On this day 14 years ago, a terrorist attack snatched 2,996 lives from USA and several other countries whose citizens were in the four planes, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The University of Mississippi is among the places affected by the tremendous tragedy that stretched worldwide.
The late Lieutenant Commander Patrick J. Murphy, a native of Flossmoor, Illinois, who completed a bachelor of science in chemical engineering at the University of Mississippi in 1986, was among the 125 victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. He was on a two-week Reserve assignment for the Navy when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon. Friends he made while at the University of Mississippi still remember him.
Glen Murphy, his teammate on the Ole Miss Rugby Club back when they were undergrad students, ensured he always remembers his friend. He said in an email, “I like to think that I am doing my part as a teammate and as a fellow ‘Murphy’ to make sure that, at least in my life time, he is not forgotten at Ole Miss.”
The Rugby Club celebrated its 40th anniversary this past spring, and during the reunion they remembered Patrick Murphy among many who have joined him since.
Murphy said, “We (the Ole Miss Old Boys Rugby Club) have had several pass too soon. Some by accident, some by disease, but none under the circumstances associated with Patrick’s death. Clay Cavett, of the Ole Miss Alumni Office and current Ole Miss Rugby Club President Matthew Cutrer helped us honor Patrick, and the others, at our recent reunion. We ‘old boys’ liken ourselves to a band of brothers who shared many good experiences attending Ole Miss and playing rugby. As far as I know, Patrick was the only 9/11 casualty from Ole Miss. I know, unfortunately, that there have been others who have followed him in the wake of the aftermath of 9/11.”
Clay Cavett said in an email, “Each year the Rugby Alumni Club gathers and we always remember Pat Murphy each and every time we gather. Pat was serving in the Navy and stationed at the Pentagon when the plane crashed there. Pat was a great family man, loved his country and everything Ole Miss. We will always remember him and the sacrifice he made for all of us.”
Patrick Murphy is remembered at the Pentagon as seen on the Pentagon Memorial Website.
As quoted from the Pentagon’s website: “LCDR Murphy was a loving, devoted and loyal husband, father, son, brother and uncle. An intensely profound man, Patrick believed strongly in family, God and country. Patrick gave his life for these beliefs. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends and fellow countrymen. We all hope and pray that he may rest in peace.”
He is also remembered in his hometown. Patch.com reports that the Winston Lane in Chicago Heights where Patrick grew up before his family moved to Flossmoor, “now has a brown street sign that reads: Patrick Murphy Way, September 11, 2001.” Numerous pictures of Patrick can be viewed on the website’s feature.
Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.