Sunday, September 10, 2006

Robert William McPadden

On September 11, 2001 over 343 firefighters gave their lives in service to this country. One of them was Robert William McPadden; he was 30 years old.

I don't know him, I never did. But I am touched and saddened by his loss and the violence that it represented. His courage and willingness to enter the World Trade Center is something that many of us will never have to face. But because he did I am sure that others survived.

I wanted to put a tribute up so that he could be remembered. Since the day I volunteered (through the 2,996 project) to post his remembrance I've been thinking a lot about him. And I've been trying to learn a little bit about him so that his life can be remembered and celebrated.

I know so little about him but here's what I learned:

His father, Michael McPadden was a firefighter for almost 40 years. Robert wanted to do the same. He went to college, earning a degree in history and then a graduate degree in criminal justice. Then he waited for an opening to become a firefighter, passing up the opportunity to become a police officer. He became a firefighter and was assigned to Engine Company 23.

He played drums with Pearl River's Ancient Order of Hibernians bagpipe band. Through the Hibernians he met Kate, fell in love and married her.

He was good at Jeopardy!.

He wasn't supposed to be at The Towers that day, but he was called to service and he went.

He is loved by many,

He is deeply missed,

He is one of the heros of this generation.

--Bill Kaufman (Newsday)
—-Tom Coombe (The Morning Call)

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