Daniel Gallagher: July Fourth
Gallagher, born on the Fourth of July, was a fixture as
the friendly burger flipper at summer barbecues. Last
year on the Fourth, when he turned 23, friends went to
his house to help celebrate, walking the block from his
home in Red Bank, N.J., to see the fireworks reflected in
the Navesink River.
He spent his last weekend with his large family -- 30
people in a couple of houses in Manasquan. They all stood
on the steps for a photo, waiting for Mr. Gallagher, who
emerged freshly showered, his arms up like Rocky after
running up those steps, said his aunt Bernadette
McDonnell, whom he called Aunt Bunny. He stayed late on
that Sunday, throwing a whiffle ball on the beach with
his cousins. One of them, Christopher McDonnell, told
Mrs. McDonnell later, "You know, Ma, God gift-wrapped
that weekend for our family."
Mr. Gallagher would stay up late studying for
licensing exams, but was on the ferry before 6 every
morning to get to his office at Cantor Fitzgerald, where
he worked for the international bond desk.
"Now," Mrs. McDonnell said, "I'm thinking, like
Christopher says, all we have to do is try to get through
the Fourth of July, you know, that first year, and then
hopefully heal a little."