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Thread: Gerard Barbara

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    Gerard Barbara

    Gerard Barbara
    Status: Missing
    Jurisdiction: Manhattan
    Rank: Assistant Chief
    Agency: FDNY
    Unit: Command Center
    Funeral Information:
    Memorial Service Held Sunday, September 30

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    Tears For The Commander

    October 2, 2001 -- Remembering him as a devoted family man, dedicated firefighter and diehard Yankee fan, thousands gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral yesterday to say farewell to beloved Assistant Chief Gerard Barbara.

    The memorial service for the World Trade Center terror victim drew hundreds of firefighters and droves of relatives and friends for the 53-year-old assistant chief, who had been promoted to citywide tour commander earlier this year after having served as a lieutenant, captain and deputy chief over his decorated 30-year career.

    Some 300 white-gloved firefighters stood shoulder to shoulder along Fifth Avenue as mourners - including Barbara's wife of 30 years, Joanne, Mayor Giuliani and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen - streamed into the cathedral. Dozens of others looked on from across the street and out of their office windows.

    In emotional speeches that each drew long applause, Barbara's daughter and son remembered their father as a man who taught them how to overcome fear.

    "When I was a little girl he would tuck me in at night smelling of smoke," said his daughter Caren. "He would never let his little girl know how dangerous his job was."

    Barbara's son Paul, a medical student, told how his father was last seen walking across West Street toward the south tower.

    "He didn't run, he didn't panic - he was just walking, thinking of how to fix the greatest calamity in human history. Nobody knows where he went after that," he said.

    "A month ago, I wanted dad to be the best man at my wedding - now I'm forced to get through life without him."

    Fire Department chaplain John Delendeck recalled that Barbara was a "huge Yankee fan."

    "When he would watch games at home, he would rattle the windows and lights when things were not going right with the Yankees," the chaplain said.

    Mayor Giuliani, who gave his Yankee cap to the family, also recalled seeing pictures of Barbara wearing "every form of Yankee outfit imaginable."

    Barbara's memorial service was one of six that took place yesterday for the fallen heroes of the trade center attack.

    Earlier in the day, some 1,300 mourners overflowed St. Clare's Roman Catholic Church in Rosedale, Queens, to honor 51-year-old firefighter Henry Miller Jr. Members of Ladder Co. 105 placed a cross adorned with roses and carnations besides a photograph of the fallen hero and his black boots.

    In Ronkonkoma, L.I., hundreds of family members and friends jammed into St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church to pay tribute to firefighter Peter Brennan, a member of Rescue Co. 4. The former city police officer, 31, was remembered as a brave rescue diver who hauled rescue equipment into the north tower moments before it collapsed.

    Also remembered yesterday were firefighters David Halderman, 40, of Squad 18; Jos

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