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William Feehan
Age: 71
Occupation: First deputy fire commissioner
Worked for: FDNY
Originally from: Jackson Heights, Queens
Resided in: Flushing
College: St John's University
Submitted by: Irish Tribute ()

Other links: Obituary

New York Fire Department


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From NY Times Dec 25, 2001

'William Feehan: The Can-Do Bond'

When he was not fighting fires, William Feehan walked the fields of Gettysburg, toured Churchill's War Room and read naval history. Military culture, with its embrace of tradition and tactics, appealed to Mr. Feehan much the way firefighting did, said his son, William Feehan Jr.

He remembered his father tracing the path of Pickett's Charge, mapped in his mind by accounts he had read in a novel, "The Killer Angels." The senior William Feehan, a New York City firefighter who ascended through the ranks to serve as first deputy fire commissioner, recommended the book often.

One who read it at his suggestion, Firefighter Vincent Panaro, was there when the towers fell and Commissioner Feehan was killed. At his wake, two days later, Firefighter Panaro stood sentry in his dress blues at his mentor's coffin. "He refused to leave until he was relieved," the younger Mr. Feehan said.

It was that sort of bond, that sort of Semper Fi can-doism, that Commissioner Feehan thought was intrinsic to the firefighter ranks, his family said. It explained, he thought, how people, whether they be soldiers or firefighters, found it within themselves to charge into harm's way to save complete strangers.

When he died, Commissioner Feehan, 71, was the oldest and highest-ranking firefighter ever to die in the line of duty.
-- Anon (Friend { })
30 Jan 2002

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