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Eamon J McEneaney
Age: 46
Occupation: Senior Vice President, Limited Partner
Worked for: Cantor Fitzgerald
Originally from: Elmont,
Resided in: New Canaan, CT
School:
College: Cornell University
Submitted by: Irish Tribute ()

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From NY Times Sep 27, 2001

'A Man With a Secret'

Sometimes a wife learns things about her husband after he is gone, and this is how it has been with Eamon McEneaney's wife, Bonnie. She knew that Eamon, a senior vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald, had escaped from his office on the 105th floor after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, but she did not know he had been a hero.

"He saved the lives of 63 people," Ms. McEneaney said from their home in New Canaan, Conn. "They were hysterical, and he pulled them together and wet paper towels for them to put over their faces and made them form a human chain and took them down the stairs. All he ever told me was that he came down the stairs with some friends."

Eamon McEneaney, 46. A star lacrosse player at Cornell University who had been painted by LeRoy Neiman; a father of four; a man, his wife says, who was very much like a leprechaun. He is not on the list of the dead, but his family has released his obituary and his wife says she has had enough conversations with other Cantor Fitzgerald wives who spoke with their husbands at the time of the attack to know what happened: there was fire, the stairs were engulfed in flames and the heat was bad. Ms. McEneaney did not get the opportunity to speak to her husband. She was on the way to her office, and he left a message with her assistant: A plane had hit the building; tell Bonnie that he loved her, that he loved the children, and that he was on his way out.
-- Anon (other)
26 Oct 2001

Poetic Justice Eamon McEneaney.
Family of 9/11 victim gives life to his verse

Eamon McEneaney, his family members say, went to Cornell University a lacrosse player and left it a poet.

Though he won fame on the sports field, he wrote at spare moments while staying in the Long Island home of his brother Kevin and sister-in-law Debbie McEneaney. They kept his poems in a box in their basement for more than 25 years.

So, when two years after his death at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, his widow, Bonnie, felt she could face the task of organizing and editing his poems for publication, the couple gave her his college-era work.

"A Bend in the Road," a 139-page collection of the poems, is due to be published by Cornell University Library in coming weeks.

Eamon McEneaney, who was born in Rockville Centre and grew up in Elmont, is considered one of the greatest lacrosse players of all time. A member of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, he was tremendously agile and, being ambidextrous, could shoot from both sides. The Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica still mentions him admiringly. But his glory days on the sports field, which also saw him earn all-Ivy League honors in football, were long past him in the period before his death.

Instead, McEneaney, a senior vice president and limited partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, who worked on the 105th floor of the North Tower, was looking forward to a life of writing and, to that end, had plans to go part-time at his job.

"He had two books, novels, he wanted to write," Bonnie McEneaney said.

"Those who died were all robbed of their future. We'll never know what their contribution would have been," she said. "It's an honor and a privilege to make whatever dreams they had come true.

"They picked themselves," she said of the poems selected for the volume. "He spun pictures with words."

The work, she added, swung between two extremes: "Some are beautiful and others gritty."

Herself a business executive, Bonnie McEneaney said her husband, who began writing poetry in his early high-school years, was often concerned about death. "He had a fear of dying at the turn of the century," she said of a man who had helped dozens of people escape the North Tower when it was bombed in 1993.

She worked for a year on the publishing project with his best friend, John Gilbert, though it wasn't easy. "I still find it painful to read them," she said. "It's sometimes very hard for me."

She hopes, though, that others will find the poems moving and energizing.

Family members marvel at her strength, said sister-in-law Debbie McEneaney.

Two days after the catastrophic attack on New York, Eamon McEneaney's six older siblings and their spouses and other family members gathered at his New Canaan, Conn., home.

Whereas other families would cling to hope for many more days or even weeks, Bonnie McEneaney told the extended family what they already knew: her husband was dead. "I felt him brush by me in the wind," she said at the time.

She asked that they each hug her children -- Brendan, then 12, Jennifer, 9, and twins Kyle and Kevin, who were 6 -- and tell them: "Daddy is not coming back."

Grief, for the loved ones of 9/11 victims, McEneaney said, "is part of our identity. You carry it with you every day. You wish you could wash it off. But you can't."

She doesn't hate Osama bin Laden or anyone else, describing him simply as "pathetic."

About the terrorists in general, she added: "I feel very sorry for people who are so disturbed."

She said her children are doing "pretty well."

If she, as a surviving parent, couldn't carry on, "then my kids wouldn't be moving forward in a healthy way."

It helps that the extended McEneaney family is so close.

There were times
-- Anon (Friend {})
14 Oct 2004

{contd}

There were times when Debbie McEneaney felt she'd married a whole family and not just Kevin. "They all went to Eamon's games," she recalled.

"In all the time I've been with my husband, my father-in-law has sent him a poem at Christmas," she said, adding that he sends one to all his children each year.

Ed McEneaney, whose parents were from County Monaghan, will be 89 on Dec. 23, the same day his youngest child, Eamon, would have turned 50.

Before that, the entire family will gather for Thanksgiving at the eldest sibling's home in Boston. This year, they'll celebrate the publication of the poems.

The family is excited at the enthusiastic endorsement given the work by Kenneth McClane, the head of Cornell's English department. The fact that the professor, who never met their brother, mentions him in the same breath as W.B. Yeats, his hero, is thrilling.

"What a miracle this collection is! And lucky we are to have a heart so full that it turns us all to wonder," McClane writes in the book's preface.

"Maybe the poems are as good as we think they are," Debbie McEneaney said.

The family has also established the Eamon McEneaney Irish Lecture series at Cornell. The first speaker was novelist Edna O'Brien.

"My father-in-law and Enda O'Brien really hit it off," said Debbie McEneaney. They discovered that they knew people in common, among them John Scanlon, the late publicist.

Family members have enjoyed finding such connections. For example, Debbie McEneaney, whose elder son recently graduated from Collegiate and whose younger son is in seventh grade there, was pleased to learn that McClane was the first African-American graduate of the 375-year-old Manhattan school, the oldest in America.

The literature professor adds in his preface: "Although we no longer have Eamon in the flesh, which is a tragedy beyond language and all understanding, thank goodness we have his heart's music."

All proceeds from "A Bend in the Road" will go to Irish literature programs at Cornell and the lecture series. It can be ordered by calling 1 (800) 431-1579 or at www.book.clearinghouse.com.

To my family

My thoughts are uncontrollable,

as they seem to create tears,

at times.

And I know I love you.

The family grows old and dusty,

death lurks at each corner of our lives.

The clock on my wall smiles,

it is patient.

I bless the fractional moment on earth that we

have touched together.

If nothing more,

you,

My family,

Have made me love.

Eamon McEneaney

This story appeared in the issue of October 13-20, 2004
-- Anon (Friend {})
14 Oct 2004

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