I am also midsouthmemories.tumblr.com and Sept11Memorials.tumblr.com Passionate Supporter of Troops, Veterans, & First Responders
I am also midsouthmemories.tumblr.com and Sept11Memorials.tumblr.com Passionate Supporter of Troops, Veterans, & First Responders
James Dean washing his Porsche Speedster, photographed by Sanford Roth.
"Bretagne" Last known 9/11 Ground Zero search dog still lends a helping paw. #RescueDogs #NeverForget #Honor911
By Laura T. Coffey: TODAY
Some heroes boast muscle and brawn. Others possess steely nerves and impeccable timing. But this hero is a little different.
This one has feathery fur, a sunny smile, a calm nature and — for a dog — an uncanny ability to zero in on the people who need her most. She’s a 15-year-old golden retriever named ‘Bretagne’, and she’s believed to be the last surviving search dog who worked at Ground Zero in New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (One other surviving search dog from 9/11, a 15-year-old English springer spaniel named Morgan, worked at Staten Island.)
For the first time since the recovery efforts after the attack, Bretagne returned this week to the site of the former World Trade Center complex with her longtime handler and owner, Denise Corliss of Cypress, Texas. They were joined by NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, who will tell their story on TODAY on Thursday morning, Sept. 11.
CHARLES MENDEZ, 38
World Trade Center: #Firefighter #FirstResponder #FDNY
FDNY: LADDER 7
Charles R. Mendez was a reed of a boy who grew up to be a “good sized” man with a heart to match, said his mother, Doris Mendez. When Mr. Mendez’s father died, he was a tremendous help to his mother, even though he was only 21.
Mr. Mendez was a firefighter with Ladder Company 7 in Manhattan. His last job was at the World Trade Center. He was 38.
"He was sort of quiet but well-liked all over," Mrs. Mendez said. "He wanted to be a policeman, first. Then he was working for a bank but when the Fire Department called him, that was his glory. He loved that job."
Firefighter Mendez’s wife, Kelli, said her husband so enjoyed his job that there were many mornings he rose early to leave home in Floral Park, on Long Island, to get to work. When he was not working, he renovated their old house, she said. He learned how to be handy by reading books.
"He was always doing something," she said. "We had a million friends and we were always out doing something. We probably vacationed five times a year. I have no regrets — we never canceled, we never said we can’t go, we just did it.
"He was just a wonderful, wonderful person. If I’d known five years ago this would happen, I still would have married him. He was it. He was my best friend."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 20, 2001.
STUART TODD MELTZER, 32
World Trade Center: #NeverForget #Sept11
When the phone rang in the middle of a baseball game, Larry Meltzer almost always knew who it was. “Did you see that? I can’t believe that pitch,” said the familiar voice of his younger brother, Stuart Todd Meltzer.
Then came the click.
"There was no hello, no goodbye, no nothing," Larry Meltzer said of his frequent conversations about sports with his brother, a 32-year-old energy broker at Cantor Fitzgerald. "We didn’t need those things. We would talk like five times a day, easy."
Larry and Stuart Meltzer always talked sports. It was what they lived for — the season tickets they had for the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox never went unused as long as they had time for the 5 a.m. drive to Boston, the tailgate parties, the game, then the long drive back to the city.
Until Stuart Meltzer’s eldest son, Jacob, was born four years ago, that is. The boy replaced baseball as Stuart’s first love. Larry had to start finding someone else to go to games with him.
"I’d say, `Come on, man, let’s go to a game,’ " Larry said. "But he’d say, `Nah, I’ve got to spend time with Jake. When you have kids you’ll understand.’ I think I understand now."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 1, 2002.
Stuart Todd Meltzer, at 32; worked at Cantor Fitzgerald
By Globe Staff, 9/22/2001
Stuart Todd Meltzer of Long Island, N.Y., formerly of Newton, died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11. He was 32.
Mr. Meltzer, an employee of bond-trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald who moved to New York five years ago, graduated in 1986 from The Rivers School in Weston, where he excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. At graduation he received the Andrew N. Navoni award for leadership, superior sportsmanship, dedication, and competitive excellence in baseball.
Mr. Meltzer spent two years at the University of Michigan, where he played baseball, and later graduated from Trinity College in Hartford.
