Remembering the Irish Americans we lost in the 9/11 attacks
An estimated 1,000 people of Irish descent or of Irish birth were lost
"I knew someday I wanted to be just like my big brother," Danny recalled. "He's always been a hero to me, and now he's a hero to people around the world."
Bob Conroy, the family friend who earlier recalled the young Tommy Foley running around a Harlem firehouse, and would later become the Foley brothers' FDNY mentor, echoed the sentiments of so many families and friends when he said, "I only wish I could see him one more time – just one more time to tell him how much I love him."
Foley was not the only September 11 victim to have previously appeared in the pages of Irish America magazine.
Of the more than 70 employees lost from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, two were former honorees among the Irish America Wall Street 50: Chairman & CEO Joe Berry and Executive Vice-President Joseph Lenihan.
Another victim from the same firm, Chris Duffy, was the son of Wall Street 50 honoree John Duffy.
Berry, Lenihan and the two Duffys were among those who attended Irish America's Wall Street 50 reception on July 11, an event that was held annually at Windows on the World restaurant.
At the top of Tower One, the breathtaking view from Windows on the World was the ideal setting to toast the many achievements of the Irish and their descendants in the U.S.
As of September 11, that skyline view has been lost forever, but of course the accomplishments of people like Berry, Lenihan and the Duffys remain.
The accomplishments of others were never recorded and may never be known.
The unborn second child of Damien Meehan will never know daddy first-hand, how he grew up playing Gaelic Football with five brothers in Good Shepherd Parish, Upper Manhattan.
How among the Donegal Meehans of Upper Manhattan, Damien was the first to enter a “safe” profession, becoming a financial foot-soldier on Wall Street, instead of a fireman or a cop.
How on September 11, 2001, the 33-year-old reported to his desk at Carr Futures in Tower One and then disappeared; vanished forever.
In Northern Ireland, they will never know of the woodwork yet to be crafted by 21-year-old Brian Monaghan, who had emigrated to the Meehans' neighborhood in Upper Manhattan.
Joint ceremonies at Good Shepherd Church, Inwood, and St. Patrick's Church, Belfast, recalled the hurdles young Monaghan and his family had overcome to date, and all the promise the young carpenter had left to give.
In Dublin, they memorialized Richard Fitzsimons, who traveled to the Irish capital from Lynbrook, Long Island, just weeks before, to dance at his niece's wedding.
In New Jersey, they play “The Minstrel Boy” just a little bit quieter now in memory of three fallen “Irishmen” of sorts from the Port Authority Pipe Band: Steve Huczko, Liam Callahan and Richard Rodriguez.
In the Bronx, a widow cries because her husband and the father of her two baby girls, 31-year-old cafeteria worker Israel Pabon, left for work at dawn after a minor domestic squabble the night before: "We never got the chance to talk . . ."
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