L.I. Burial Today For FDNY Legend

Five months after FDNY Battalion Chief Raymond Downey's family placed a stone in a graveyard, they will return to the cemetery today to lay the Sept. 11 hero to rest.

Downey, the FDNY's most-decorated member, was last seen running toward the collapsed south tower of the World Trade Center, on a mission to save firefighters trapped beneath the mountain of rubble. The 63-year-old chief's remains were identified through DNA last week.

A legend in the department, Downey received 21 citations of valor. He finished his 40-year career as the head of the FDNY's special operations command.

Thousands of firefighters attended Downey's memorial service in December at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church in Deer Park, L.I. His funeral will be held at the same church at 10:15 a.m. today. He will be buried at St. Charles Cemetery.

Greg Gittrich

Original Publication Date: 5/20/02