Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Men of Engine 40, Ladder 35 - Part III

Courage is resistance to fear,
Mastery of fear,
Not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain

FF Michael Lynch was the seventh born of the ten Lynch children.  Thirty-one years old at the time of his death on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, FF Lynch was engaged to Stephanie Luccioni.  Had he not been killed in the line of duty on that awful September morning, he and Stephanie would have married that November.  FF Lynch had rotated over to 40/35 only a couple of months prior to September 11, 2001.  He was a member of Engine 62/Ladder 32 from the Bronx (a/k/a "the Gun Hill Gang") since first joining the FDNY in 1999.  On the final morning of his life, FF Lynch and the other men of 40/35 were at the World Trade Center effecting rescues of men and women who had been trapped there - in their offices - when the terrorists attacked.  Irony or coincidence?  Prior to joining the FDNY, FF Lynch had worked for Dean Witter at the firm's World Trade Center office.  He left that job to pursue his dream of being a member of the FDNY.

In honor of FF Lynch's life and in memory of his death, the Lynch Family established the Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation.  In the years since 2001, the Foundation has generated 137 college scholarships totaling more than $3.5 Million.

FF John Daniel "Dan" Marshall rode south through Manhattan on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 with the men of Engine 40/Ladder 35 although he, himself, was not a member of the house.  FF Marshall, thirty-five years young and the son of a member of the NYPD, was assigned to Engine 23 but on the morning of September 11, 2001 he had been assigned as a substitute to Engine 40. 

In David Halberstam's wonderful "Firehouse" he wrote of Marshall, "He was a stranger to the men there.  It is likely that he had been at 40/35 for all of five minute when he went out on the last run of his life.  He tossed a bag on the floor of the house and then jumped aboard the rig; later they found the bag, which contained his personal things, including his keys and his wallet."   FF Marshall was married and he and his wife Lori were the proud parents of two little ones at the time of his death, Paige and John.

FF Steve Mercado (Engine 40) spent eleven years at 40/35 house.  FF Mercado, a thirty-eight-year-old husband to Joviana and father to two sons (Skylar and Austin) had three great passions:  His family, his job and stickball.  FF Mercado was the President of the New York Emperors Stickball League.

A Bronx boy, FF Mercado grew up playing and loving the game and, as an adult, was committed to preserving it and its place of significance in the history and the fabric of New York City.   Take a moment and read this,, which he wrote about the game he loved, the father he loved and the connection between the two. 

FF Mercado is the only man who rode into harm's way that terrible morning on Engine 40 whose body was never recovered from the World Trade Center site.  


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