Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, June 6, 1999

Hear the Mayor's Message

Honoring Our Fallen and Living Heroes
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

This Friday, the City lost a hero when Captain Vincent Fowler, a 21-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, died after being critically injured during a fire in South Ozone Park in Queens.

I want to once again send my deepest condolences, personally and on behalf of the entire City of New York, to Captain Fowler's family-his wife and three daughters, his parents, all of his family. Captain Fowler was from a family of firefighters. Two of his brothers are firefighters, and his father is a retired battalion chief.

Every firefighter's family understands the risks that their loved ones take when they put on the uniform of the New York City Fire Department. They hope and they pray that no harm will come to them. But that never lessens the shock or the sorrow that overwhelms a family when a man like Vincent Fowler dies in the line of duty.

On their behalf and on behalf of Captain Fowler's colleagues, we mourn his loss and pledge to never forget his tremendous sacrifice. His heroism is an inspiration to all of us.

And Captain Fowler's death came on the same day that I went to Brooklyn to dedicate a plaque in memory of another fallen hero: Lieutenant James Blackmore, who was also a 21-year veteran of the Fire Department. Lieutenant Blackmore died in the line of duty one year ago.

These deaths remind us that we should never take the remarkable sacrifice of our firefighters for granted. The natural human instinct is to run away from fire. Our firefighters go into the heat and the flames and the smoke with one and only one objective: to save other people's lives. They don't ask the age, the gender, the religion, or the race of the people inside. All they want to know is whether there are human beings whose lives are risk. That's the purest expression of love that I can imagine.

I know that New Yorkers across the city honor the sacrifice of all our firefighters. They have our deepest respect and gratitude and, in the end, they have our love. This is Rudy Giuliani.


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