Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.

— Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY

I found this quote, but was unable to find additional information on the statement that went with it: “Remarks by Chief Croker regarding the death of a Deputy Chief and four firefighters in February, 1908.”

This memorial wall was erected in 1912 in Manhattan, on the corner of Riverside Drive and 100th Street, facing west towards the Hudson River.  It is directly across the street from Riverside Park.

New York City is very good about honoring those who have sacrificed everything they have to offer for the furtherance of the city and its people, and are remembered here at this memorial, as well as having their names added to the official FDNY Honor Roll.  

Rear of the memorial.

Rear of the memorial.

My brother in law, Rich, was a firefighter for many years here in New Jersey.  We are fortunate that he has not been placed on the Honor Roll and is still with us to primarily serve his family, and his community in a close second place.  I don’t pretend to know anything about his exploits on the service- but as a true Irishman, you can be sure it involved a lot of laughter, drink, and good times. 

And that is exactly as it should be- because a hero must live every shift as if it were to be his last.

You can also be sure that while on duty, there was no difference in the way the bell rang between a major catastrophe and what would later be determined to be a false alarm.  He went when called, without hesitation.

Cheers, Rich.  You are a hero to everyone that knows you.

4 thoughts on “Thirty-Eight.

  1. I know several fireman and know how seriously they take there jobs and responsibility and how dedicated they are. I’m glad you honored Rich here. I know Rich personally and know how proud he is to have served as a fireman.


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