Monday, September 11, 2006


2996 is a coalition of bloggers brought together by D.Challener Roe to pay tribute to the lives of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. You can find a list of participants and tributes here.

I am remembering forty-five year old Raymond R. York who was a 20-year veteran of the New York Fire Department. He is survived by his wife - Joan and their four children.

From the New York Times :

"He Always Was My Hero"

Raymond R. York spent nearly two decades fighting blazes and loving the New York Fire Department when a shoulder injury 18 months ago forced him into light duty. But he found a second calling, teaching children about fire safety at the Fire Zone at Rockefeller Center. There, he was "Fireman Ray" to the youngsters whom he captivated.

But on Tuesday, he learned of the World Trade Center attack from a television crew that was doing a story on the Fire Zone, jumped onto a nearby fire truck and headed downtown. After traffic held him up, he hitched a ride on an ambulance and reached the Fire Department's command post at the trade center.

"We're so proud and we just want everybody to know what a great guy Ray was," his wife, Joan, said. "Everybody's saying, 'He's a hero, he's a hero.' He always was my hero. Now the world knows he's a hero."

She described her husband as a man in love with life, a man who insisted on flying the flag. "He was a Little League coach, he was a scout leader — when it came to his kids, he was there for everything," she said. That included building an ice skating rink in the backyard of their Valley Stream, N.Y., home when his son, one of four children, wanted to learn how to skate.

---Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 17, 2001.

From the Chicago Tribune :

"Raymond R. York"

Raymond York, a 20-year veteran of the New York Fire Department, had every reason not to be in harm's way Tuesday. The 45-year-old husband and father of four had been placed on light duty with a shoulder injury and was giving a TV interview at Rockefeller Center when he saw the first airliner strike the World Trade Center on the camera crew's television. York headed for the scene, hopping on an ambulance. He had just reached the fire command post when Tower Two collapsed. York is presumed dead. "He saw that this had happened and he couldn't sit still," said York's mother-in-law, Rosemary Abruzzino.Abruzzino said her son-in-law had a passion for life, his family and his job. "I know people say only good things about people after they die, but in his case, we don't have to embellish anything," she said. "He was a great man and a tremendous father to his children." Among York's interests was kayaking, and he had planned a trip Wednesday. He had started a kayaking club for firefighters and dubbed it "Blazing Paddles."

- Liam Ford (The Chicago Tribune)

( picture courtesy of

A Fireman's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage;
Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child before it is too late
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me.
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.

And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life;
Please bless with your protecting hand, my children and my wife.

Additional Tributes to Raymond R York
(great comments and thoughts by family and friends)


Digital Fortress said...

Thanks Tracy. That was a good rememberance, I'm sure he and his family will appreciate it. I was so happy to read and learn about Raymond R. York. He was a true hero. The world is a lesser place without him.

Tara said...

A wonderful tribute. Well done.

My tribute to Saranya Srinuan can be found at

kateandjona said...

A beautiful tribute to a truly beautiful man.

Thank you for sharing.

Chaos Mommy said...

A wonderful tribute and a beautiful picture. All of the firemen were more brave than I can ever imagine being. Thank God for their heroics.
Thank you for commenting on my tribute.

I am also remembering a firefighter, John Napolitano.

lchan said...

Thank you for this beautiful tribute. I remember Raymond York and Thomas Farrelly and the 2,994 others who lost their lives.

Raggedy said...

Wonderful Tribute!
Thank you.
These are heartbreaking stories and difficult to read....
I am honored to be a part of this project.
Mine is posted also...

Bless you...

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

michelle said...

Raymond York was truly a hero. It is so heartbreaking to read these stories, but such an honor to get to know each person.

Thank you for visiting my tribute.

gordaboo said...

Thank you for your beautiful tribute to Ray. He did seem like a wonderful person. Thank you for giving his story to us so that we may all remember him.

We will never forget.

I remember Lisa Egan

Season said...

What a wonderful tribute. Those pictures you have are great too. I'm glad so many people did this.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracey..I know this is very delayed but initially I could not find your blog....I just wanted to tell you that I think it was wonderful that you, and so many others, did remembrances for September 11. I especially love that you have helped to tell Ray's story. We are so proud of his actions on that day and throughout his life. Thank you for the tribute.

Joan York & Family

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.