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Penn State Football Alum’s Family To Serve As Honorary Captains On 9/11’s 20th Anniversary

Penn State football will mark the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack by recognizing one of many families affected by it first-hand.

Former Penn State football walk-on and 1986 graduate Patrick Dwyer died on September 11 while at work on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. This weekend, his surviving wife and children will serve as honorary captains at the Nittany Lions’ home opener against Ball State 20 years later.

“It’s going to be pretty surreal,” Dwyer’s son, Brendan, told Penn State Athletics. “I haven’t had much thought about it because I’m sure it’s going to be a heavy moment.”

Before his passing, Dwyer had been planning to bring his then-6-year-old son, Brendan, to his first Penn State football game.

Dwyer originally came to Penn State on a lacrosse scholarship but walked onto Penn State football as a kicker. While exercising in the offseason, he met his wife, JoAnn, who was working as a personal trainer in Long Island.

Saturday’s game will be the Dwyers’ first in nearly 20 years. To this day, their household still features a Penn State-themed room and a stocked wardrobe decked out in blue and white.

To read more about Patrick and the Dwyers, check out this feature story posted by Penn State Athletics.

Penn State is recognizing September 11’s 20th anniversary with a number of events on campus, including select ringings of Old Main’s chimes. The university is also draping the American flag from Old Main through September 13.

Fans at Beaver Stadium will witness a pregame flyover and a moment of silence on Saturday, too.

No. 11 Penn State kicks off against Ball State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 11. Those at home can tune in on FS1.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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