Sept. 19, 2001

Friends called New York City firefighter Daniel Suhr "Captain America" because he was always there when they needed something.

Suhr, a 16-year veteran from a family of firefighters, was rushing into the World Trade Center with colleagues from Engine Co. 216 when he was fatally struck by one of the people who had fallen from the upper floors.

Seven firefighters stopped to get Suhr to an ambulance. Moments later, the north tower, where the firefighters were headed, collapsed.

"He was always my hero even before this," his wife, Nancy said. "But because of my husband the rest of the crew is alive."

Daniel Suhr, 37, grew up in Brooklyn, one of six children whose father was a career firefighter. He starred on his high school's football and baseball teams, and went to Albany State and then a college in California to play football.

"But when he was 21 he came home and became a firefighter," his wife said.

He also came home to marry Nancy, whom he had dated since they were both 13. The couple have a 2-year-old daughter.

--Sean Hamill (The Chicago Tribune)