Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today We Remember FF Thomas Hannafin, FDNY

Today we remember FF Thomas Hannafin, Ladder Co. 5, FDNY.

Thomas Hannafin was 36-years-old when he was killed on Sept. 11th after responding to the WTC attacks. He had been a firefighter for 10 years. 

Tom, a local basketball star on Staten Island, followed his oldest brother, Kevin, into the Fire Department, and joined Ladder 5 in Greenwich Village. He lived his life to the fullest every day. He was a family man who was always with his children and wife, a great athlete and team guy.

He was last seen on the 37th floor in Tower 1 on Sept. 11th, 2001.

Kevin Hannafin, Tom’s oldest brother and firefighter assigned to Ladder Co. 119, was in Florida for a wedding when the WTC was attacked. When he turned on the television that Tuesday morning, he knew that his brother's company would be one of the first on the scene. He drove 18 hours straight back to New York. By the next morning, he was searching in the rubble.

That Friday, in a staircase in the ruins of the north tower, Kevin, along with a search team including members of Ladder 5, found the remains of Tommy Hannafin-- a man who had stood 6-foot-3 and who had once led his Staten Island college basketball team to a city championship, earning the nickname "Floor General" and the mantle of local hero.

Finding his brother’s remains was, “the proudest moment of my life," Kevin Hannafin said. "It means a lot for firefighters, in firefighter tradition, that members of their company carry them out. That day, I was part of that company. I carried my brother's helmet down from the top of the heap.”

Thomas’s wife, Rene Hannafin, wrote this letter for her husband after his death:


For 18 and a half years, you were my strength, my hope, my one and only true love.

I will always cherish the memories we made together. You were my best friend when all else had failed around me.

You pulled me up when I was down and always made me laugh with one of your corny jokes. I can still hear you with that crying laughter that you and John would make, which I know he misses so much.

Most of all I remember your smile. It was so contagious and still is.

Kayla and Thomas miss you so much. Every day we talk about you, and remember the funny games that you would play with them. When I put them to bed at night, your watch beeps 10 minutes past the hour and when they hear it, they send you kisses and say how much they miss and love you. It breaks my heart every time.

Your family has been great to the kids and me. My mom and Jimmy miss you tremendously. And thanks, now I have to deal with them all by myself. Ha, ha! The guys at the firehouse have been wonderful, as you are well aware. Our friends and neighbors have been there for us every day.

Hun, I miss you so much and I wish I could turn back the hands of time, to hold you again and kiss your sweet lips.

"My heart will always belong to you."


We Will Never Forget!

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