Monday, September 11, 2006

Patrick O'Keefe

Patrick O'Keefe, of Oakdale, New York is one of 2,966 that are being remembered today. He was one of the firefighters who was just doing his job that day. He was only 44.

Shortly after that tragic day, GermanTown Academy held a Middle School Dance and donated the proceeds to FDNY Rescue 1 and particularly in honor of Patrick. His sister-in-law wrote a letter to the class and included a wonderful tribute by Patrick's niece.

The part of the tribute that captured my heart the most said, "Pat, was a giver. He gave us all the gift of laughter. He gave us the gift of family and true friendship. Blue waters, blue skies, seen through those blue eyes-he subconsciously taught so many the true meaning of 'smooth sailing'.

It's not what lies before us and it's not what lays ahead, but more that lies within us that truly matters in our lifetime. You are within us Pat--in our hearts and souls as we endeavor to live as you did -filled with life, love, and laughter. We miss you, Pat."

Patrick was one of the everyday heros who put his life second to all those he was sent to rescue. I'm sure it never occurred to him to turn back or not to do his job. There are probably some people who are at home with their families today because of him. This act of courage demonstrates his selflessness. He gave his life so that others could live. He fought and died in a war against terror without realizing he was a soldier.

Thank you, Patrick. We will not forget.

*I am not an offical participant of the 2,996 project. But, As I scrolled through randomly picking names, I came across Patrick. While the person who was chosen to pay tribute to him wrote a wonderful piece on that day, she did not mention Patrick (or had not posted it at the time I checked). So, I felt compelled to pay tribute to him. I didn't have a lot of time to research and find out about his life, but what I did find out was moving especially since he was one of the firefighters. I didn't want Patrick left out.