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April / May 2002

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The Ironworkers

September 12, 2001: After a 26-hour shift Brendan McCormack emerges exhausted out of the darkness and into another day. A...

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A Warm Irish Welcome
in Newfoundland

Gander, Newfoundland: Hannah O’Rourke and Sandra O’Reilly Taylor, women from two different worlds who were...

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The Legacy of Chief Geraghty

Battalion Chief Edward Geraghty, of Battalion 9, Engine 54, Ladder 4 (48th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City), was an...

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Fire in the Morning

In a strange twist of fate, Ron Clifford escaped the WTC unaware that his sister and niece were on the plane that crashed...

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Bill Butler

Firefighter Bill Butler is very grateful to be alive. He and five colleagues from Ladder 6, Engine 9, were in the North...

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In This Issue

The Ironworkers

September 12, 2001: After a 26-hour shift Brendan McCormack emerges exhausted out of the darkness and into another day. A Donegal man, who has lived in the U.S. for 17 years, McCormack is an...

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Fire in the Morning

In a strange twist of fate, Ron Clifford escaped the WTC unaware that his sister and niece were on the plane that crashed into the North Tower. ℘℘℘ United Flight 175, a Boeing 767 non-stop...

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The First Word:
Friendship, Love & Loyalty

“We never know how high we are until we are called to rise; and then, if we are true to plan, our statures touch the skies,” – Emily Dickinson ℘℘℘ Putting this issue of Irish...

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Flag-Raising Firefighters

The image of firefighters Dan McWilliams, George Johnson and Billy Eisengrein raising the tattered Stars and Stripes on September 11 became a symbol of hope for Americans on their darkest day. The...

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A Warm Irish Welcome
in Newfoundland

Gander, Newfoundland: Hannah O’Rourke and Sandra O’Reilly Taylor, women from two different worlds who were tossed together in the turbulent wake of September 11, now share one of those...

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The Legacy of Chief Geraghty

Battalion Chief Edward Geraghty, of Battalion 9, Engine 54, Ladder 4 (48th Street and 8th Avenue in New York City), was an 18-year veteran of the department and the recipient of many meritorious...

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Bill Butler

Firefighter Bill Butler is very grateful to be alive. He and five colleagues from Ladder 6, Engine 9, were in the North Tower helping to rescue a Port Authority worker named Josephine Harris when the...

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Arlene Howard:
A Mother’s Love

Arlene Howard presented a very moving picture when she pressed her son George’s New York Port Authority Police Department shield into the hand of President George W. Bush. The...

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Roger Smyth:
NYC 911 Paramedic

Belfast native Roger Smyth moved to the U.S. five years ago and for the last three and a half years has worked at New York University Hospital’s downtown location on Gold and Beekman Streets, a...

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Father Christopher Keenan:
Fire Department Chaplain

Fr. Christopher Keenan, a Franciscan priest whose parents came from Co. Galway and Co. Roscommon, has been assigned the difficult task of replacing the much loved Fr. Mychal Judge as chaplain of the...

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Kerry McGinnis:
Animal Rescue

On September 11, as for so many, Kerry McGinnis’ normal routine was abandoned when it became obvious that pet-owners in the area surrounding the World Trade Center needed her help. McGinnis...

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Lynn Tierney

Imagine coming to work one day and 343 of your coworkers are suddenly dead. Months later you’re still passing empty desks and no-longer-relevant nameplates. On your own desk is a white...

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William Baldwin:
Hollywood Helps

William “Billy” Baldwin helped comfort New York’s firefighters in the aftermath of September 11. Baldwin, one of the four acting Baldwin brothers, was one of the many Hollywood...

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Ray Kelly: Back to Duty

On January 4, 2002, Ray Kelly was sworn in as New York City Police Department’s 41st Police Commissioner. Kelly previously served as the NYPD’s 37th commissioner and is the first person...

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Mike Moran: Folk Hero

Firefighter Michael Moran survived September 11th only to discover that his brother, Battalion Chief John Moran, had perished along with 12 firefighters from Mike’s own Ladder 3 and Battalion 6...

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Lt. Col. Thomas Cleary III:
Courage at the Pentagon

Ensuring the safety of others. That was Lt. Col. Thomas Cleary’s first thought when an airliner slammed into the floor below his office in the Pentagon on September 11. Not saving his own skin...

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Congressman Joseph Crowley:
Fighting for Safety

Joseph Crowley has been the Representative for the Queens and Bronx-based 7th Congressional District since November 1998. In 2000, he was reelected with 71 percent of the vote. In Washington, the...

