving family members—but also escorted families to the crash site for the memorial services. Post 9/11, Lillie was the contact representative for three projects relating to Flight 93.
Prior to her career with the FBI, Lillie worked as the lead law enforcement officer on two college campuses in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1984, Lillie was appointed to serve as the first female police officer with the City of Arnold, Pennsylvania.