Bay 44th forever Joey's street

Renamed for firefighter

By MELISSA GRACE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Firefighter Joseph Patrick Henry was just 25 when he was killed by collapsing debris at the World Trade Center.

Last week, the street he grew up on, Bay 44th St. between Shore Parkway and Cropsey Ave., was renamed in his honor.

"It's unbelievable how much I miss him. I wish he were here," said Alice Henry, the firefighter's 63-year-old mother. "I'm so proud this street was named after him. He was born and raised here. His name will live forever."

Joseph Henry - Joey, to his friends and family - grew up in the Waterview Towers in Bath Beach in a family of firefighters.

It was on Bay 44th St. outside his apartment building that Henry, a sportsman and Yankee fan, played countless games of football. It was where his brother taught him to throw lefty, and where he pitched more than a few snowballs.

Henry joined the FDNY as an emergency medical technician in 1997. In October 2000, he became a firefighter. He was assigned to Ladder 21 in Manhattan.

During a solemn, snowbound ceremony to the skirl of bagpipes Friday, Henry's mother and father, retired Battalion Chief Edward Henry, unveiled a green street sign. It reads, "Firefighter Joseph Patrick Henry Lane." Close to 300 firefighters, family, friends and neighbors looked on.

The tribute was held near a flagpole and a commemorative stone placed outside Edward and Alice Henry's apartment by their neighbors, in tribute to Joey Henry and all those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

"We never saw each other that day," said Edward Henry, 62, even though both he and his son responded to the World Trade Center that morning. Henry believes his son was in the north tower helping to evacuate people when the building crashed to the ground.

The firefighter, whose remains have not been found, has three older brothers. Two of them, Eddie Jr. and Michael, are FDNY lieutenants. The other, Danny, is a Port Authority police officer. He also is survived by two sisters, Mary, a schoolteacher, and Kathleen, a college student.

Pol lends a hand

The idea to rename the street in Henry's honor came from Arnold Belkin, 58, a neighbor of the Henry family. Belkin's son, Adam, was one of the firefighter's closest friends. Belkin set his plan in motion with a letter to City Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. (D-Coney Island) asking that the street be renamed.

Choking up with emotion as he paid tribute to his friend, Adam Belkin, 27, said at the renaming ceremony, "I wonder what Joey would have thought of this. ... He would have done a double take, put his hand over his mouth ... and then laughed."

Originally published on December 9, 2002


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Battalion Chief Edward Henry (Ret.) and Alice Henry, parents of Firefighter Joseph Henry, attend street renaming in honor of their son, who died in World Trade Center attacks.