|Brothers & Sisters,
September 11, 2001 is a day that will forever be branded in the hearts and souls of all Americans. The pain and anguish of this senseless act of terror knows no bounds, yet it strikes hardest at the essence of all firefighters as we grieve the over 300 of New Yorks Brotherhood who gave their lives so that others may live.
The New York Fire Department has long been acknowledged as the benchmark by which all other departments are judged, and the actions of their bravest on this solemn day will forever be etched in the memories of all as the high-water mark of the fire service.
We watched helpless and stunned as the events of the World Trade Center unfolded, yet with uncommon valor, members of the FDNY instilled an aura of bravery and selflessness as they assaulted the inferno,
|time and time again.
The heroic actions of Father Michael Judd, FDNY Chaplain, exemplify the spirit of America in these uncertain times. Father Mike was a great friend of Father John Green, SFFD Chaplain. This vignette of Father Mikes final acts underscores true courage: While fearlessly giving the last rites to a fallen firefighter amid the chaos of the decaying WTC Towers, Father Mike, knowing full well the dangers, removed his helmet to further comfort the expiring firefighter, and was killed by falling debris. I know of no rationale for this loss, yet I try to take comfort, certain that God called Father Mike home so that he could open the Gates of Heaven to allow his brave firemen to stride in behind him.
We at Local 798 have established a fund at the San Francisco Fire Credit Union. All funds will go directly to Local 94 and Local 854 to help with the costs associated with the events of September 11.
As firefighters, we have but one resolve, and one resolve only; to save lives. This is, was the mission accepted by our brothers in New York, and this was the mission they carried out.
As soon as we are granted permission, we will print the photos of our lost brothers from the FDNY. Additionally, I ask that all brothers and sisters, active or retired, send a photo of their sons or daughters that are in active service in the United States Military protecting America. These we will also publish in a future MAIN LINE.
God Bless America.