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Firefighter Gerard Dewan

Ladder 3

Firefighter Dewan's Act of Heroism

Over 400 first responders lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Heroically performing their sworn duty, these firefighters, members of the NYPD and PAPD, and numerous other rescue workers will forever be remembered for their sacrifice.

My Hero

Gerard P. Dewan was not a New Yorker, and he would have told you that. He was a Bostonian, the son of a firefighter, who in turn was the son of a firefighter. But there were no jobs going in the Boston Fire Department, and so he took the southbound bus and began his career in New York five years ago.

Gerry Dewan, 35, just wanted to be a firefighter, said his friend and landlord, Sean Cummins, also a firefighter. He was one of the first rescuers to enter the twin towers. Along with 11 others from Ladder Company 3/Battalion 6 in Lower Manhattan, he never made it out.

He is the first member of his family to die in the line of duty, Mr. Cummins said. He was not married, but had always planned to have children and move home to Boston. In the meantime, he found a family in the Cummins household in Rockaway Park, Queens, where he rented a basement apartment. Two nights before the calamity, he was helping write the names of the Cummins children on their crayons for the first day of school. "He finally found a home with us," Mr. Cummins said.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 21, 2001.
Information courtesy of the Remember 9/11/2001 memorial site on


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