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Classic "Proudly I Fly" stories:

"My Uniform"
Aviation "Thank You"
Why Does Mary Fly?
Turning Loss into Action
Flying the Flag
Joy in Giving

View the Edge4Vets Program

In the days, weeks and months after 9/11 the aviation industry came together in a powerful if quiet way to get America flying again. Airline and airport workers put on their uniforms and went back to work to take back what some sought to undermine – they came together out of duty and pride to reclaim the sky – and reaffirm hope.

What was it about these everyday Americans that allowed them to meet the challenges? Where did they find the strength to perform in such extraordinary fashion under pressure?

I set out on a journey to learn these answers, a journey that became a book, Reclaiming the Sky. What I learned on my journey is this: we move forward after loss by doing for others.

After the book was published in 2006, a group of us set out to put the themes of resiliency from the stories into action. All profits from the book go to aviation charities, including the flight attendant charities for American (LINk to and United Airlines flight attendants ( )who lost so much that terrible day. Many from these charities have worked with me to advance the themes of courage and resiliency in the book.

This effort led us to Fordham University and to an invitation from Dr. James Hennessy, dean of the Graduate School of Education, to create the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham.

Read a letter from Dr. Hennessy upon the creation of our Institute in 2008.

We started the institute with a mission to conduct research and develop programs to expand our work in support of those who keep America's great air transportation system moving forward. Several years later, we moved the institute to the Gabelli School of Business and expanded the mission. Through the Edge4Vets program we help military veterans tap their resiliency strengths to get jobs and make successful transitions back to civilian life, especially after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. See

We invite you to follow our progress, which includes now offering a “resiliency” essay competition for aviation workers and students tied to the 20th anniversary of 9/11 in 2021.

Click here to register for our monthly newsletter and we'll send you regular updates on our work.

Community is our strength. Working together we can make a difference.

Tom Murphy Tom Murphy
Tom Murphy
Director, Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University, and President, Service Institute
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