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Hughes' Remembers Friends Lost

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone. Ground Zero has been rebuilt and millions watched broadcasts commemorating the tragedy.

Tuesday, I was wrapping up an interview with Leafs Director of Player Development Jim Hughes.
Knowing he was from New York State, I asked him if he had lost anyone he knew in the attacks.

He spoke of his Long Island hometown of Hicksville (population 41,000) and a friend who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial giant based at the World Trade Centre. Two thirds of the company’s workforce, 658 people were killed when a kidnapped jetliner crashed into their building, four floors below their offices.

-Mike Ulmer

Jim Hughes:

My hometown is Hicksville, smack dead in the middle of Long Island.

The Long Island Railroad comes through my town so obviously there are a lot of people up on that platform who go in and out every day.

We had 12 people from our town who perished on 9/11.

One of them was a friend since childhood named Tommy McHale.

I used to ride along with Tommy on our bikes. We played lacrosse together .  He was just a terrific guy. His wife was pregnant with their first child when he passed away.

My best friend’s father won two national titles at Cornell and all the Cornell lacrosse players would come over to his home for barbecues. Eamon McEneaney  was one of the all-time best NCAA lacrosse players. He’s all over the Cornell record book and he left four children. I met him. He was like an idol. To hear that Eamon passed away that day, was so sad. I knew this guy when I was a little kid.

Note: A check of the Cornell Lacrosse website noted McEneaney, 46 when he died,  organized a human chain in a smoke-laden stairwell and helped 65 employees to safety in an earlier attack at the WTC.
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