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John Gallagher
Age: 31
Occupation: Electricity Trader
Worked for: Cantor Fitzgerald
Originally from:
Resided in: Bronx, NY
School: St. Raymond's High School
College: Manhattan College '91
Submitted by: Irish Tribute ()

Other links: Making Sense of Life: NY Times


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-- Anon (Friend { })
07 Feb 2002

From the Bronx Times October 4, 2001

'Thousands celebrate life of WTC victim, John Gallagher'

Looking out into the faces of the thousand-plus relatives and friends who came to celebrate the life of John Gallagher at a special Mass Saturday at St. Helena Church, his wife, Francine, reminded the standing-room-only crowd what a blessing it is to have had her late husband in each of their lives.

Calling their six years together and their one year of marriage "the best years of my life," Francine, like other loved ones who spoke at the service, pointed out that Gallagher lived fully and loved freely in his almost 32 years of life, right up to his last moment on September 11, when he and nearly 700 other Cantor Fitzgerald employees perished in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Gallagher, who was born and raised in the Bronx, would have celebrated his 32nd birthday on October 14.

"John lived life to the fullest and brought me along for the ride," Francine said, glancing over at a poster-sized photo of her husband holding the coupleBs newborn son, James Jordan Gallagher, which graced the altar of the Olmstead Avenue church. "He promised to show me the world and he did."

Francine asked those gathered to remember John Gallagher to focus on the many lives he touched, rather than the life he lost so tragically in the Twin Towers collapse. "He has touched so many lives," she said. "It was very easy to love John, because he gave love to others so freely. Whether it be a family member or friend, that love just flowed from his heart."

Francine said she knew that John would be a wonderful husband and father even before they were married last year and their son James was born in July, because of the kindness he showed to all he came in contact with.

She spoke of the tremendous love that John shared with his family and friends, as well as how he cherished time spent with loved ones.

"In the two short months that John and James had together, John proved to be a great dad," Francine said. "From the moment James was born, there was an immediate bond so beautiful, it could only be between a loving father and sonBHe will always be remembered in our hearts."

One of several priests who celebrated the Mass, Monsignor Thomas Derivan, the pastor of St. Helena Parish where Gallagher and his brothers and sisters grew up, said in his sermon that faith, friends and family were indeed the pillars of JohnBs life. He spoke of the love that John and Francine had for young James, who was baptized in that same church the weekend after the World Trade Center tragedy occurred.

"As I look out at this crowd gathered here today, I can assure Fran that baby James Jordan Gallagher has more than a thousand new aunts and uncles that will love him, care for him and support him throughout his life," Msgr. Derivan said. "And when James is old enough, please tell him what kind of man his father was, and share with him how John Gallagher touched each of our lives."

The longtime pastor shared how Francine, just days after September 11, looked beyond her own tremendous loss and pain and asked him to pray for others whose lives were lost or torn apart by the tragedy. "I will also always remember the words of a young mother who just lost her young husband, asking that I join with her in praying, not for her, but for a better world, a world of peace for her young son to grow up in, a world where something like this tragedy could never occur again," Msgr. Derivan said.
-- Anon (Friend { })
07 Feb 2002

{contd from Bronx Times}

GallagherBs wife also extended thanks to all those who continue to show their love and support to her, baby James and the rest of JohnBs family, and expressed gratitude to the rescue workers who responded to the Trade Center that day, or have worked at ground zero in the three weeks since.

"I have been amazed at the love, support and random acts of kindness our family has been shown," Francine said. "Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that there would be so much love and compassion in this world. It is this support that helps us get through the day. We have been blessed."

She also spoke of JohnBs admiration for firefighters, police officers and other uniformed rescue personnel, noting that many of JohnBs friends were called to those professions. "Who would have thought he would have fallen with so many of them," Francine said.

One of JohnBs brothers, Vinny Jordan, said that while his mother Rose and the rest of the Gallagher/Jordan family were deeply grateful for the outpouring of kindness, love and support that has comforted them since the tragedy, they werenBt surprised by it. "We knew that the people John chose to be friends with would share his good qualitiesBBbeing kind and generous, being there when a friend needed them most, being selfless when it counted the most," said Vinny, pointing in particular to two of GallagherBs longtime friends and fellow Bronxites, firefighters Dennis Mulligan and Michael Lynch, who are among the more than 300 firefighters missing since the collapse of the Twin Towers.

His brother reflected on how blessed his siblings feel that John joined their family when his father married their mother, about a year after GallagherBs own mother died when he was 11 months old. "It was always a pleasure to have John as a younger brother," Vinny said, speaking for his brother Peter, and sisters Kathleen, Anne and Therese. "He added so much light and happiness to our lives."

Vinny described how John "radiated with happiness" when he met and married Francine, just as he did when the couple welcomed their son into the world this past summer.

Vinny recounted that one of GallagherBs colleagues shared how John, in what may have been his last phone call that fateful morning, spoke so proudly and lovingly of his wife and child, not yet knowing the tragedy that was to soon follow.

His brother also told those in the jam-packed church that John had taken a day off from his job with the bond trading firm on the 105th floor of the Trade CenterBs Tower One the Friday before the tragedy, choosing instead to share a glorious September day at the Bronx Zoo with his wife and two-month-old son. "Later that night, John would say to me, BIsnBt that what dads are supposed to do on beautiful, sunny days?B"

That kind of love, generosity of spirit and gratitude for the many blessings of life was the way that John Gallagher chose to live his life, his brother explained, which is perhaps the legacy he left behind for all who were lucky enough to know him.
-- Anon (Friend { })
07 Feb 2002

{contd from Bronx Times}

"John looked at life maybe the way we all should look at life," Vinny said.

"He thought it was quite simple: Be good to others, share your love, share your smiles, and in return, youBll find love and happiness yourselfBand he did just that."

Two of GallagherBs young nieces, Shannon and Erin Campbell, read poetry at the service, which was followed by a gathering at which friends and relatives wrote their personal recollections of John in albums that will be presented to his newborn son.

Shannon, age 10, recited one of her uncleBs favorite poems, "What Shall I Say About the Irish?" which reads in part: "HeBs in love with the ocean, the earth and the skies; HeBs enamored with beauty, wherever it lies. HeBs victor and victim, a star and a cloud; but mostly heBs Irish, in love with his God."

Her sister, Erin, age 7, said, "I love my Uncle John. When I was sad, he would hug me. He always made me laugh. I know he is in heaven watching over all of us, mostly Aunt Fran, baby James and Grammy."

Msgr. Derivan announced that there will be a fund established for baby James Jordan Gallagher. Donations can be sent to the family in care of St. Helena Church, 1315 Olmstead Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10462.
-- Anon (Friend { })
07 Feb 2002

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