Boulevard of Bravery

Western Queens Gazette - September 15, 2011

by ADAM LOMBARDI

More than 100 members of the Woodside community gathered to honor the fallen members of FDNY Rescue 4 by renaming the intersection of 65th Street and Queens Boulevard as the "Boulevard of Bravery".

The fallen members of Rescue 4 include Kevin Dowdell, Terrence P. Farrell, Brian Hickey, William Mahoney, Peter A. Nelson, Durrell V. Pearsall, Brian Fahey and Harry Ford.

Bagpipers of the NYPD Emerald Society played "Amazing Grace" as family members of firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty, including those who died on September 11th, 2001 prepared to unveil the venerable signage with a solemn look of admiration.

"The members of Rescue 4 risk their lives every day to ensure the safety of others," Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said.

A significant number of the heroic firefighters died in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and a tragic four-alarm fire in Astoria on Father's day in 2001.

"All of these men were more than sons, uncles, fathers, brothers. They were loved," explained Van Bramer who spoke with a tone of reverence as he read aloud the names of 15 men who were honored in front of the famed firehouse with longstanding ties to the community.

Youngsters from P.S 11 in Woodside flanked the members of FDNY brass, both past and present. Sean Carroll, 10, and Melina Cicigline, 10, presented the Captain of Rescue 4 Joseph Gandiello with a handmade booklet of inspired writings by the entire fifth and sixth grade classes.

A host of Queens politicians including City Comptroller John Liu were on hand to speak to the crowd about the selfless bravery exemplified by Rescue 4.

"I feel very grateful for Rescue 4 that serves every single day and I am filled with emotion for family members and their loved ones," said Liu.

President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association Steve Cassidy said that millions of New Yorkers would now forever be reminded of the great sacrifices made by firefighters which the Boulevard of Bravery is named for.

In his closing remarks, Gandiello said, "On behalf of Rescue 4, I would like to thank everyone on behalf of our departed members."