The New York Post...06/28/2002

GILL SMITH

Hundreds of friends, family and New York's Bravest packed a Brooklyn church yesterday to bid an emotional farewell to fallen FDNY hero Gerald Atwood.

Holding the 3-month-old son her husband never knew, Barbara Atwood held back tears as his flag-draped coffin was carried into Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church in Marine Park.

Only four weeks ago, the same church was a place of celebration for the Atwood family as baby Robert was baptized.

Yesterday, firefighters and family choked back tears at a tearful funeral Mass as they remembered the 38-year-old as "the happy man with the big smile." Mayor Bloomberg, who was among the mourners, promised Atwood's grief-stricken widow Barbara "we will not forget, we have to go on. That's what Gerry would have wanted."

Atwood was an avid do-it-yourselfer who loved fishing, music and sports.

But most of all, said Battalion Chief John Rozas, he loved his family.

Rozas told mourners Atwood was among the best of the best.

He added, "The Twin Towers were 110 stories high and that number is quite significant because that's what he always gave - 110 percent."

Close friend and fellow firefighter John Ferraro said Atwood was a do-it-yourself genius who had "hands of gold."

"He was like a brother to me. He could do anything and he could do it good. "

Atwood's brother, Gregory, also struggled to hold back tears as he told the congregation he had never met anyone who "didn't like Gerald."

He said: "Our lives will be empty and he will be missed greatly."