Mr. Meltzer spent two years in California with the theatrical agency Creative Artists. He moved to New York and worked for Miramax, then switched careers to the energy business. Three months ago, Mr. Meltzer began working for the Cantor Fitzgerald Trade Spark Division, and on the Friday before the terrorist attack he was promoted to head of West Coast Power Management.
"He attained goals that other 32-year-olds just dream of. He was a fabulous person – father, husband, brother, son. I never realized the extent to which he touched people’s lives," said his father, Zachary.
When Mr. Meltzer realized he might not make it out of the World Trade Center, he used his cell phone to call his wife, Lisa. He told her: “Honey, something terrible is happening. It’s very bad up here. I don’t think I’m going to make it. I love you. Take care of the children,” his father recounted.
Besides his wife, Mr. Meltzer leaves two sons, Jake and Dylan; his parents, Zachary and Joyce of Centerville; and two brothers, Lawrence of New Jersey and Kenneth of Natick.
A memorial service will be held at Temple Emeth in Brookline on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Editorial Obituary published in THE BOSTON GLOBE on September 22, 2001.
World Trade Center: #Firefighter #FirstResponders #Heroes #Sept11
FDNY: READY TO RETIRE AFTER 20 YRS
Raymond Meisenheimer had the new patio penciled in, down to individual flowers and the Jacuzzi. He was supposed to retire in November, his 20th anniversary with the New York City Fire Department, and he and his wife, Joanne, and their daughters, Lauren, 15, and Kaitlynn, 13, were supposed to move from West Babylon, N.Y., to Holtsville.
"We found the house of our dreams and were getting it built," Mrs. Meisenheimer said. "He got to see up to the spackling. We spent our mornings out here; we’d have breakfast at the house. We had a lot of plans. Unfortunately it didn’t work out. But he’s here, I know that. I know that."
Mr. Meisenheimer planned to finish the basement. “It was going to be the He-Man Woman-Haters Club, because he had all girls,” his wife said.
"He always called me Queenie, that was his nickname, and of course he was the king," Mrs. Meisenheimer said. The girls played along. "He’d say, `Who’s the king?’ and they’d say, `Oh you are, Daddy!’ That’s just the way he was."
All four were involved in choosing cabinets and tiles for the new house.
"Right now my girls want to follow through with everything he wanted," she said. "We are going to finish the basement and patio, finish it the way he wanted."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on August 25, 2002.
DAMIAN MEEHAN, 32
World Trade Center: #NeverForget #Sept11
FAMILY OF FIRST RESPONDERS
This summer, Damian Meehan celebrated a milestone best appreciated by other rookie golfers struggling for some semblance of par: he finally broke 100. And his foursome included three of his six brothers, so the feat did not pass unverified. Several brotherly beers were shared that day, recalled his brother Michael. The Meehan boys had played Gaelic football since childhood, but recently five of them took up golf and made a habit of getting away for a weekly game, followed by a nice dinner and animated reminiscences.
Mr. Meehan, 32, was the baby of the brothers. As they grew up in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, they bossed him unmercifully, but he took it in stride. Last year the brothers pitched in and completely renovated the house he shared in Glen Rock, N.J., with his wife, Joanne, and their 18-month-old son. Another baby is on the way.
In a family of police officers and firefighters, he was the quiet and serious brother, the only one of his nine siblings to wind up on Wall Street. He was an up-and-coming trader at Carr Futures, and he loved his job all the more, said his brother Michael, because so many of his bosses and co-workers were from the old neighborhood. “Everything with us,” he said, “is family.”
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 25, 2001.
DENNIS P. MCHUGH, 34
World Trade Center: #Firefighter #FirstResponders #NeverForget
FDNY LADDER 13
There wasn’t much that Dennis P. McHugh, 34, couldn’t do. He ran the New York City Marathon, played Gaelic football, married the beautiful Una Hinchcliffe and became the proud father of Chloe, 5, and Sophie and Joseph, who both turned 1 last week. When he became a firefighter with Ladder Company 13 three years ago, “he was about as perfect as you can get,” said his friend Chris Gainer, who graduated from the Fire Academy with him and, in longstanding firehouse tradition, became “the bad probie” while Mr. McHugh was “the good probie.”
