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Thread: The Journel News article

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    Post������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ The Journal News article

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    A firefighter and hero who led with his chin

    This is the article from the link above - just in case the link stops working

    A firefighter and hero who led with his chin


    (Original publication: Dec. 23, 2001)

    Across a rugby field in New Rochelle and the Irish football grounds of Gaelic Park, Dennis McHugh forever wore his sweat and blood as badges of athletic honor. He limped away from those college and neighborhood games the way old Packers and Bears limped away from their epic Sundays in the mud, drawing every eye's attention and commanding every man's respect.

    McHugh believed in leading with his chin as far back as first grade, when he saw classmates sliding down a pole in firefighter style and responded by taking the ride headfirst. Dermid Kelly walked him and his cracked skull to the nurse and began building a lifetime bond on the way, a mutual love to be renewed on Christmas Day when Kelly whispers his greetings above his best friend's grave.

    They came up the way the entire crew did, from John Hickey to John Powell to Cahal Grennan to the kid they called Joe Mac. They came out of the Bronx and immigrant Irish homes, all raised on old country brogues and new country hopes. They moved to the suburbs and played rugby at Iona College and danced at each other's weddings right up until the day the music died, the day the alarms rang out for all living saints and compelled Dennis McHugh of Ladder 13

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