Saturday, August 29, 2015

Like a Rock

FF William "Billy" Lake of Rescue 2 in Brooklyn spent the night of September 10, 2001 with his brothers of Rescue 2.  It was a night of celebration.  The evening's honored guest?  Billy Lake.  The occasion?  A celebration of his 20th anniversary in the FDNY.  That night he and the gang from Rescue 2 ate like kings - feasting on roast beef, shrimp, and chocolate mousse.  The next morning he and six of his brethren died like heroes in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  FF Lake and the other members of Rescue 2 were ascending the North Tower, responding to mayday calls from other firefighters who were trapped in the building and intending to go up to the 83rd floor to fight a fire there, when the building collapsed.   

At forty-four years of age, Billy Lake had spent almost half of his life serving and protecting the people of New York City.  As a member of one of the FDNY's elite Rescue units, he had seen more than his fair share of horrific stuff.  He was among the members of the FDNY who had accompanied Chief Ray Downey to Oklahoma City in the rescue/recovery effort following the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.  He had a reputation among his brother firefighters for being tough as hell and for being unafraid of extending himself in an effort to effect a rescue - whether the individual in need of saving was a human being or an equine.   

FF Billy Lake was the very proud father of a very devoted son, Kyler, who was just seven years old when FF Lake was killed on September 11, 2001.  In the month following that terrible day that it took to recover FF Lake's body, Kyler pestered his mother and his godfather that he should be allowed to help in the search for his Dad.  When Billy Lake's body was recovered at Ground Zero, his former wife Dorothy (with whom he had reconciled) wondered how much longer she would have been able to keep Kyler's almost-insatiable desire to help in check and was relieved that the question did not need to be answered.  

Now just twenty-one years old, Kyler Lake is nothing short of extraordinary.  Spend a couple of minutes with him here.  I suspect you shall be glad that you did. 

FF William "Billy" Lake 
FDNY - Rescue 2 (Brooklyn)


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