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Calvin Butner
Edward Morad
Violet Phillips
Monique Champagne
Michael Breen
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Ben Litwack
Calvin Butner
Edward Morad
Violet Phillips
Monique Champagne
Michael Breen
Remembering 9/11
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We Remember
 
Honored Dead: Victims of 9/11
 
Moments of remembrance on the South Shore and beyond
 
Stories of survival, heroics
 
Taunton man remembers the last day with his wife
 
Have things changed?
 
How attacks affected kids, and how are they now
 
Nationally
 
Brockton native decided how much to give 9/11 families
 
Graphic: Sequence of 9/11 events
Audio interviews and editing for this series were conducted by Cory Hopkins, Diana Schoberg, Ryan Menard, John Kelly, Andrew Lightman and Ken Johnson from The Patriot Ledger, and by Jean Porrazzo, Elaine Allegrini and Craig Murray from The Enterprise.
Site Design: Stephen Ide

 

Taunton dedicates monument to victims

Peter B. Gay and his daughter, Laurel Gay, reflect in front of the memorial honoiring Peter A. Gay, who was killed Sept. 11, 2001.
PAUL S. ROBINSON
Peter B. Gay and his daughter, Laurel Gay, reflect in front of the memorial honoiring Peter A. Gay, who was killed Sept. 11, 2001.

The Memorial Park tribute is the
brainchild of victim Peter Gay’s father.


Enterprise staff writer

TAUNTON - Every day, Peter B. Gay looks at a picture of his smiling son on the wall and wants to remember him that way.

But the memory of Sept. 11, 2001, won’t let that happen.

Gay says there has been no healing for him since his 54-year-old son, Peter A. Gay, was killed when terrorists hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed the plane into the World Trade Center that morning.

“The healing part has never occurred for me,” said Gay, now 91, patriarch of Taunton’s Gay family.

“Death is death, but the manner in which he was killed is the hardest part and the little piece of him that they gave back to us is what’s killing me,” said Gay.

Peter A. Gay
Peter A. Gay

His son’s remains were found at the World Trade Center site and identified in October 2001.

But as difficult as the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 is for Peter Gay, he is finding something positive about it.

Gay and other family members were on hand when the city dedicated a monument to Peter A. Gay and other Sept. 11 victims at Memorial Park.

“I’m so excited over it,” said Gay. “The city of Taunton is joining with us to forever remember that one of its own was killed on 9/11.” He wants people to remember that his son was “not just a victim.”

“He was a great son, father and a senior vice president at Raytheon, working for our government to make radars for our Navy,” said Gay. “He is a Taunton boy who was born and raised here.”

The family says the monument is for others as well.

“It’s also for anyone who suffered on that day,” said David T. Gay, one of Peter A. Gay’s brothers.

“It’s a place where people can go and reflect. I distinctly remember my mother taking Peter and I there when we were little to feed the ducks,” David Gay. “People need a place like that.”

Peter B. Gay lost his son Peter on Sept. 11
File photo
Peter Gay of Taunton in his Washington Street office in Taunton in this 2003 file photo. His son was a victim in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

He said the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks is difficult.

“I’ve come to the realization that things like that happen,” said David Gay. “What I regret is that in the five years we have not made progress in finding a solution to the problem worldwide.

“People are still dying all around the world. The war in Iraq hasn’t been the solution, and it has only exacerbated the problems,” he said.

David Gay says he hopes “some good will come out of 9/11” and that the spirit of togetherness that people around the country displayed immediately after the attack will not fade away.

An honors graduate of Coyle High School, where there is a scholarship in his name, Peter A. Gay was a 32-year veteran at Raytheon and vice president of operations for electronic systems.

He had five brothers and a sister, and was the father of two sons and a daughter.

Gay and his wife, Linda, had lived in Tewksbury.

An avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing and boating on Cape Cod, Gay was also a runner, an accomplished clarinetist, loved to cook and was known to be able to fix anything.

The elder Gay said he came up with the idea for the monument last April and worked with family friend and fellow attorney David Simas to make it work.

David Gay lost his brother Peter on Sept. 11
J. KIELY/The Enterprise
David Gay lost his brother Peter, who was on American Airlines flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles on September 11, 2001.

He said Memorial Park is the perfect setting for the monument.

“The city has cleaned up the park so beautiful,” Gay said.

The Gay family raised more than $15,000 for the memorial and beautification project.

He says Americans have become too complacent since Sept. 11.

“We’ve gone on with our lives and our business, but it’s not the same America,” he said. “We don’t know who is in our back yard, and we better be aware.”

But Gay said he feels he has accomplished a goal in having his son remembered forever.

“I waited to see this day,” he said. “Now, if I go, I know he will be remembered.”

NOW IN BAGHDAD
IT’S PERSONAL

Hull native was at Pentagon
on 9/11


The Patriot Ledger

The last thing Col. Mike Galloucis did before leaving for Iraq earlier this month was go to a movie.
Hours later, the Hull native would be on a plane to Baghdad on a dangerous mission to train Iraqi police, a target as enticing to militants as American soldiers. Before he went, he bought a ticket to “World Trade Center.”

“I wanted to watch the Oliver Stone movie not to be somber, but to remind me of the senseless deaths of over 3,000 people that morning and the linkage of the events of September 11th and my current mission,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there are still many people around the world like the people who hijacked and piloted those planes that day.”

Galloucis in Baghdad
Photo courtesy Michael Galloucis
Col. Michael Galloucis, a native of Hull, has gone to Iraq to command a military police unit.

Galloucis was at the Pentagon when the plane hit. He was chatting with his boss, Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, head of the Army’s Crisis Action Team.

“I left my house that Tuesday morning at my normal time of 5 a.m. As I entered the Pentagon that day, the sun was just rising. I had no idea whatsoever what the day would bring, or that less than four hours later, our nation would be attacked by foreign terrorists,” he said in an e-mail to The Patriot Ledger.

When the plane hit, he didn’t feel it. Then came the sirens. The halls filled with hazy smoke. The air smelled faintly of electricity. A co-worker he drank coffee with hours before had been killed. “I witnessed up close and personal as the Department of Defense and the U.S. government transitioned from a peacetime to a wartime posture,” Galloucis said.

“The images of the planes making contact with the World Trade Center and all the chaos I remember observing in the Pentagon on Sept. 11th left an indelible impression on me,” Galloucis said. “Those images give me greater determination and resolve to accomplish my mission here.”

Galloucis’ parents, Harry and Mary Lou Galloucis, live in Halifax. His wife and their three children are in the Washington area.

Ryan Menard may be reached at rmenard@ledger.com