This web page is dedicated to all of the deceased members of Blakely Hose Company #2 and all those who have lost their lives on the September 11, 2001 tragedy.

The 343
Ask any firefighter, and he will say
And the Brothers all agree;
We know that day, and it won't go away,
When we lost our 343.
Where were you when the Towers came down,
The cry will be heard through the years;
Where were you when the Twin Towers fell,
And we realized our worst fears.
The old man asked of the young boy he met,
The lad looked up and answered politely,
"My daddy's a fireman, and he died that day,
But I still say a prayer for him nightly."
The old man moved on, and he found a young girl,
And he asked the same question of her,
She answered so slow,"I don't think I know,
For you see, I wasn't born yet sir."

But ask any firefighter, and he will know,
The day, the time, and the year;
For those of us who fight smoke and fire
And have no time for fear.
We know that day, and it won't go away,
When we lost our 343.

So when you see a firetruck speeding by,
Manned by the men who fight the fight,
Or you hear a wailing siren, in the middle of the night,
It seems so far away, on some lonely thoroughfare,
Pause for just a moment, and think a silent prayer...

William Mackle
FDNY Retired

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FIREMAN'S PRAYER

 


 

 

THE 
MALTESE CROSS 
(Cross of
St. John)
THE UNIVERSAL SYMBOL OF THE FIRE SERVICE 

The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection, A BADGE OF HONOR.  Its story is,  hundreds of years old dating to the crusades.  The crusades were a long series of holy wars during which men and women of faith, Christians and Moslems, fought over the holy land and control of the Mediterranean area.  An order of crusader knight/monks, known as the Knights of ST. John, played a central role during the crusades.  They encountered a new weapon unknown to European warriors.  It was a simple, but horrible dive of war.  The Moslem armies adopted and used "Greek Fire".  Developed by the Byzantine Empire, in their wars against the crusaders.  The Knights of ST. John risked their lives to save others from the burning infernos caused by the Greek fire.  The heroic actions were recognized by their fellow crusaders.  Each "Fire Fighting" Knight was awarded a heraldic badge of honor.  This badge was very similar in shape to the cross Fire Fighters wear today.

The Knights of ST. John established their order on the island of Malta located in the Mediterranean Sea.  With the passage of the centuries their cross of honor,  awarded their brave Fire Fighting actions, became known as the Maltese Cross.

The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection and the recognized fire fighting symbol throughout the western world.  It signifies that the fire fighter is willing to risk her of his well being for the their neighbors.  The Maltese Cross is the fire fighter's badge of courage, a ladder-rung away from death.