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Why have we not brought this up?


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I lost 6 good friends that day.

-Firefighter Joseph Spor Jr. Ladder Co 38, detailed to Rescue Co. 3

-Captain Patrick "Paddy" Brown, Ladder Co. 3

-Firefighter Joseph Angelini, Rescue Co. 1 (who was also #1 on FDNY's firefighter seniority list)

-Firefighter Patrick O'Keefe, Rescue Co. 1

-Lt. Andrew Fredericks, Squad Company 18

-Bn Chief Ray Downey, Special Operations Command

I stood on that pile. I saw the sights, I heard the sounds, I smelled the sounds. It was a strange smell, of concrete dust, diesel exhaust and.....death. The only way I can explain it. You would have to have been there to experience it for yourself to understand. In the months afterwards, I went to 24 funerals/memorials, because it was the duty of any able-bodied firefighter to be there, to honor each and every member of FDNY with a full-honors line-of-duty death funeral; with as many members of the fire service in attendance- because many many FDNY brothers were either down at the pile, on duty, or simply just too burned out to be able to go. So many vollies on the east coast picked up the slack. I am pretty sure I heard my father say once he went to about 50 of the funerals.

I am no longer a career FF (still an active volly) but my mind is still on the brothers and friends that were lost. And the ones that we are continuing to lose to this day, to a silent killer that no one can see. Three have fallen in the past several weeks. Three good men, who stood on that pile for weeks, who vowed not to leave until each and every member and civilian were recovered. Three men, among hundreds and thousands of others who vowed the same vow, to bring home the remains of the ones who charged up those stairs without a thought of their own safety, to ensure the 60,000+ people in those towers got home to their families that night.

I spend every 9-11 quietly reflecting. I go to work and do my job. On my lunch break I quiety slip into a local church, and find a pew and ponder my thoughts and communicate with lost friends in the way that one can do from the sanctity of a church pew. On this most darkest day of American history, I am proud to call myself an American Firefighter.

Man, almsot brought a teer to my eye. I give thanks to you and your friends. Amen.

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Eulogy for

Capt. Patrick Brown


by FF Mike Moran

On the morning of Sept. 11th, enemies of the United States attacked the World Trade Center. Their followers rejoiced, they even danced in the streets. They thought they had achieved success. But they did not.

They made the mistake on the morning of Sept. 11th, when all they saw when they looked at the WTC was 2 buildings. What they failed to see was the nation that stood behind them. What they failed to understand was the terrible resolve they had awakened.

And if there is justice in the afterlife, and I believe there is…..

Those fanatics who crashed those planes into the WTC did NOT get to meet Allah. They did NOT get 70 virgins. Instead, they met Patrick J. Brown. And they discovered they messed with the wrong Marine.

Because you don’t mess with 3 Truck. You don’t mess with Patty Brown’s guys. Not when he is working.

When Patty first came to 3 Truck, he earned our undying respect when on 2 different occasions tough guys thought they could push Patty or his guys around. They found out the hard way that Patty was not only a Black Belt in Karate, but also a heck of a Boxer. He was what my father would call----"Good with his hands".

We used to joke around in 3 Truck and tell the officers that they were not ‘in charge’---they were just responsible. Well, we never, even whispered that about Patty, because we all knew he was in charge. And not because he yelled. But because he spoke softly. He was humble. He led by example.

He was bigger than life. Therefore, a simple request from him was like a shouted order from another.

Late at night you could usually find him in the kitchen talking with the guys. He liked to shoot the breeze with the men. It is a testament to his character that with all the famous people he knew; all the mayors that pinned medals on his chest. All the big chiefs that were relieved when they saw his familiar visage enter the fire ground.

That Patty liked nothing better than hanging out with the men. Because Patty never stopped being a fireman. He only cared if you showed enthusiasm, if you were willing to learn. He didn’t care how many medals you had on your chest or how many bars you had on your collar. He only cared about the content of your character.

Guys that had had problems in other houses wanted to come to Ladder 3, not because the Capt. was soft---but because he was strong. He didn’t pre-judge you, he let you prove yourself to him and the great thing about him was---you didn’t want to let him down. We were becoming the Oakland Raiders of the Fire Dept.

And I will tell you this---we loved having him. He was not only a great storyteller; a true raconteur; he was also a great listener. He took tremendous interest in the guys’ lives and well-being. The funny thing is---most of us never realized that in those informal chats that the Capt. was teaching us. That is what he was doing. He was teaching us the Fire Dept. Way, the 3 Truck Way, and most importantly the Patty Brown Way. He was respected and loved because he lived his life so well.

I am reminded of the movie Braveheart when the men saw William Wallace for the first time. It wasn’t much different than when the Capt. First walked through the doors of 3 Truck. It was whispered, "This can’t be the man they call Patty Brown, he is not big enough. Patty Brown is 8 feet tall." Well, he wasn’t that big, but his heart was. That is the burden of being a legend. One that Patty carried with tremendous grace and humility.

To hear the stories and legend of Capt. Brown was to be inspired. But to actually meet the man, to be led by him, to follow him down that long, dark, smoky hallway was to be blessed. Because Patty’s strength, courage, and experience were a tremendous comfort in tough times.

When you went to Capt. with a request or a problem---his usual reply went along the lines of: "Don’t worry, we’ll see what we can do, we’ll take care of it." Anything for the men.

So, I can only imagine that is how it was on those final moments of Sept. 11th. Capt. Brown leading his men. Helping those 30 to 40 severely burned people down those dark stairs.

Patty giving ‘Maydays’ that saved many other firemen’s lives. But he and his men refusing to leave those people behind. I can see the guys from 3 Truck---turning one last time to Patty and being comforted by a nod of his head, a shy smile.

"Don’t worry fellas, we’ll take care of it." And they were inspired.

So this marks the 12th, and final, funeral for the men of Ladder 3. And it is fitting that Patty go last. The last man out.

Patty never would have left any building until all his men were out. He couldn’t leave the scene or the firehouse until all his men were cared for. He would even come by on his off days to take care of things for his guys.

So, on behalf of the surviving members of Ladder 3----"You can ‘take up’ now Capt. All your men have been cared for. And they have gone home. You should join them there and rest easy. Any problems that come up----don’t worry, we will take care of them. For you taught us well.

"You taught us the Paddy Brown Way!"

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We lost two good neighbors that day. I spend each Sept 11 at the Brookhaven Fire Museum for our Tribute to the Fallen. I will never forget. Paul


 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’


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