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Concern Worldwide:
Relief in Afghanistan

Concern Worldwide, an international relief organization founded in Ireland in 1968 (with offices in New York) to provide humanitarian aid to the poorest regions in 26 countries across four...

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Loretta Brennan Glucksman:
Gift of Giving

Following the tragedy of September 11, the American Ireland Fund decided to make a gift of $1 million to help the victims of the attacks and set up a grants committee to advise on how this money...

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Monsignor Martin T. Geraghty: Helping Rockaway Heal

Monsignor Martin Geraghty, pastor for 13 years at the St. Francis de Sales Church in Belle Harbor, presided over 12 memorial services for the members of his church who perished on September 11. Belle...

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The Final Note

The Pipes and Drums Bands of the Fire and Police Departments were on hand to plat a final farewell to colleagues. ℘℘℘ In the past, New York has had many happy associations with the sound of...

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Dr. Kerry Kelly:
FDNY’sChief Medical Officer

The next time there’s a tragic fire in New York City, it’s a good bet Kerry Kelly will be on the scene. Her Dad is a retired FDNY Lieutenant. Her grandfather was a firefighter. One of her...

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Governor George Pataki:
Leadership Through Tragedy

George Pataki’s already strong record has been enhanced by the leadership qualities he demonstrated in the days following the September 11 attacks. Pataki worked with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to...

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John McLoughlin: The Survivor

The primary jurisdiction of the Port Authority police lies within a 25-mile radius of the Statue of Liberty. The PAPD is responsible for law enforcement, firefighting and rescue operations coveting...

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Peter Foley: Photographer

On September 11, Peter Foley was riding his bicycle near the West Side Highway in Manhattan when his cell phone rang with the terrible news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Not...

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Gerry Grant: Court Officer

On September 11, Gerard Grant, 41, an 11-year veteran court officer at 60 Center Street was assigned to the officers’ academy on William Street, a block-and-a-half away from the World Trade...

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Brian Gallagher:
Chief Executive of
United Way of America

In November 2001, Brian Gallagher became the new president and CEO of United Way of America, the charity that organized the celebrity telethon which raised over $266 million for the victims of...

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Michael Rice:
Prudential Securities

Michael Rice is Executive Director for the Private Client Group at Prudential Securities, located at One Seaport Plaza, six blocks east of the World Trade Center. Though he emphasizes that the...

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Paddy Moloney:
Playing a Song of Hope

Paddy Moloney and The Chieftains, Ireland’s Grammy Award-winning musical ambassadors, came to New York in the weeks following September 11, to play at the memorial service for Matthew O’...

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The Chief’s Last Stand

Chief Ray Downey, one of the most respected firefighters of all, will be remembered for his courage, passion and commitment.  Chief Ray Downey. ℘℘℘ Firefighter Chuck Downey stands on First...

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Ronan Tynan: Fireman’s Friend

In December, as a tribute to his contribution to the Fire Department both before and since the September 11 attacks, Irish tenor Ronan Tynan was made an honorary firefighter. Tynan’s affinity...

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Jim McGreevey: N.J. Governor

As newly elected governor of a state that suffered a large loss of life in the September 11 attacks and has a large budget deficit, McGreevey’s strong leadership qualities are already being put...

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The McCormacks:
Brothers United

Three Irish brothers responded to the disaster and were part of the recovery effort. Detective Sergeant Peter McCormack,33, and Captain Paul McCormack, 32, of the 41st Precinct in the South Bronx,...

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Ron McComiskey:
Evacuation from Manhattan

Ron McComiskey has been a captain on private vessels around New York Harbor for 20 years and when the World Trade Center erupted on September 11 he knew where to go — straight to the scene to...

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Aidan Quinn: A Helping Hand

With fellow actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Aidan Quinn was one of the first to volunteer at St Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan and was put to work hauling ice for chilling blood. “I was feeling...

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Report From Ground Zero

An excerpt from Dennis Smith’s latest book.  ℘℘℘ In the chief’s van, Chief Pfeifer hears the Manhattan dispatcher announce that a plane has gone into tower 1 of the World Trade...

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Dennis Smith

Writer and former firefighter Dennis Smith has spent a lot of time in the company of firefighters since September 11th. He is the founding editor of Firehouse magazine and best-selling author...

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USS Theodore Roosevelt:
Operation Enduring Freedom

“Fear of attack on home soil is a new feeling for this generation of Americans. The crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt has been working practically non-stop since September 11 to combat terrorism....

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George Clooney:
Boosting Morale

George Clooney’s credentials as an actor need little elaboration. In 2001, the nephew of singer Rosemary Clooney also made headlines for humanitarian masons. Clooney was one of many celebrities...

