Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Today's posting is a little different. Project 2996 has asked those of us who signed up to write a tribute to one of the victims of 09/11/2001 to post it on our blog. My tribute is to Firefighter Patrick Byrne.
Patrick Byrne - Fire fighter, hero. Age 39
Patrick Byrne, the youngest of 9 children, was born in the Tottenville area of Staten island. While he was still an infant, his family moved to Huguenot, then in 1966 settled in Pleasant Plains (Staten Island). His fourth grade teacher remembers a quiet boy who liked to do extra credit current events reports. She also remembers his dog "Poochie" who used to follow Patrick to school and be waiting for him when school was over.
Patrick graduated from Tottenville High School. He then went to Staten island Community College, Sunnyside to study accounting. But he did not like sitting in an office all day and in the mid 1980s started his own roofing business, eventually expanding the business to include carpentry, tile, and concrete work.
In 1985 Patrick decided to take the police exam. He did well but decided against joining the force. Eventually he decided to take the firefighter exam and in 1994 graduated from the Fire Fighter Academy. He was then assigned to Ladder 101 in Red Hook, Brooklyn where he remained until his death. His captain, Thomas Giodano, said that Patrick was a hard worker, an excellent firefighter, the first one to help others. He loved practical jokes and distinguished himself as a "bucketeer", soaking the newest firefighter with a bucket of water poured down from the roof.
Patrick loved dancing and traveling. Two years before his death he took up golfing. He also loved playing ball. He grew up playing stickball and as a adult was active in The Smith League and the South Shore Softball Association. He also played for the firehouse team, the Red Hook raiders. Again, he was remembered as someone who was always there when something needed to be done. He mowed the lawn and kept up the field, and ran the South Shore league in 1994.
Patrick was the first to volunteer and the last to leave.
He loved the music of Bruce Springsteen and U2 as well as going to Ranger and Yankee games.
Patrick was close to his nieces and nephews and was always there to support them in their endeavors.
His mother, Anne, called Patrick her "light and her laughter." His sister, Joanne, said he always wanted the best for everyone.