Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Promise

  I promise concern for others.
A willingness to help all those in need.
Promise courage - courage to face and conquer my fears.
Courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me.
I promise strength - strength of heart to bear
whatever burdens might be placed upon me.
Strength of body to deliver to safety
all those placed within my care.
I promise the wisdom to lead,
the compassion to comfort,
and the love to serve unselfishly
whenever I am called.
- A Firefighter's Pledge

Patrick O'Keefe.  Patrick O'Keefe was appointed to the FDNY twenty years and two months to the day prior to the day he died.  He graduated at the top of his class from the Academy and was assigned to Ladder Co. No. 35.  In January 1991 he requested a transfer to what became the assignment he had for the final decade of his career:  Rescue Co. No. 1 in Manhattan.  In the ten-plus years that FF O'Keefe was a member of Rescue Co. No. 1 he performed rescues that could only be described as extraordinary
Patrick O'Keefe was survived by his wife, Karen, his daughter Jennifer and his son Timothy.  In the years since he was killed in action on September 11, 2001 his family has established The O'Keefe Foundation, Inc.  Annually on September 11th the Foundation puts on the Spirit Rider Regatta and Memorial Paddle-Out and, each year, it awards scholarships to children who have lost a parent or parents due to a violent act. 
William O'Keefe.  William O'Keefe joined the FDNY in 1979.  He spent fifteen years in Brooklyn at Engine Co. No. 224 and seven at Engine Co. No. 154 in Travis.  Then in May 2001 he was promoted to Captain.  The promotion carried with it a new assignment - to Division 15 in Brooklyn.  On September 11, 2001 Captain O'Keefe was one of three members of Division 15 killed while trying to save others at the World Trade Center
Captain O'Keefe was married.  He and his wife Ginny spent their vacation every July down the Jersey Shore at Sea Isle City with their two daughters, Tara and Kaitlin.  Captain O'Keefe was only forty-eight years old at the time of his death. 

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