Thursday, April 03, 2008


No matter how old we get, we all need heroes, right? Well, mine is this man: the late Captain Timothy Stackpole. He is one of the brave that was killed on that awful day in September almost seven years ago. There is greatness in this world, although sometimes it is not so easy to see. This is someone that I see it in. I wrote the following about him a few years ago and I still feel the same way:

As a long-time listener and sometimes first-time caller to WFAN, I remember hearing the distinct, heavily New York accented voice of Stackpole doing a commercial in which he talks about how much The Burn Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital had helped him to recover.

In 1998, the Brooklyn native was fighting a fire in a city-owned building when the floor collapsed causing him and two other firemen to fall ten feet into a fierce blaze. More than 30% of Stackpole's body was burned on a night that three other firefighters had died. Stackpole and the other two firefighters were well-compensated because NYC was found to be negligent in taking care of the building's structural flaws. Stackpole spent two months in the hospital and then worked out vigorously to come back to do what he loved.

I remember picking up the New York Post and seeing a picture of Mayor Rudy Giuliani standing next to Stackpole's wife and five children at his funeral services. The picture is heartbreaking but the memory of this brave man is inspiring. I wish I had known him. But when I used to hear that commercial, it was so uplifting and inspiring you kind of felt as though you did know him and you rooted hard for him. Stackpole, 42, by all accounts was a regular guy doing what he loved. Stackpole had the heart of a lion and unparalleled bravery. I am not ashamed to admit he is a hero of mine.

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