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A 20-Year Remembrance of September 11, 2001

John Singleton, C’86, MBA’87

patriot hall september 11 memorial plaque

Heroes have been a legacy of Mount St. Mary’s since the beginning. Founded by a refugee priest on the run from a political revolution, the Mount was conceived in American liberty on the heels of 1776. On September 11, 2001, a new generation of heroes emerged in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Firefighters and police officers were the first to arrive at the Twin Towers in Manhattan. Of the 2,977 people killed that day, five were members of the Mount family. Like the FDNY and NYPD, the graduates of Mount St. Mary’s that died on 9/11 were heroes—their lives a marker in American history that attest to the American love of freedom and family that form the core of the American dream.

Twenty years later the solemn memorials taking place around the nation include five Mount alumni who died that Tuesday morning. Etched in the stones of Patriot Hall are the names of these loyal sons and daughters whose lives were cut short on that clear, cloudless day. In September 2021, we remember the significance of their lives and commemorate the legacies of love and family that are their enduring gifts.

Jim Murphy, C’93

james murphy

Under his Pridwin Yearbook photo Jim Murphy, a business and finance major, wrote: “To the Mount – we are the ones who can make this world what it never was but always wants to be.” An account manager at Thomson Financial, Jim was an idealist with a habit of being late. On September 11, 2001, he was attending a trade show at the World Trade Center. On that fateful morning he was destined to be on time.

Jim’s playful upbeat personality, burnished at the Mount, attracted his college sweetheart, Jeanine Kelly, C’92, whom he married in 1999. “He was a very genuine person, warm and comfortable to be around,” Jeanine recollected. Jim is remembered for his sense of humor, his deep love for his wife and family and his joy in playing golf.

Elizabeth Claire “Beth” Logler, C’91

elizabeth logler

As a vice president for investor relations at eSpeed, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald, Beth Logler had achieved tremendous success at a tender age. But her first priority was family demonstrated in her love for her grandfather, James Byrnes who sported an Irish cap and tweed jacket wherever he went. From the day she got her driver’s license she would visit “Pop” in Yonkers. “Oh, the two were devils together,” Beth’s mother recalled. “Both ready to go, ready to have a lot of fun.”

At the time of her death, Beth Logler was engaged, with a wedding set for December 30, 2001. She and her fiancé, Doug Cleary, were determined to furnish their new apartment on the east side of Manhattan with family heirlooms. On the morning of September 11, 2001 when she went to work, Beth Logler no doubt said a prayer for her beloved grandfather, James Byrnes, who had died exactly one year earlier.

Anthony Edward Gallagher, C’83

anthony gallagher

On September 11, 2001, Anthony Gallagher had been married only a few short months. An energy broker at Cantor Fitzgerald, he was well-known for his dedication to his nieces and nephews. “When Tony was planning to get married, he even asked them if it was O.K.,” recalled his sister Carolyn Gallagher. “They gave him the thumbs up.”

Under his MSM Pridwin Yearbook photo Anthony quoted Henry David Thoreau: “Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a moving star.” At the Mount Anthony was an economics major, a skillset he would utilize each day at his office in the World Trade Center. Despite his love of family, Anthony would never get the opportunity to be a parent. When the sun set on September 11, Cantor Fitzgerald would lose 658 people, two thirds of its New York workforce.

Kevin James Murphy, C’83

kevin james murphy

On September 7, 2001, Kevin Murphy and his wife, Beth, celebrated a night on the town. Beth had just beaten cancer. It was Kevin’s 40th birthday. “This will be my birthday present,” he said of his wife’s restored health. When they had first met, he recalled, it was his birthday, too. Beth sneezed. Kevin said “God bless you,” and the rest was history. They made a home and a family together raising son Connor and daughter Caitlyn in Smithtown, New York.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Kevin Murphy was back at his desk on the 100th floor of the World Trade Center - Tower 1 at Marsh & McLennan. From his office window he could see the Statue of Liberty. It was a prized view earned over many years of hard work. But that morning despite the clear blue sky, it was impossible to see what was coming.

Andy Alameno, C’86

andrew alameno

Andy Alameno was my classmate. He was the kind of guy who always had a smile and a word of encouragement for everybody he met. Raised in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, he grew up loving the shore. During the summers Andy was a lifeguard, returning to the Mount each fall with an infectious grin and an enviable tan.

American Heroes Scholarship Fund

Andy Alameno was my inspiration for starting the American Heroes Scholarship Fund. Established in 2006, it’s been instrumental in providing financial support to Mount students whose parents have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, law enforcement or as firefighters.

The purpose behind creating the American Heroes Scholarship Fund was to memorialize our nation’s heroes and to honor the great Catholic tradition of Mount St. Mary’s. When the scholarship campaign was officially launched in 2004, my friend and classmate Alice Mahoney, C’86, became my co-chair. Our class, the Class of 86’, generously funded the effort. In 2006 we celebrated the dedication of the American Heroes Scholarship on Reunion Weekend with Andy’s wife, Sally, keeping in prayer their children, Joe and Nina, and the large and loving Alameno family.

Despite the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the Blessed Mother, our patroness and protectress, unites the People of God under her holy mantle. From Our Lady of Lavang (Vietnam) to Our Lady of Kibeho (Rwanda) to Our Lady of Lourdes (France), the Mother of God shines the golden light of Spes Nostra (Our Hope) on the path ahead. She is the mother of all heroes. Jim Murphy, Beth Logler, Tony Gallagher, Kevin Murphy and Andy Alameno – sons and daughters, husbands and wives – are all members of the same Mount family. A sign of Spes Nostra, their memory is etched for eternity on a mountain of hope called Mount St. Mary’s.

Make a gift to the American Heroes Scholarship Fund which was established in 2006 by the Class of 1986 on the occasion of their 20th reunion, in memory of their deceased classmates. (Under “Your Gift Will Benefit” select Scholarship and under “Select a Scholarship Fund” choose Class of 1986 American Heroes Scholarship.)

John Singleton, C’86, MBA’87