For the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Oswego alumni magazine checked in with some of the “New American Heroes” featured in our Fall/Winter 2001 cover story. Here, they share their thoughts on the attacks and the decade that followed.
“I think it brought us as a country closer together — especially the police and fire departments. Prior to 9/11 [when you met someone] you shook their hand. Police and firemen when they greet each other now, will greet each other with hugs and not just handshakes.”
— John McLoughlin ’75 was trapped for 22 hours in the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Now retired from the Port Authority police, John and his wife, Donna, make visits to Oswego to see their son J.J. ’14 play soccer, and over the years have enjoyed trips to campus to visit children Steven ’08 and Caitlin ’12.
“I waited two years and got a tattoo — my only tattoo. It’s a flag that wraps around my right arm and says ‘FDNY 9/11 343’ for the guys who got killed.”
— Pete Wasserman ’87 lost several firefighters from his house and is retired from the FDNY. He was married in 2006 and he and his wife, Yuri Nam-Wasserman, have a 4-year-old daughter, Kayla. Pete, a former Oswego State hockey player, likes to take in a Lakers game while visiting his nephew Jesse Sahli ’12.
“It’s changed the world. It’s taken a lot of the innocence away from people. Everything used to be so straightforward.”
— Bob Bacon ’95, who was trapped on a landing when the World Trade Center collapsed around him, is still a firefighter with the FDNY, stationed in the North Bronx. He and his wife, Kathleen Liguori Bacon ’95 have two sons, ages 5 and 7.
“I still believe that good will prevail , but I understand more clearly now that good will not eliminate evil. I believe good things come from bad things. That has certainly taken place many times since 9/11.”
— Bill Beyer ’77 is retired from the FDNY. He lives with his wife, Mary, and works part time and does volunteer work. The father of five still plays music at the Firefighter’s Monument each year on the anniversary of the attacks.
“If anyone ever mentions it — that date, that time — it all floods back in … You have to go on. It’s good to remember the fallen, but not the pain. It’s an act we should never forget because those people did not deserve to be there.”
— Brendan Chamberlain ’91 spent several weeks following 9/11 delivering supplies to Ground Zero with the NYPD. Now retired from the force, he lives in Florida with his wife, Tracy, and two daughters.
“That’s the day you hug everyone a little tighter and be thankful for every moment you have … We feel really lucky. It’s just remarkable how many people this affected.”
— Liesel Scheuerman Kipp ’97 escaped the World Trade Center shortly after the attacks and said “Yes” to a marriage proposal from then-boyfriend Gregory Kipp ’00 later that day. The couple celebrates their 10th anniversary next year and has a 10-month-old daughter, Charlotte.
“Now that I’m overseas, it just opens your eyes. When I see an American in need, I do whatever I can to help them. 9/11 made me realize: We’re all Americans and we’re supposed to take care of each other.”
— Rafael G. Rodriguez ’98 was on duty with NYPD and near the World Trade Center when it collapsed. He is currently a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency senior agent fighting terrorist-funded drug rings in the Dominican Republic.
Read their original stories and more in this special section of the Fall/Winter 2001 issue of Oswego magazine:
You might also like
More from Fall/Winter 2011
During their long careers at SUNY Oswego, Hugh and Grace Mowatt Burritt helped thousands of students reach their full potential. …