9-11 Reflections – Profile: Jim Fitzpatrick

Submitted by Web Communications on September 6, 2011

I also remember distinctly that after setting up the TV’s in the Barone Main Dining Room in the late morning, it was so so quiet….and the Main Dining Room with students is NEVER quiet! The silence while students and staff were watching the breaking news on TV was eerie!

Jim Fitzpatrick ’70, M.A. ’72

Title: Assistant Vice President of Administration and Student Affairs

Town: Fairfield, CT

 

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I was in my office when a phone call came in from one of my close friends who is a firefighter in New York. He asked, “Where are you?” in a very probing voice. I stated I was in my office and he said, “Get to a TV…a plane just crashed into the Twin Towers.” My first thought was that it must be a small plane that had a terrible accident.

Then I remember emotions starting to build when the second plane went into the second Tower and finally when I heard about the Pentagon being hit. For the first time that morning I began to fear that we were under attack. By the time I heard about the plane in Pennsylvania, I was in automatic mode and was thinking of all of our students and town folks who were impacted.

I also immediately thought of my Dad and Mom and wondered how they felt when they were out on a date December 8, 1941, and heard over the radio about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Two other thoughts stick out in my mind -

As many Americans in the Tri State area remember, it was a glorious late summer day. There was not a cloud in the sky over the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola as the special Mass was celebrated mid-afternoon. Everyone was praying for the victims, but I’m sure there was total confusion as to what else we were praying for.

I also remember distinctly that after setting up the TV’s in the Barone Main Dining Room in the late morning, it was so so quiet….and the Main Dining Room with students is NEVER quiet! The silence while students and staff were watching the breaking news on TV was eerie!

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