Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Three Entries In the Book of John

The heart does not go backward.
Only the mind.
- Elizabeth Kostova

The 343 members of the FDNY who died saving others at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 were not the only first responders whose lives ended on that horrible day.  The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Police Department lost 37 members.  23 members of the NYPD died alongside their brothers and sisters in arms and fire axes too...

John Coughlin was a Sergeant in the NYPD when he died in the line of duty on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Sgt. Coughlin was a husband to his wife, Patricia, and a father to his three daughters, Erin, Patricia and Kayla.  Sgt. Coughlin had been on the job for eighteen years.  He was assigned to ESU Truck 4.  Sgt. Coughlin wore Badge #3751.  His oldest daughter Erin joined the NYPD upon graduating from the Academy on December 28, 2012.  Upon "Candidate" Erin Coughlin becoming "Police Officer" Erin Coughlin, her father's old badge number, 3751, was pinned to her uniform - with pride.

John J. Lennon was forty-four years old when he was killed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  He did that morning what he spent more than half of his life doing:  working as a Police Officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.  He was saving lives.  Officer Lennon's post in September 2001 was as a court liaison in Jersey City but when he learned of the attacks in Lower Manhattan, he did what scores of police officers and firefighters did that morning.  He headed straight into the dragon's mouth.  His was the ultimate sacrifice.  His parents survived him.  So did his wife Patricia and their four children Melissa, John III, Katie and Christopher.

John D. Levi.  Officer Levi was fifty years old when he became one of the thirty-seven members of the PANYNJ Police Department to die in the line of duty on September 11, 2001.  Officer Levi was the father of two adult children, Jennifer and her younger brother Dennis.  Approximately five and one-half years before he was killed in the line of duty, he met and fell instantly in love with Debralee Scott, to whom he was engaged when he died.  He met Ms. Scott- an actress - at Hogs & Heifers, a Greenwich Village bar, in mid-December 1995.  Five years later - while the two of them were in Winslow, Arizona (Yep, the town where Glenn Frey is standing on a corner in "Take It Easy") he proposed.  Sadly, their love story had a tragic ending two times over.  Ms. Scott was reportedly heartbroken by his death and it proved to be an event from which she never recovered.  She herself died approximately three and one-half years later.

Nothing is really lost
As long as you remember it.
- Ally Condie


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