Michael D. Mullan: Things We'll Never Know

Michael D. Mullan honored his father by following him into the military, he honored his mother by following her into nursing, and he honored himself by becoming a firefighter, his brother, Patrick, said in a eulogy.

Sometimes Firefighter Mullan combined his vocations, like when he told a young boy named Steve who had a 106-degree fever that if he let him put in an I.V., he would get a trip to the firehouse.

Steve has a picture of himself with Firefighter Mullan, 34, who worked at Ladder Company 12 in Manhattan's Chelsea section, next to the fire pole.

"Michael loved to play the piano," said his mother, Theresa. "He played the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, and when he got up, the piano went into cardiac arrest."

A captain in the Army Reserve, he was planning to become a nurse practitioner. He lived with his parents in Bayside, Queens, and had a girlfriend.

"I know what his goals were, but what would he have attained and achieved?" Mrs. Mullan said. "Would he have married, and been a father? We'll never know."