Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Kevins

When I'm called to duty god wherever flames may rage
give me strength to save a life whatever be its age
Help me to embrace a little child before it is too late
or save an older person from the horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me
to guard my neighbor and protect his property
And if according to your will I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife
 
Kevin Donnelly.  Lieutenant Kevin Donnelly was one of twelve members of Manhattan's Ladder Co. 3 who died saving others on September 11, 2001.  Lt. Donnelly was forty-three years young.  At age 43, he was already a twenty-three year veteran of the FDNY.  It took him less than one year to earn his first medal:  his reward for saving two children from a fire.  It came as no surprise to his family or to his friends that Lt. Donnelly responded to the World Trade Center that terrible Tuesday morning even though his 24-hour tour had ended at 9:00 AM that morning.  He ended up taking a taxi down to the action, carrying his gear, and did what he always did:  his job.  Over the course of his twenty-three year career, Lt. Donnelly earned three Departmental medals and twenty-one citations for bravery.  Lt. Donnelly was survived by both of his parents, two brothers, a sister, five nephews and his longtime companion Mary Coughlin. 
 
Kevin Dowdell.  Lieutenant Dowdell was a member of Rescue 4 of Queens.  During his twenty-two year career in the FDNY Lt. Dowdell was cited for bravery on seventeen separate occasions.  He was among the members of the FDNY who came to the help of those injured in the "first" World Trade Center attack in 1993.  When the Murrah Federal Building was bombed in Oklahoma City was bombed in 1995, Lt. Dowdell was there to help in the rescue and recovery.  He and his wife Rose Ellen had two sons.  Patrick was eighteen when his father died.  James was seventeen.  Both boys are their father's sons.  James, when he was old enough to be permitted to do so, joined the FDNY.  He is a member of Ladder Co. 174 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.  Patrick graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  He served nine years in the United States Army, including tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
I have a little boy waiting for me
His age is just under three.
But I know when I get home
I'll see that smile I know.
My son is just like me
Chasing those calls just to see.
I know when the job is done
I'll get to see the firefighter's son....

 
-AK 
 


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