On summer mornings at the family place in Montauk, Mr. McHugh’s brothers-in-law would wake up and rush to the window, “to see if he’d done all the chores,” said Rob Hinchcliffe. “By the time we’d woken up at 11 o’clock, this guy had already painted the house and mowed the lawn. It was an ongoing joke. Dennis always made us look bad as sons.”
For the twins’ birthday, Mrs. McHugh asked everyone in the family to write down their memories of her husband. She has created a Web site, www.nyfdwidows.net, listing information about books and other ways to cope with loss, as another tribute to him. “He was always so optimistic,” she said. “He always saw the glass as half full.”
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 14, 2001.
Dennis P. McHugh Foundation:
BRIAN G. MCDONNELL
World Trade Center: @USArmy #Veteran #Paratrooper #NYPD #FirstResponders #NeverForget
‘A COP’S COP’
Maggie McDonnell is trying to keep Christmas normal for her two children. Their Long Island lawn is decorated in lights and they will have a tree. The tree will be decorated in red, white and blue, and Daddy’s police cap will stand atop it.
Brian McDonnell was a member of the Emergency Service Unit Truck 1, stationed on East 21st Street in Manhattan. He was last seen heading into the south tower. “Brian was a cop’s cop,” Mrs. McDonnell said. “When people get in trouble they call the police; when the police get in trouble they call Emergency Services.”
But more important to him than the job were his children, Katie, 8, and Thomas, 3. When his daughter was born, he was there in the delivery room holding his wife’s hand, gently weeping.
A former Army paratrooper, Officer McDonnell, 38, was never decorated in his 15-year career because he never wrote himself up for an commendation. “He wasn’t showy,” his wife said. “It wasn’t his nature. He just wanted to help people.”
Once, he saw a little girl waving to him and the mother pulled her in the window and scolded her: ” ‘Don’t wave to him, police are bad,’ ” Mrs. McDonnell recalled. “It crushed him.”
- The New York Times 12/15/2001
McDONNELL-Brian, N.Y.P.D. Police Officer. Tragically lost in the line of duty on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center disaster. Survived by his beloved wife Margaret and cherished children Katie and Thomas, dear brothers Robert and Kevin, devoted sister Alicia, and his loving mother Ann Claire. Brian was a loyal friend to many, and he will be sorely missed. His command was Emergency Service Squad.
- The New York Times 10/11/2001
Police officer Brian McDonnell wanted to change the world, and he’d do anything to save a life. A member of New York City’s emergency service unit, his squad was among the first to respond to the World Trade Center disaster Tuesday.
"He thought about others before himself," said Glenn Gering, a close friend who grew up with McDonnell, 38, in Wantagh. "He wanted to change the world," Gering said.
The Emergency Service Unit is made up of about 350 men and women who risk their lives to save others. Fourteen members of the unit are unaccounted for.
McDonnell, who has been a police officer for more than 10 years and was a member of the armed forces before that, is a devoted husband and father of two, Gering said.
McDonnell was supposed to go to Gering’s house tomorrow for cake and coffee. “Unfortunately, because of our schedules, we didn’t get together as often as we would have liked,” Gering said.
"I hope all of America will never forget this horrific act of terror," Gering said in a letter to Newsday, vand more importantly, never forget my friend, Brian McDonnell, an American hero."
- New York Newsday Victim Database 9/15/2001
Police Officer Brian G. McDonnell, 38, was first appointed to the NYPD on January 20, 1987, and began his career on patrol in Neighborhood Stablization Unit 3. He took a brief leave of absence to join the police department in Tucson, Arizona, but was reappointed to the NYPD on October 16, 1990. Prior to being assigned to ESU, he worked in the 106 and 110 Precincts, as well as the Narcotics Division and Patrol Borough Queens South Task Force. A veteran of the United States Army, he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, and was also a graduate of the State University of New York at Farmingdale. His hobbies included power lifting, swimming, diving, cooking, bicycling, soccer, auto repair, and the martial arts. He is survived by his wife Margaret; children Katie and Thomas; mother Ann; sister Alicia; and brothers Kevin and Robert.
