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9/11 anniversary: Tradition holds for Engine Company that lost most

Engine Company 54, the "Pride of Midtown," lost 15 men during the 9/11 attacks, more than any other firehouse in the FDNY.

The company has been commemorating the anniversary every year since at Fireman's Memorial Park at Ritz Plaza, across the street from the firehouse.

This year, at 8 a.m., as is tradition, the names of the 15 firefighters who died will be read aloud, family will place roses on the memorial fountain, and a priest will say a prayer.

"It brings back memories of those guys. I wish we didn't have to go through this every year. I wish it didn't happen. But it did, so we keep the tradition going. We keep their memories always with us," said Lt. Patrick Brady of Engine Company 54, Ladder 4.

The names of the men from Engine 54 who died can be found on a fountain in the plaza thanks to the developer, Stonehenge Partners, which turned the park into a memorial after the attacks.

Brady said he will attend services and ceremonies throughout the day. But he appreciates the chance to start his morning in this special way at the park every year.

"A lot of houses lost a lot of guys; not just us. Every firehouse does something different. This is our thing," Brady said.

At 7:30 p.m, somber remembrance will transform into festivities as the park hosts a memorial concert starring America's Got Talent's William Close and The Earth Harp. Between 200 and 300 people are expected at the event.


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