April 20, 2002 -- ORLANDO, Fla. -

The sons and daughters and widows of real-life superheroes were here yesterday helping fantasy superhero Spider-Man save New York City from Dr. Octopus and his evil syndicate.
Sean Sullivan, 6, and his brother, Brian, 5, were among the children of the New York Bravest football team who swung to the rescue with Spider-Man, dodging fireballs, waterspouts and crashing explosions to free the Statue of Liberty and the city from the clutches of the supervillain and his sinister sidekicks.

And when their heart-stopping adventure aboard the Spider-Man ride at Universal Studios' theme park was over, the two youngsters were screaming for more.

"We're trying all the rides possible," said their mom, Dolores, whose husband, Chris, died in the World Trade Center attack.

The Sullivans and other relatives of FDNY football-team members killed on Sept. 11 will remain here through the weekend, taking in the sights and rides and attending a football game between their guys and Orlando's team of cops and firefighters, the Guardians.

"It's great to see them enjoying themselves like this. It's so hard on them, it's so hard on all of us," said Neil Walsh, a former member of the Bravest football team and the organizer of the outing.

His wife, Denise, agreed, adding, "I think it's great for them to be here. They need a break."

Maureen Haskell, who lost her firefighter sons, Timmy and Tommy, on Sept. 11, was trying out Dr. Doom's Fear Fall, a frighteningly fast-moving ride, with their niece Courtney and nephew Anthony.

"They're having a ball," she beamed. "They're in heaven here in Orlando."

Lori Fletcher, who's husband, Andrew, was killed in the terror attack, was trying out the Spider-Man ride with her son Blair, and her sister's kids, Andrew and Candace.

"We're here to enjoy ourselves. It's fantastic," she said.

With Marsha Kranes


FDNY footballers (left to right) Brian Currid, Tony Leonick, Jim Grillo and Neil Walsh get the drop on a thrill ride yesterday.
- P.M. Ebenhack.