Monday, August 31, 2015

A Man of Riches

FF Jimmy Riches of Engine 4 was only twenty-nine years old when he died on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  His company was among the first firefighters at the North Tower on that terrible morning.  FF Riches had only been with the FDNY for approximately two years at the time of his death, moving over to join "New York's Bravest" only after having spent eight years as a member of the NYPD, "New York's Finest".  Fine and Brave.  Not a bad way to be known. 

FF Riches was the son of a firefighter.  His dad, Jim Riches, retred from the FDNY as a Deputy Chief.  At the time of Jimmy Riches's death, he was the only one of his father's sons who had followed his father's footsteps into the family business.  After he died, all three of his brothers joined the FDNY.  

It took until March 25, 2002 before the body of FF Jimmy Riches was recovered in the rubble of the North Tower.  A woman on a stretcher was found in his immediate proximity, which was of no surprise to his father.  Once a hero, always a hero.   When FF Riches's body was removed from  the Pit at Ground Zero, it was his dad and his three younger brothers who carried him home from that place.  

FF Jimmy Riches
Engine 4 - FDNY 



Judith Pack said...

Thank you again for sharing these stories. I have read each and every one, and it has helped to bring a personal name and face to the heroes we lost that day. So inspiring, so tragic. Remembering them all.

Adam Kenny said...

You're welcome. While I wish the reason for sharing them did not exist, it does. So, it makes me happy to read that it helps you in your memory of those who were killed that day. I worry that too often we get absorbed by numbers, and that whether we intend it to do so or not, painting an event such as the September 11, 2001 attacks in broad strokes might well have the unintended consequence of forgetting that individuals died that day. The loss of each one was/is felt by the family to whom he or she belonged. To them, they are not a number. They never were.