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Goal USA: Humanitarian Relief

Goal, an Irish humanitarian relief agency with offices in New York, is undertaking a major relief program in and around the Northern Afghan city of Mazar I Sharif. Like Concern’s personnel,...

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Jim Dwyer: The Journalist

In the aftermath of our national tragedy came the need for understanding. The need to probe the surface, to find the personality behind the name, the stories beneath the rubble. The very best writers...

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Joe McNally: Photographer

On September 12, photographer Joe McNally’ s wife had to get into Manhattan, to tend to her duties as director of photography at Fortune magazine. She was forced to stay in Manhattan for...

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Peter Finn: War Correspondent

Since September 11, Peter Finn has kept us informed of the stories behind the attacks, such as the European connections of the hijackers and the origins of the plot to commit the atrocities. He has...

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Farewell to a
Cop With a Heart

Her name was Moira Ann Smith and she was a good cop from the neighborhood where I lived. I don’t know that I ever saw her on patrol in the Stuyvesant Town and Gramercy Park areas of Manhattan...

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Paul Crotty:
Emergency Communication

As Group President for Public Policy and External Affairs in New York and Connecticut for Verizon Communications, Paul Crotty played an important part in their post-September 11 recovery plan. In the...

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Dr. Bernadine Healy: Red Cross

Dr. Bernadine Healy was president land CEO of the American Red Cross until December 31, 2001. In the aftermath of September 11, Healy created a segregated account called the Liberty Fund to...

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Peter King:
Republican Congressman

Congressman Peter T. King from Long Island is serving his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the Financial Services Committee and International Relations Committee. King...

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Pete Hamill: New Yorker

Since September 11, Pete Hamill has devoted many columns to trying to make sense of what happened, if that is possible, or trying to analyze the reaction and process of healing of New Yorkers. Hamill...

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John E. Sweeney:
Republican Congressman

John Sweeney became the Republican member of Congress for New York’s 22nd District (Clifton Park) in January 1999. Now in his second term, he has proved on many occasions that he is prepared to...

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Dennis Swason: WNBC

Dennis Swanson is president and general manager of WNBC in New York, the flagship station of the NBC network. Less than a week after the World Trade Center tragedy, WNBC-4 launched a public service...

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Dan Rowan: Firefighter
and Organizer of a Cycle
Across America

Firefighter Dan Rowan of Ladder 9, Engine 33 in Lower Manhattan, a company that lost ten men on September 11, organized a cycle tour across America to say thank you to the nation for the outpouring...

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Tom Ridge: Security Office

Tom Ridge resigned as governor of Pennsylvania on October 5, 2001 and assumed the position of Head of Homeland Security three days later. His state had been touched by the September 11 tragedies when...

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Tommy G. Thompson
Health and Human
Services Secretary

As Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson has faced a tough six months in which the September 11 attacks and anthrax scares have dominated the headlines. Thompson visited the disaster...

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A Family Tradition

On a day that seemed like hell, a father and son fond solace in working together. ℘℘℘ Balancing against twisted beams on the remains of the World Trade Center, ironworker John Mooney was...

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Dennis Leary: Fundraiser

After the events of September 11, actor and comedian Denis Leary (interviewed in the February/March issue of Irish America) felt compelled to raise money for the families of deceased firefighters...

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Ritchie Moran:
PATH Trainmaster

The PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) railroad normally discharged up to 5,000 passengers in the period between 8:47 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. at its World Trade Center station. However, shortly after the...

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Standing Tall

Love, courage and the kindness of strangers. ℘℘℘ And now, memory crashes all of 2001 into the 100 minutes between 8:48 and 10:28 of that morning in September. When the clock ran out and the...

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Rusty Staub:
More Than a Legend

Daniel “Rusty” Staub, 57, is more than just a baseball legend to New York firefighters and police. The ex-Met has been operating the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children’s...

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Karen Curry: CNN Coverage

In her role as vice president and bureau chief of CNN in New York, a role she has held since 1999, Curry has contributed to CNN’s coverage of the September 11 attacks which have been broadcast...

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Pete Hayden: Working
Through the Crisis

Pete Hayden was one of the principal Fire Department officers in charge on September 11. Hayden was in the North Tower, and made an early decision to move the command post out of the tower, which led...

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Bono: On a Mission

U2’s lead singer, Bono, has been a famous rock star for over two decades. His social activism dates back almost as long — to 1984 when he appeared on Band Aid’s “Do they know...

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Frank Cummins:
Just Doing His Job

For most firefighters, recognition is something they shy away from. Frank Cummins of Engine 255, Ladder 157, like countless other firefighters in the city of New York, dismisses his heroic deeds as...

