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Thread: Last Of Tragic B'klyn Squad Is Laid To Rest

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    Last Of Tragic B'klyn Squad Is Laid To Rest

    LAST OF TRAGIC B'KLYN SQUAD IS LAID TO REST

    By KEITH J. KELLY

    August 18, 2002 -- IN a small red brick church on Long Island, the bell tolled for the 12th and final time for Brooklyn's Squad One.

    Friends, family, and firefighters as well as Navy reserve comrades from as far away as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, filled St. Joseph's Church in Kings Park to overflowing yesterday at a memorial service for firefighter Thomas M. Butler.

    Butler's unit, Squad One in Park Slope, was an elite disaster unit that raced through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and was one of the first on the scene Sept. 11. All 12 who went to the towers perished.

    "I had always hoped I'd never have to go to one of these, and now I've been to 12," said Hugh Lynch, a firefighter from Squad One who was off-duty that fateful morning and yesterday was a pallbearer for one of his best friends.

    Tom's 6-year-old son Sean wore a miniature firefighter's dress uniform yesterday.

    Outside the church, he held his daddy's fire helmet with the Squad One insignia.

    Beside him was his sister, 4-year-old Kelly, and 9-month old Patrick, held in the arms of Butler's wife of 14 years, Martha.

    "He gave me strength and hopefulness and enough laughter to last a lifetime," said Martha, in her farewell. "I will never let you down. I love you. Who's better than you, Tom? No one."



    http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/54964.htm

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    L.I. memorial honors Sept. 11 firefighter

    L.I. memorial honors Sept. 11 firefighter

    By LUIS PEREZ and FERNANDA SANTOS
    DAILY NEWS WRITERS

    To Firefighter Thomas Butler, water was more than just the weapon he used to douse flames in the many calls he answered in and around Park Slope, Brooklyn.

    It was also a source of peace for the Squad 1 member, who dreamed of building a home in a warm place by the ocean so he could watch the waves crash on the beach from his living room, family and friends said.

    A former police officer who became a firefighter, Butler, 37, rushed into the burning south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 - and was one of a dozen Squad 1 firefighters who didn't make it out alive.

    "He never said, 'I did this' or 'I did that.' He just did what needed to be done," Squad 1 Firefighter Joe O'Donnell told the 2,000 mourners who traveled yesterday to St. Joseph's Church in Kings Park, L.I., for Butler's memorial service.

    In the aftermath of the attacks, Port Authority Police Sgt. Stephen Butler sifted through the rubble at Ground Zero for traces of his older brother almost every night for eight months.

    When the grim recovery efforts ended May 30, Stephen Butler was one of the 10 pallbearers who carried a flag-covered rescue basket out of Ground Zero in honor of his brother and other victims still missing.

    Yesterday, Stephen Butler recalled three lessons he learned from his brother: Don't ever forget where you came from; treat every man the way he wants to be treated, and you're always the first one in and the last one out.

    "I'll take that to my grave," Stephen Butler told the relatives, firefighters and friends who filled the church's pews, hallways and vestibule.

    Among those attending the service were five members of Thomas Butler's U.S. Army Reserve unit. The men flew to New York from Guant

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