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Library Exhibits: 9/11, Five Years Later

Click to enlarge.Thirty-six Fordham Alumni and three students died in the attack on the World Trade Center . All of them are deeply missed by their families and friends who saw them as very special people. For example, after 9/11 the family of Michael J. Armstrong (FCLC ‘90) found evidence of how he helped a drug user overcome his addiction; and how he went out of his way to welcome a neighbor back from prison when everyone else shunned him. He loved New York City . In his apartment he had an antiquarian map of the city and numerous books on the history of New York and of Central Park where he liked to ride his bike. He was scheduled to marry Catherine M. Nolan on October 6, 2001.

Christian Maltby (FCRH ’86) was so handsome that his college friends would take him to bars to attract girls so that they could flirt with them. He helped to pay his way through Fordham by doing modeling. He appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine and on the dust jackets of romance novels. He was vice president for currency at Cantor Fitzgerald which was located on the 101 st and the 103 rd through the 105 th floors. All 700 of their 1000 employees who were in the building were lost. At the time of his death, Christian was the father of two boys and one girl, ages three, five, and eight and was in training to be a Sunday school teacher at his church.

James Patrick (CBA ’93), a bond broker at Canter Fitzgerald, was planning on having at least four children. He died seven weeks before his first child was born. When the plane hit the tower, Patrick was on the phone with a client. He interrupted the conversation to say that he had to evacuate the building. That was the last he was heard from.

Also from CBA (’85), Michael Tamuccio worked for Fred Alger Management on the 93 rd floor of the North Tower. As a student at Fordham, he overpowered a mugger and took his weapon. It was a sock filled with quarters. He used the coins to do laundry for the next several weeks. Michael’s family was aware of the kindness he showed to people in the business world. He encouraged those who had not finished college to go back to school, and he helped others find jobs on Wall Street.

John M. Moran (Law ’94) was one of the few New York City firemen who was also a lawyer. But practicing law was not what he really wanted to do. His father and his uncle were firefighters, and his brother and several cousins are firefighters. He was a Battalion Chief on Roosevelt Island . At 7 a.m. on 9/11 he finished his shift, but he lingered at the firehouse instead of going right home. When the World Trade Center call came in, he asked the Chief if he could go along. The Chief said yes and Moran jumped into the truck.

As an undergraduate, David H. Winton (CBA ’94) showed a remarkable talent for business. He became the chief executive of the student-run federal credit union. He recruited his roommate to help him and they both worked 30 hours per week to turn around the union. They doubled its assets in two years. After graduation he became a vice president of Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods in the World Trade Center . He made frequent trips back to Fordham to serve on the student bank’s supervisory board. Ten minutes after the plane hit his building, he called his mother. He told her he was all right and that he was looking for a way out. He was planning to marry his fiancee on November 17, 2001.

Of the three Fordham students who were killed, Patricia Cody was a senior vice president at Marsh and McLennan and an evening student at Fordham. She was studying to become an English teacher and was only one semester away from finishing her courses. She did not work at the World Trade Center . She was there on 9/11 for a company meeting. Fond of angels, she always wore an angel pin on her shoulder. She called it her guardian angel.

Dan and Mary Smith did not graduate from Fordham but they were students there when they met. At age 47, Dan was on his way to the hospital for heart bypass surgery when he asked his wife for some paper and a pen. He had lost both his mother and father when he was 15. His father had a fatal heart attack and his mother died of cancer. He did not want his children to experience what he had, but there he was on his way to major surgery, and his wife had just recovered from a bout of breast cancer. He wrote notes to his 14 year old daughter, Elizabeth, and his 12 year old son, Michael, telling them how much he loved them, that he would always be with them, and to do what their mother tells them to do.

Dan’s surgery was successful. Mary put the notes in a drawer and devoted herself to his recovery just as he had helped her through her illness. In July, 2001, two months after his operation, Dan started working for Euro Brokers in the Trade Center . In late September Mary gave the notes to their children.

Soon after the attack the library staff realized that a literature of 9/11 would develop, and that as a major library in New York City we should be careful to collect everything published on the topic. As of 2006 there are nearly 700 entries in the catalog under the subject heading “ September 11, 2001 .” About 400 of these are for printed books. The rest are videos, ebooks, dissertations, government documents, and even musical recordings.

The printed books are on every imaginable aspect of the tragedy and every format including history, biography, poetry, fiction, drama, cartoons, art, photography, and children’s books. The points of view represented by the authors include Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, African-American, philosophical, literary, historical, political, and artistic.

Some very well-known writers have produced books on the subject including Gail Sheehy, E. L. Doctorow, Bob Woodward, Rudolph Giuliani, Jay McInerny, and Joan Didion, to name a few. There is also a collection of essays written by Fordham students. Professor Elaine Crane of the History Department asked the students in her Development of Modern America course to write about their personal experience of the tragedy.

As mentioned above, some of the books are written for and by children. Here is an excerpt from The Mouths of Babes edited by Wendy Kellor (Sophia Publishing, 2001):

“I could tell that something was very wrong. My heart was pounding, I didn’t know what to think or say. So I stayed with my mother and father as they watched the events on television. I saw my mother cover her face with her hands. She called out the names Adam and Eric. They were her nephews, my cousins, and they worked near the World Trade Center . As I turned to my father, a tear rolled down his cheek. He covered my eyes, but I could see the television from the corner of my eye. People were jumping out of buildings. Others, covered in ash, were running for their lives.

The world seemed like it was falling apart.
I didn’t feel like a little girl anymore.”

               Hallie Spigelman. age 11

The biographical information in this article comes from the Fordham University Archives, World Trade Center File, and from Portraits: 9/11/01: The Collected “Portraits of Grief” from the New York Times. 2nd edition. New York: Times Books, 2003.


James P. McCabe,
University Librarian




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