FDNY Squad 1 Memorial, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Where do we get such people?
Sometimes the most interesting and moving stories are the ones I stumble upon. Like the Bus No. 37 bombing memorial in Haifa, Israel, that I wrote up last May.
A similar thing happened to me last Friday, when I was in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
I wanted to see the Park Slope Co-op, the scene of a well-known unsuccessful anti-Israel boycott attempt a few years ago. (The efforts continue.)
Next to the Co-Op, is a memorial to NY Fire Department Squad 1 members who died in the 9/11 attack.
I knew that hundreds of firemen died that day, but I didn’t know about Squad 1, a Special Operations Unit that responds to emergencies throughout NYC. According to its Facebook page:
Squad 1 responds as an engine in its first, second and third due assignments and as a Squad Company to working fires, high angle, collapse, confined space, subway emergencies and hazardous material emergencies in Brooklyn and through out the city as needed. Squad 1 responds to approximately 1800 runs per year.
Squad Co. 1 is one of 7 Squads in the FDNY Special Operations Command (SOC). Other SOC units include Rescue, Haz Mat and Marine.
On 9/11, Squad 1 lost twelve then present plus two former members (Chiefs Downey and Kasper):
The memorial outside the station bears the names of those who died:
The NY Times reported just two weeks after 9/11 that the remaining members might be reassigned and the station shut, but that didn’t happen after the neighborhood rallied to its defense and it’s still operational:
The Park Slope Food Coop had an extensive write-up (pdf.) on the 5th Anniversary.
The motto of the fire station house at 788 Union Street in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn is ”Squad Company 1 — The one and only squad.”
Twelve of its 27 men were buried in rubble after the attack on the World Trade Center. The remains of two men have been found. Firefighter Peter Carroll was buried last week. The other, Capt. James Amato, will be buried on Friday.
Today, the men of Squad 1 said, is the funeral of the entire unit.
Fire Department officials said they would reassign the remaining men of Squad 1 to the five rescue companies that were also devastated when the twin towers came cascading down on Sept. 11. In total, 75 elite rescue workers are either confirmed dead or missing, officials said.
Any move to move the men out of the house is too early, the survivors at Squad 1 said. They called it the coldhearted calculation of bureaucrats. There are 11 widows to consider and 22 fatherless children. The brick firehouse is their emotional core, the place they go to for information and a strong shoulder….
Despite reports of the transfers, Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen said in a news release that was handed out at the rally that the Fire Department had ”absolutely no intention of closing Squad Company 1 in Brooklyn — or any fire company in the city.”
While time has passed, the pain is still fresh for the family members:
Squad 1 member Steven Siller is remembered by an annual Tunnels to Towers 5k run:
On September 11th, 2001, firefighter Stephen Siller had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers on that bright clear day when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. When he heard the news, he called his wife Sally to tell her he would be late because he had to help those in need.
He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear, then took his final heroic steps to the World Trade Center. When Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was already closed to traffic . With sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back, he ran through the Tunnel, hoping to meet up with his own company. Stephen laid down his life on 9/11.
Ever since, the Siller Family has honored his legacy with the Tunnel to Towers Run. The event supports children who have lost a parent, firefighters and military who have been seriously injured and sacrificed their quality of life in the line of duty.
Where do we get such people?
[Featured Image – NY Daily News Video]
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Where do we get such people?
A gift from God.
Heroes in every sense of the word. Thanks for sharing professor.
We can only wonder if there will EVER be such heroes from the metrosexual millenium generation (versus the few millenials from the heartland of the US, who comprise our armed forces.)
This is exactly why China and Russia would love a land war with the US – a war of attrition, actually. Given the US’s n nose-picking, metrosexual idiot president (too dumb to, and too lazy to fight a war), and the small segment of the US population available – or capable – of serving in the military, why not?
Imagine hopelessly protracted adolescents created by Obama and Pelosi serving their country in the military. It’d be a Laurel and Hardy movie.
PELOSI: “Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.”
Well, we’ve not only got the economy, we’ve a generation of narcissistic adult children wasting their lives on fantasies they are too weak and lazy to ever make happen occupying it.
You were in Park Slope? Next time you’re here drop me an email and we can meet.
You just gave me an idea that LI’s regular NYC readers should get to network with each other at an afterwork social.
Such heroes are gifts from GOD, who would rather run into and directly face danger than run from it. They’re not understood by their loving and jealous families, who would rather have them do something safe and continue to be around, than fight and rescue others from danger. They’re always under paid and frequently stressed beyond the limits of “Normal Life.” However, because they love what they do, they selflessly serve others around them. They are a breed apart, who live their lives on the cutting edge and wouldn’t be satisfied with any lesser type of life.
My most vivid image (from reading, not from being there) is the hundreds of Firemen (because they were all men) going up the stairs of the towers to their doom. In full gear, carrying hose lines, while the FDNY Chaplain granted mass Absolution as they went by the command post in the lobby…
I know where we get these people!! They are Americans – thats where we get them.
I love the FD and the PD and their dedication, however there are tens of millions of Americans who, if in the same position, would have done the same things they did. This does not take away from heroic efforts of the FD and PD, it just realizes that America is made up of people such as this.
This is yet another reason why America is such an indescribably wonderful place.
Thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes.
I thought the monument itself is tasteful. I imagine the firemen themselves would had approved of it.