Firehouse Observes 9/11 With ‘More Personal’ Memorial Service

Photos: Mary Reinholz

Ladder Company 3 marked the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 with a noontime memorial for twelve firefighters – plus one relative – killed in the terrorist attacks 11 years ago. The company has held an annual mass at its firehouse on 13th Street, but Capt. Glenn Sheridan told The Local that this afternoon’s service was “less formal, more personal for the family members.”

Dressed in a white cassock, Father Christopher Keenan delivered readings from scripture and ruminations on the sense of national vulnerability that followed the terrorist attacks. Father Keenan became Fire Department chaplain after succeeding a friend and fellow Franciscan friar, the Rev. Mychal F. Judge, who died in the attacks. He told an audience of about 70, including 35 uniformed firefighters standing somberly at attention, that his seven months of assisting in the recovery efforts at Ground Zero were like “descending into hell and seeing the face of God in you.”

One attendee wore a tee-shirt emblazoned with the words of Capt. Patrick “Paddy” Brown, a former Marine and resident of Stuyvesant Town who died at age 48 when the North Tower collapsed. “This is 3 Truck and we’re still heading up,” he had said.

Mr. Brown’s sister, Carolyn, who lives in Long Island, described her brother as “very humble. He was really a good man and everyone wanted to work with him.” She said she has coped with her grief and rage following the attacks by starting a foundation that raises money for firefighters and military families.

“These guys really help,” she said of Ladder 3.

Engine Company 28 and Ladder Company 11, at 222 East Second Street, also lost several firefighters at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2011. Last year, The Local filmed a priest blessing that firehouse.