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NY Bard Pens Lament To FDNY's Fallen
Special WGT 9-11 Polls: Canonization for Mychal Judge? More.
Zouaves, FDNY: WTC Tragedy Renews Bond
Re-enactors seek help in raising $10,000 for firefighters' widows, kids
By Brian C. Pohanka, Captain, Co. A
5th New York Volunteer Infantry (re-enacted)
Responding to the terrible events of September 11, the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry (Duryée's Zouaves) living history organization is soliciting donations to be presented to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows' and Children's Fund. The Fire Department of the City of New York had historical associations with the Zouave soldiers of the Civil War: The 11th New York (First Fire Zouaves) and 73rd New York (Second Fire Zouaves) were units that were comprised of Manhattan volunteer firemen, while the 5th New York also had firemen in its ranks.
|New York at Gettysburg, Vol. 2, 1900|
A monument at Gettysburg to the men of the 73rd New York Volunteer Infantry (2nd Fire Zouaves).
At the dedication of the 5th New York monument on the battlefield of Second Bull Run, where so many of the regiment fell, veteran Andrew Coats said something that applies equally to the modern-day heroes who gave their lives on September 11:
On this spot was enacted a glorious example of the noblest virtue of the human race -- self-sacrifice on the Altar of Duty. Every man who fell here won a victory over himself, and we are told in the Great Book that 'he who controlleth himself is greater than he that taketh a city;' and the same Great Book tells us further that, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.'
Among the 124 members of the Duryée Zouaves who perished on that 30th of August 1862 were former firemen Robert Amos (Hook & Ladder Co. 9), Jonas A. Bryant (Hose Co. 46), William M. McDowell Jr. (Hook & Ladder Co. 9), John Milligan (Engine Co. 11) and Robert R. Whigam (Hook & Ladder Co. 9).
|Currier & Ives lithograph|
Firefighters attack a fire at Murray and Church streets, Manhattan, on Sept. 9, 1861. The site is only five blocks away from what remains of the World Trade Center.
The men of the New York Fire Department went to their work on September 11 with no idea that, for so many, it would be their last day in this life. They kissed their loved ones goodbye, and they were gone. They were heroes who gave their lives trying to save lives. Their selfless devotion has touched many hearts, and their families deserve whatever we can do to assist and to honor the memories of those whose bravery defies description.
When we (the members of the 5th New York) present our contribution to the Widows' and Children's Fund, we will also present a reproduction Firemen's Belt, as worn by the red-shirted Volunteers of the 1860s. David Dellacato of Dell's Leatherworks crafted this belt to represent the one worn by members of Hook & Ladder Co. 3. This is appropriate for a number of reasons. [Follow this link for a picture of some members of the 5th New York portraying Fire Zouaves, each wearing a Firemen's Belt.]
|Harper's Illustrated Weekly, May 25, 1861|
Soldiers of the 11th New York (Fire Zouaves) work to extinguish the fire threatening Willard's Hotel, in Washington.
A native of Roscrea, Tipperary, Daniel J. Meagher enlisted at the age of 17 in the 5th New York. He was a good soldier, and served through all the campaigns and battles of the Duryée Zouaves. Following the organization of the paid Fire Department in 1865, Daniel Meagher became Foreman of Ladder Company 3. He was honored for his bravery fighting a fire that occured May 2, 1878. When a woman was trapped on the upper floors of a burning tenement on 14th Street, Meagher had his truck's ladder extended, and climbed to its upper rung. The woman jumped, and Meagher caught her and lowered her to the fireman below him. [Read more about Daniel J. Meagher.]
Ladder Co. 3 was one of the hardest hit in the recent disaster. The belt we will present is in honor of the members of that company and of all their brothers in the Department who gave their lives at the World Trade Center. The motto of the old Hook & Ladder 3 was "Phoenix," and the word appears on the front of the belt. Like that mythical bird, the great city of New York and the indomitable spirit of its people will rise from the ashes of this tragedy, with undying admiration for those heroes of the Fire Department.
|EDITOR'S NOTE: The unit raised close to $8,000 by its Oct. 25 cutoff date, and has discontinued its drive. The unit will present the proceeds to a representative of the Widows' and Children's Fund of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Stay tuned for particulars on the date. You can e-mail the 5th New York at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read more about them on its Web site, at www.zouave.org.
God Bless the United States of America.
The Official Web site of the Fire Department of New York If you reside in metro New York, please consider attending any of the remaining funeral services for the city's firefighters. There are so many (43 confirmed dead, 300 missing) that even their own brother firefighters are finding it impossible to attend all of them.
"Feeling the emptiness at Ladder Company 3," USA Today
"NYC firefighter who inspired a novel is lost," USA Today, Oct. 1, 2001
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