Two Decades Later, Family of Montco Native Who Died on 9/11 Still Searching for Meaning

Bobby McIlvaine
Image courtesy of the family, in The Atlantic.
Bobby McIlvaine and his parents.

Two decades after Oreland-native Bobby McIlvaine died in the September 11 terrorist attack, his family continues to search for meaning, writes Jennifer Senior for The Atlantic.

McIlvaine, a graduate of Upper Dublin High School, was 26 years old when he died in the North Tower. He left behind his parents, Helen and Bob Sr., brother Jeff, and fiancé Jen Middleton.

Dealing with the grief brought on by such a momentous loss has not been easy. His father focused on the event itself and got lost in the conspiracy theory that the attack was an inside job.

His mother and his fiancée parted ways over McIlvaine’s final diary, which his father gave to Middleton a day after the attack.

Helen was hoping to at least get a copy of the diary to be able to read her son’s final thoughts, but Jen was not willing to share what she believed belonged to her.

Finally, after two decades, Jen, who has since gotten married and had two children, has shared the diary with McIlvaine’s family, healing an old wound.

“I would have done it years ago,” she said. “I think about them all the time.”

Read more about Bobby McIlvaine in The Atlantic.