'Lived Life to the Fullest'

In Sloatsburg, N.Y., yesterday, a silver hearse bearing firefighter Denis Germain's flag-draped coffin slowly climbed a steep hill to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.

Inside, more than 500 mourners paid final tribute to Germain, whose remains were recovered this week. A memorial service for the seven-year veteran of Ladder 2 on the East Side was held Sept. 28.

Yesterday, his brother Michael Germain, a Fire Department mechanic, said he hoped the family can find closure now that his brother's remains have been found.

"I wish [Sept. 11] wouldn't have come," said Michael Germain, fighting back tears. "I'm glad he was found."

"We give thanks to God for the life he gave Denis," said the Rev. Michael Hardiman.

"Sept. 11 was a day we lost our innocence," he added. "We saw what happens when people who do not love take actions against human life. Denis was a person who loved life."

Denis Germain was an avid bicyclist, ski instructor and hockey player.

"He lived life to the fullest