"In Memory of Edward Geraghty"

November 14, 2001

Mr. Speaker, I rise in memory of Deputy Chief Edward Geraghty of Rockville Centre, NY. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Deputy Chief Geraghty and many of his fellow firefighters lost their lives while trying to save victims of the World Trade Center terrorist bombing. Ed and his men from Battalion 9 quickly responded to the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, and they rushed into the bombed buildings to help those trapped inside.

An unknown number of people were saved by firefighters like Ed, who received the posthumous ********* from battalion chief to deputy chief, retroactive to September 10.

More than a thousand mourners gathered at St. Agnes Cathedral to honor Ed on Thursday, October 25. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and his three sons, Connor, 14, James, 11, and Colin, 4. Ed also leaves behind his father, Jim, a retired FDNY captain, his mother, Norma, his sisters, Lynn, Janet, and Maureen, and his brothers, Steve and Timmy, both New York City firefighters.

I first met Ed's wife when she was a little girl. Mary grew up across the street from my husband Dennis and I, and as she got older, she began to babysit for our son, Kevin. She deserved the best, and that is exactly what she got when she met Ed. He was a true family man who coached his sons' soccer and baseball teams. Nothing came before his family. He also made countless contributions to the community of Rockville Centre, like starting an infamous running club. On Christmas, Ed's favorite holiday, he volunteered for the Adopt-A-Family program, which distributed gifts to less fortunate children.

Ed joined the New York City Fire Department in November 1978, and he served as a volunteer in both Elmont and Baldwin. Fire safety skills and procedures were important to Ed. He received his masters degree in fire science from John Jay College, and he designed a national safety program called Back to the Basics.

Ed's oldest son Connor eulogized his father with the following, "One goal that I am setting for myself is to follow in your footsteps to be such a great man to my family, my community and the nation just like you." I believe Connor exemplified his father's heroism and courage by circulating a petition to establish a National Firefighters Day on September 11 in honor of his father and all other firefighters.

Today, I honor Ed Geraghty's memory. I know firefighters like Ed are heroes every day of their lives, and they leave a lasting impression all those who cross their paths. Ed's conviction and drive to help those in need is a testament to his family, friends, and coworkers. I know Mary, and I have seen the difference he has made in her life. I know the lessons he taught his sons will live on.

Thank you Connor, for making a difference.