In his special memorial speech on the evening of 9/11, President George Bush made it a point to refer to a conversation he had with Ms. RoseEllen Dowdell. RoseEllen met the President at West Point while attending her son’s acceptance of his commission in the U.S. Army and she obviously made an impression on him. Another one of her sons graduated from the NYC Fire Academy. Fire Lieutenant Kevin Dowdell, a former St. John’s resident and RoseEllen’s husband, died in the tragic events of 9/11/01. President Bush was highlighting the dedication of the Dowdell family, and particularly, Kevin.

Below is the excerpt of that speech highlighting the Dowdell family:

“Earlier this year, I traveled to the United States Military Academy. I was there to deliver the commencement address to the first class to arrive at West Point after the attacks of September the 11th. That day I met a proud mom named RoseEllen Dowdell. She was there to watch her son Patrick accept his commission in the finest Army the world has ever known. A few weeks earlier, RoseEllen had watched her other son, James, graduate from the Fire Academy in New York City. On both these days, her thoughts turned to someone who was not there to share the moment: her husband, Kevin Dowdell. Kevin was one of the 343 firefighters who rushed to the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September the 11th -- and never came home. His sons lost their father that day -- but not the passion for service he instilled in them. Here is what RoseEllen says about her boys, "As a mother, I cross my fingers and pray all the time for their safety -- but as worried as I am, I am also proud -- and I know their dad would be too."”

As we know, that speech was broadcast throughout the entire world. So, we are very proud of the fact that this St. John’s resident was one of the 911 heroes. We are also honored to have his wife, RoseEllen, on our Board of Directors. We thank them for their dedication and sacrifice.

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