Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today We Remember Lt. Thomas O'Hagan, FDNY

Today we remember Lt. Thomas O’Hagan, Engine 6, FDNY, age 43.

He had one boy on each knee and looked so proud and happy, it was a perfect picture of love. No one could imagine the nightmare that was right around the corner.

Tommy was a Lieutenant at Engine 6, which is located just a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. He had been assigned to Engine Company 6 a few weeks before Sept. 11.

The night of September 10th was a pretty quiet one at Engine Co. 6. FF Paul Beyer had made a delicious chicken dinner. Two firemen were studying for their upcoming promotional exam, tossing questions back and forth, and Tommy was giving them pointers on how to study.

On the morning of Sept. 11th, at 8:15 a.m., Engine 6 responded to a call. Upon returning from this call, while waiting at a stop light, they heard a very loud explosion. They looked up and saw a large hole in the north tower of the WTC. Engine 6 was one of the first units to arrive on the scene. 

Lt. Tommy O’Hagan, along with his company, headed up the stairs of the North Tower to what would be their last call. No one who went in from Engine 6, made it out in time, except for one, FF Billy Green, who miraculously survived the collapse.

When Tommy was 7, he tried to stamp out a fire in the Bronx, but his pants caught fire. He ended up with second- and third- degree burns. "Even with all that," said his brother Raymond, "and all the pain that burns cause, Tommy wanted to be a fireman."

His wife says she has no doubt that her husband went into the WTC tower that morning with his usual take-charge attitude.

Tom was an incredibly kind, generous, and gentle man who loved his large family and loyal friends. His twin sons and wife were his pride and joy, and he spent every moment having fun with them.

Tommy was new to fatherhood and was in his element around his boys, his wife says.

"I can see him now coming through the door with his arms outstretched saying, 'How are my boys today? I love you.'"

Tommy O’Hagan will be remembered for his take-charge attitude, his love of golf, cooking, swimming and relaxing on the beach, and impeccable dressing.

His family remembers him with a quotation from Shakespeare: “His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, ‘This was a man.’”

His wife believes that if her husband could speak to her, he would comfort her and probably say something like: "Raise the boys, keep them and yourself happy, and move on."

We Will Never Forget!


  1. Dear Patrick and Pierce,

    It was such a privilege to be assistant kindergarten teacher to you both, and your lovely mom. I wish you could know the two little boys, 5 turning 6, that I did that year -- sweet, thoughtful, soulful. You both are in my heart. I'm sure your mom has it exactly right: be happy, move forward! Your mom and dad blessed the world with the two of you. much love, Jen

  2. Today I participated in the West Metro Firefighters annual 9/11 Stair Climb in Morrison, CO. I had the privilege of "sponsoring" Thomas O'Hagan for this years walk. Although I did not know this man, I wore his name and picture on a sticker affixed to my shirt as if it were a badge of courage. When I was tired I would look down at that picture and think about the sacrifice Mr. O'Hagan made for me, my family, and all Americans that fateful September morning.

    I wish nothing but the best for Mr. O'Hagan's family and hope that his children know what a hero he is and that his story is still impacting lives 12 years later. I will never forget this man or the other 342 firefighters that lost their lives that day, and am honored to have walked for such a man. Godspeed Thomas O'Hagan. Thank you so much for your service.

    Scott O'Hare-Denver, CO

  3. I live in long beach, ny. I was looking up benches on the boardwalk for fdny 9/11 responders. I saw one for Lt Thomas O'Hagan and googled his name.

    This is a beautiful article. I hope his family is doing well.

    a fdny wife