- SPRING 3100, Commemorative Issue
(Photos from Brian McDonnell’s brother-in-law Jorge)
JOHN MCAVOY, 47
World Trade Center: #NeverForget #Firefighter #FirstResponders #Honor911
FDNY: LADDER 3
John McAvoy, a firefighter assigned to Ladder Company 3 in Manhattan, did not hesitate to speak his mind — even when it made him sound opinionated. But his wife and two brothers have even more to say than he did.
Paula McAvoy remembers her handsome husband as a figure of power and grace on the rink. Mr. McAvoy, 47, coached hockey teams on Staten Island, where he lived with her, their children Kate and Kevin, and the family dog, Zoo. Mrs. McAvoy had to drag him onto the dance floor. “And yet he skated beautifully,” she said.
Michael McAvoy, the youngest McAvoy brother, said Mr. McAvoy “never gave up on me when there were times I gave up on myself.” George McAvoy, the oldest one, recalled that the “incredibly protective” John, out on a jog, once pulled two elderly people out of a burning house, went back for their cat, then continued on his run.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 26, 2001.
Remembering John McAvoy
Ode to my brother John
by Michael McAvoy
To know my brother John is to have an opinion of him. He was steadfast in his convictions and never wavered from them.
My opinion of John, and I am sure everyone here would agree, he gave a lot more of himself then he received. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that John put all of us ahead of himself. His helping hands and warm heart touched many of us gathered here and countless people even he did not know.
John was my older brother, a label he wore with much honor. John took the older brother responsibility very seriously. I always felt confident and secure knowing John was there. If I had a problem, it was his problem too. He never gave up on me when there were times I gave up on myself. Part of me wanted to grow out from under his wings, most of me wanted and needed his care, guidance and protection, not to mention his delicious linguine and clam sauce.
John was more than a hero firefighter, a doting husband, a caring father, a loving son, a tireless hockey coach and a protective older brother. He was the cook at the annual family picnic. He was also everyone’s “Mr. Fix It.”
His love for his fellow man and the passion with which he lived his life, I truly admire. John McAvoy was bigger than life itself. Shoes many of us could never fill. He was the dream son every parent would cherish. Parents who have a few children, say they don’t have a favorite. I can easily say that he was the overwhelming favorite, he is my favorite too!!
John, if it hadn’t been for growing up with you, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I want you to know how much I admire your courage, respect you as a man and love you as a brother. Thanks for all the love, laughter and protection you have given all of us. John thanks for being you.
The pain is universal
Be assured that the pain felt for the lost brothers of Ladder 3 is universal and is sorely felt far away. For me and my family it is somewhat sentimentally a shared pain. You see I too am a McAvoy and so I too feel that I have lost one of our own.
Years ago my Grandfather (from County Laois) told me that I was related to all the McAvoy’s all over the world. A visit a few years back to McAvoy’s pub outside of Dublin convinced me that he was right as we were truly treated like long lost cousins. (With proper amounts of Jamesons’ I might add). So when I learned of the loss of Firefighter John McAvoy I truly felt a twinge of personal pain. As I read more about him and his life I came to feel that I knew him and believe it or not saw traits that I’d seen in other McAvoy’s.
Then as I continued to read about all of the wonderful men of Ladder 3 who we lost that day the pain became almost overwhelming for me. What magnificent men they were. What true heroes all. Truly our earth has been blessed to have them with us for much to short a time. For our family the connection with the losses in FDNY grew when we learned of the passing of Firefighter Steven Coakley. You see we are Coakleys too. In fact my great grandfather Coakley and his brother were lifelong firefighters in New jersey.
We have been so touched by all of this that this year my wife and I are coming to spend Christmas in New York. We want to come to Ladder 3 to say from the bottom of our hearts, thank you and our hearts and our prayers are with you and we share your grief and that of your families. We hope that you will permit us to visit you and to deliver our feelings in person. We particularly extend our deepest sympathy to the family of John McAvoy.
As I look out over the Chesapeake bay, where we live, the heavens seem to be a little brighter. And I’m sure they are because I’m certain that there are at least 12 new stars brightly shining there, one for each of the men from Ladder 3.
Thank you for all that you do. take care and God Bless!!
Elizabeth and Jim McAvoy