Student Who Lost Dad on 9/11 Embraces Jesuit Tradition
September 8, 2011 – The memories and images of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 may linger for many 10 years later, but for Kieran Halloran (SFS’14), the day was just “a big blur.”
Halloran was 9 when he lost his father, Vincent, a lieutenant New York City firefighter that day.
“Surprisingly, I don’t remember that much,” he says. “I remember bits and pieces, like going to school that morning. … I don’t even remember being told that my dad died. I just remember waking up one day and knowing that had happened.”
Soon after the attacks, the young boy started attending America’s Camp, a one-week summer camp for children who lost a parent or sibling as a result of 9/11.
“I think the closest thing I can come to describing the camp would probably be love incarnate,” says Halloran, who had attended the camp for 10 years. “It was the only place where we can be kids and for me, for those first few years [after 9/11], it was the one thing that really kept me going for the rest of the year.”
America’s Camp is a legacy program of the Twin Towers fund, which supports families of uniformed services members and other government offices who lost their lives or were injured at the World Trade Center.
Third Brother at Georgetown
The camp’s activities were much like other summer camps filled with sports, campfires, arts and crafts and other activities, except that talks about the attacks sometimes come up in conversation.
“It’s very much a camper-led camp,” he explains, adding that conversations aren’t forced by counselors.
Halloran, who plans on majoring in regional and comparative studies and earning a certificate in international development, is the third member of his family to attend Georgetown after his older brothers, Conor (SFS’10) and Jake (B’08).
“When you’re from a big family you kind of want to do your own thing,” says the sophomore, one of six siblings. “But I wanted to do some sort of international studies and Georgetown just seemed like the best fit for me.”
Halloran believes the university’s Jesuit values have played a significant role in his life.
The student stays active with the Knights of Columbus, Campus Ministry and the Center for Social Justice through the Hoyas Global Initiative. He also helps out with a weekly adoration with the Catholic Student Association.
“Kieran serves at Mass and participated in our trip to El Salvador in the spring,” says Kevin O’Brien, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry. “He has eloquently shared his family's story with others. It is testament to the love he has for his father, his family, his Church and his country. No doubt, his father would be very proud of him.”