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PR- 262-04
October 06, 2004


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today presided at the Fire Department's 97th annual Memorial Service honoring members of the Department who have made the supreme sacrifice while protecting life and property in the City of New York. The annual event took place at the Firemen’s Monument at Riverside Drive and 100th Street.

“Today we remember the members of the Fire Department who have given their lives over the last year, showing unflinching valor and commitment while protecting our city,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This morning we pay tribute to members like Thomas Brick and James O’Shea, who, along with the more than one thousand other members of the FDNY, have made the Supreme Sacrifice.  The bravery they displayed epitomizes the courage and commitment members of the FDNY. On behalf of 8 million New Yorkers, I would like to thank the members of New York’s Bravest for each day facing dangers that the rest of us can barely imagine.”

“Our annual Memorial Day is a chance to reflect on the sacrifices this job often demands, and to remember the firefighters who have given everything in the line of duty,” said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.  “From Robert Wintringham, who died a month after the Department was created in 1865, to Thomas Brick, a young firefighter who we lost last December, 1,127 members of the New York City Fire Department have given their lives protecting this City.  Today we commemorate their lives; we honor the sacrifices they made, and we remind ourselves of the perils of the job you all hold so dearly.”

The Memorial Service honors all active members of the department who died during the past year—whether they were on-duty or not.  This year, the Department honors two members who gave their lives in the line of duty, Firefighter James J. O’Shea of Ladder Company 127 and Firefighter Thomas C. Brick of Ladder Company 36.

The department also honors the memory of 14 active members who died while off-duty from the Fire Service; Firefighter Vincent M. Savino, Lieutenant Peter M. Walsh, Firefighter Juan Flores, Firefighter John J. Masera, Firefighter Peter J. LaPlace, Captain Eric P. Daly, Lieutenant Frank P. Eng.  From the Emergency Medical Service; EMS Lieutenant Peter W. Lembeck, EMS Division Chief Ulyses Grant, EMT John T. Siomos, EMT Charles Ruperto, EMT Robert A. Cunningham III, EMT James B. Gulston, EMT John R. Sanders.

The Fireman's Monument was built at the suggestion of the right Reverend Henry C. Potter, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of New York, on the occasion of the funeral of Deputy Chief Charles W. Kruger. Chief Kruger was killed in the line of duty in 1908 while battling a fire in Lower Manhattan. Resting on a high foundation, the memorial is flanked by two marble sculptures symbolizing duty and sacrifice. The inscription on the easterly side of the monument reads: "To the men of the Fire Department of the City of New York who died at the call of duty, soldiers in a war that never ends, this memorial is dedicated by the people of a grateful city." The monument was completed in 1913.


Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958


Francis X. Gribbon   (FDNY)
(718) 999-2056

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