Sunday, September 10, 2006

Michael T. Carroll

“Thirty-nine years old, NYC Firefighter of Ladder Co. 3, a native of Yorkville, on September 11, 2001, heroically in the line of duty while trying to save others at the World Trade Center”

This morning, I drank my coffee from a cup without a handle… I will never be able to look at a broken cup again without thinking of Michael T. Carroll.

I did not know Michael T. Carroll, but after everything I have read, I feel as if I know him now. A dedicated family man, firefighter at Ladder 3 for 16 years, an uncle, a son, a brother, a husband, a baseball coach, a friend - an honorable man – Michael was all of these things and more. I read where he had snapped off the coffee cup handles on all of cups at the firehouse. No one was ever sure why, but it was his legacy somehow. Michael was also a teacher of young firemen; he trained them to be their best, and not to back down from a challenge.

It has been five years since his family has seen his smiling face, five years since Michael and his buddies were hanging out at the firehouse shooting the breeze, five years since his children received a hug from their dad. Five years ago today, no one could have imagined what would happen “tomorrow”. Perhaps if we had we would’ve held our loved ones a little closer, kissed them a little longer, and said all of the things we wanted them to know about how we felt about them.

When I signed up to participate in the 2,996 project, I had no idea how it would effect me. I looked at Michael Carroll’s photograph, and there was a depth in his eyes that rocked me to my core. I began searching for information about this amazingly heroic man, and I smiled through the tears at tributes his family and friends had written about him.

Mr. Carroll was a true humanitarian. His sister wrote that during a blizzard in 1996, after what must’ve been a harrowing day at the hospital for his father’s surgery, Michael picked up his fellow New Yorkers and drove them home one by one, instead of just going home to the warmth of his own family. That is the kind of man that we lost on September 11, 2001.

So today, on the day before the awful attacks that rocked our nation, please do me a favor. Say his name aloud – Michael T. Carroll – and take a moment to be thankful that our country had 39 years with this amazing man on earth.

To Michael’s wife Nancy, and children Brendan and Olivia – We will NEVER forget the hero that we never had the privilege to know… Our hearts ache for you.


Blogger Dayngr said...

I truly believe in my heart that as long as one person remembers you after you are gone, you are never truly gone. We must remember and we must pay tribute. You did a wonderful job. I only hope my tribute will do honor to Vincent Litto and his family.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Gull said...

I've been reading tributes for two days. Many, including yours, have helped personalize a deeper cognizance of what and who was lost on that day.

Well done. Thank you.

11:02 AM  
Blogger brian said...

Thank you for offering this portrait of a man. A man who snapped off coffee cup handles. Wonderful post, as gull says, it has been very moving.

Please stop by my tribute to Gilbert and leave a link and comment so that others may come here to read.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Random me said...

Wow! I promised I'd stay away from all the 9/11 stuff because it affects me so much. But I realize I have to stare it in the face to continue the healing.

Your tribute really touched me. This is the 6th or 7th tribute I've read this morning and man, it's taking me back to that day. Ordinary people are not so ordinary, are they?

11:41 AM  
Blogger Sunshine36616 said...

Great job. It's the little things like the coffee cup handle that really drives home the human element. Sounds like on top of being a hero, he was an all around great guy.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

This is a truly amazing tribute. You have moved me to tears and I know that I, too, will not see a broken coffee cup without thinking of Michael T. Carroll

1:39 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

That was a wonderful tribute - firefighters are such amazing people. Thanks for stopping by my tribute to Marjorie C. Salamone.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Auntie Lyn said...

Thank you for your moving tribute to Michael Carroll. He was so much more than just one of the 2,996 who perished on 9/11/01. He was so very much more than just one of the 343 New York firefighters who did not come home from their shift that day. I thank you for introducing him to me. Like you said, I will never be able to drink from a cup with the handle broken without thinking of this tribute to him.
Rest in Peace Mike,
Auntie Lyn
Carl Asaro

8:47 PM  
Blogger JayGT said...

Nice tribute. It's amazing how "close" we can get to those we never knew. I wish I could have met Harry Ramos, who I researched and wrote about. His tribute is here:

2:00 AM  
Blogger cpbunch said...

Beautiful tribute! I too will never look at a coffee cup handle again in the same way. It's stories like these that need to be shared lest we forget.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Miss Jen said...

absolutely lovely tribute. Thank you so much for sharing. I posted mine today, too.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Babaloo said...

That was a very deep and sincere tribute to one of the heros who lost his life that day. The coffee cup handles? Priceless... and no one will ever know why. I guess that is how it should be. Great touch, thank you for "introducing" him to me.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Pentha said...

"When I signed up to participate in the 2,996 project, I had no idea how it would effect me."

I, too, have been stunned by how this project has affected me. Thank you for being here.

Tribute to Christopher Paul Slattery

4:42 PM  

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