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Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin:
House Chaplain

On September 12 and 13, Reverend Coughlin united Republicans, Democrats and Independents together by offering prayers before start of business at the U.S. House of Representatives. Coughlin’s...

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Senator Edward Kennedy:
Serving the Public

As third most senior member of the Senate, and patriarch of one of the most famous political dynasties in the world, Kennedy has always been aware of, and lived up to the high expectations placed...

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Grandpa’s Shoes

They are still with us, the shoes. Tan-colored Rockports. Size tens. We have put them in a box and left them in the corner of a cupboard, although the reason why we have kept them is still mysterious...

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Joseph Morris:
Protecting the Port

Joseph Morris has been with the Port Authority Police Department for 29 years. Joining as a police officer, Morris worked his way up through the ranks to become the Chief of Department of the Port...

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Sean Cummins: Firefighter

Dublin man Sean Cummins narrowly escaped death on September 11 as he had swapped shifts to take his mother to the airport for her flight back to Dublin. His firehouse at the time was Squad One in...

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Larry Downes:
Friends of New York

Larry Downes is the New York head of Friends of Sinn Féin. Shortly after September 11 the decision was made to reroute the funds from their annual fundraiser to the victims of the attack on America....

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Father Brian Jordan:
Comfort at Ground Zero

Fr. Brian Jordan is a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street, the church of the late Fire Department Chaplain Fr. Mychal Judge and the present chaplain, Fr. Christopher Keenan. On...

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Francis X. Gribbon:
Vital Information

Francis Gribbon is a lieutenant in the Fire Department who has served for the last three years as deputy commissioner for public information. Gribbon, a 12-year veteran of the department, was...

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Colin Powell:
Playing a Pivotal Role

In his role as Secretary of State, Powell has played a pivotal role in advising the President how to react in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Throughout his 35-year military career, he has...

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Collier Willmer: Heart
and Soles of Gold

For nine-year-old Collier Willmer of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as for so many children in America, September 11, 2001 meant growing up a little more quickly. Certainly, Collier’s mother...

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Joe Callan: Fire Chief

Chief Joe Callan, a veteran firefighter from the Bronx, was taking command at the North Tower when the South Tower collapsed. Amidst the terror and confusion, Callan drew widespread respect for the...

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Michael O’Looney: NYPD

Michael O’Looney is the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Public Information — a position he has held since early in the New Year. This former TV reporter left a position with CBS to...

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Sr Mary Beatta Gerrity
RSM: Singing Irish Nun

Sister Beatta Gerrity, affectionately known as the “Singing Irish Nun,” sang at the funerals of many people who lost their lives on September 11. Sr. Beatta, a Sister of Mercy nun since...

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Eamonn Carey:
Construction Worker

Tuesday, September 11 started, unusually, for Kerry man Eamonn Carey, 31, at home in New Jersey waiting for a construction job to start. A committed member and shop steward of Local 608, the most...

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Nora McAniff: Inside People

As President of the People Magazine Group, Nora McAniff oversees the business side of some of the world’s most popular magazines. It’s a journey that began in 1982, when she joined People...

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Father Frank O’Grady:
In God’s Name

Father Frank O’Grady, a U.S. Army chaplain at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, was awarded a medal of heroism for his work following the September 11 attack on the Pentagon. Fr. O’Grady, who hales...

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Henry McDonald: Firefighter

Henry McDonald, a retired battalion chief, spent his last six years with the Fire Department as executive officer (assistant) to First Deputy Commissioner Bill Feehan, He had retired nine months...

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Charles E. Coughlin: Commander

When American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the of the Pentagon on September 11, Commander Charles E. Coughlin, like hundreds of other Pentagon employees, started to evacuate. “But then I...

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Mike Regan: Hands-On Guy

Mike Regan had quit the Fire Department, but when September 11 happened, he was back on the job immediately. Down at Ground Zero, he helped to recover the bodies of his comrades, including Fire...

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Joe Sexton:
The New York Times

After the attacks of September 11, the public turned to newspapers in a fever reliable information on a situation that was changing by the hour. At The New York Times, Joe Sexton, deputy metropolitan...

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Kevin E. Gallagher: Union Man

Kevin E. Gallagher, President of The Uniformed Firefighters Association was in the thick of things when the Giuliani administration made the decision to remove firefighters from recovery duty at the...

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Joseph Dunne: First Deputy Police Commissioner

Joseph Dunne, the First Deputy Police Commissioner at the time of the terrorist attacks, got to the World Trade Center as the second plane crashed into the South Tower. Dunne’s objective was to...

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The Final Note

Practicing “taps” prior to firefighter Michael Lynch’s memorial service. ℘℘℘ “What kind of guy was Michael Lynch?” “I’ll tell you what he was,”...

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