Friday, September 11

Battalion 1 to Manhattan

Radioed by FDNY Battalion Chief Matthew Ryan at 8:46 AM local time:

"A plane has crashed into the trade center. Transmit a second alarm and start sending additional companies into the area."

Less than 20 minutes later, FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge, bottle of holy water in hand, entered the debris to tend to firefighter Danny Suhr, who had been killed by a body falling from the tower. When Father Judge removed his helmet to administer to the fallen firefighter, he was struck and killed by falling debris.

He was found by five men who carried the fallen Father 2 city blocks, placing his body in front of the altar of St Peter's Church. He was covered with a white sheet and his priest's stole, then his helmet and badge were placed on his chest.

This is an image that will remain with me for the rest of my days. The respect shown by these 5 men who took a fallen brother home stops me in my tracks every time I imagine myself seeking solace in that church on Barclay street. The doors bursting open and these five men carrying a lifeless body to the alter, showing their respects, then returning to help others. I was not there, but I can imagine the raw emotion.

Father Judge was later moved to Engine 1, where his car was housed.

Hidden in all the "Never Forget" and "343" stickers and T-shirts are thousands of tales of heroism and bravery, brotherhood and citizenship. Learn one. Pass it along to others.

Father Mychal Judge was later declared official fatality #00001.

Mychal Judge

Chaplain, FDNY

May 11, 1933 - September 11, 2001


Ckemtp said...

Happy, that's a good post. It's something about the day that I didn't know. I can't believe that 8 years later, this day still can make me cry. Actually, I'm glad that it does... reasons like what you just posted up are why it still can. We all should.

Never forget. Never Give up.

Pat said...

I think it was wonderful that Father Judge was the first 'official' fatality, as he was needed to be the first 9/11 angel up in Heaven to welcome all the others.

Remembering not only the 343, but the police officers, paramedics and EMTs killed that day.

Fire Critic said...

My son has a book written about Father Mychal Judge. It is a childrens book and it is great.

TBChick said...

I still remember very vividly so many things from that day. I remember hearing about the firefighters carrying Father Judge to his church. He so loved his firefighters.

I think what has always stuck with me were the reports on all the preparations by medical facilities to deal with all the injured they expected to have to treat. But as the day wore on, there were very few people to take care and the horrible realization that so many had not survived.

The attack was on US soil, but Canada, like many other countries lost people that day. So we will never forget either.