Artifacts in Museum Collection Commemorate the Irish Heritage of 9/11 Victims

A mug belonging to FDNY Lieutenant Joseph Leavey is displayed on a gray surface at the museum. The white mug is adorned with green shamrocks. The word "himself" is printed in green on the mug. Leavey's name has been written in green marker on the lip of the cup.
Joseph Leavey's mug.

The 2,977 people killed in the 9/11 attacks came from a wide range of backgrounds. On this St. Patrick’s Day, even as we are temporarily closed, we remember several people who celebrated their Irish heritage in personal objects they owned or whose loved ones memorialized them with Irish-referencing tribute items.

A quilt paying tribute to FDNY Captain Brian Hickey features a transfer photo of Hickey and various other ornamentation. The quilt also features embroidered shamrocks, hearts, and fire trucks.
The quilt created in memory of Brian Hickey.

Captain Brian C. Hickey Quilt

A quilt created by Gail Pickett and Ed Ziegler pays tribute to Battalion Chief Brian C. Hickey, a 20-year FDNY veteran and commander of Rescue 4 in Woodside. The quilt includes a photo transfer of Hickey, FDNY patches, and shamrocks celebrating his Irish heritage. Hickey, 48, was injured in a Queens fire several months before 9/11. He was killed responding on September 11, 2001, his second day back on the job.

A gold Irish Claddagh brooch belonging to Kathleen Moran is displayed on a gray surface. The jewelry includes emerald stones.
Kathleen Moran's gold Irish Claddagh brooch.

Kathleen Moran’s Irish Claddagh Brooch

A gold Irish Claddagh brooch with emerald stones that belonged to Kathleen Moran speaks to her Irish heritage. Moran came from a big Irish family from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; Ireland was the home country of her parents. After 9/11, Moran’s family found the brooch in a jewelry box in her apartment. The box also included other small items precious to her, including Christmas ornaments, two golf balls, and a green velvet bag of tees. A property insurance underwriter for Zurich, Moran was at a meeting on the South Tower’s 105th floor on 9/11. She was 42 years old.

An embroidered memorial patch created in memory of FDNY firefighter George Cain depicts an illustration of a firefighter in bunker gear skiing in the snow. Two green shamrocks border the words Tower Ladder Seven.
A memorial patch honoring George Cain.

George C. Cain Memorial Patch

A patch created in memory of FDNY firefighter George C. Cain shows a firefighter in bunker gear skiing through snow. The green patch is adorned with several shamrocks. Before joining the FDNY in 1994, Cain spent five years working as a carpenter in Colorado, where he sought out some of the toughest ski runs to experience during the winter months. “He could ski like the wind,” his mother remembered. Cain was 35 when he was killed on 9/11.

A white memorial flag honoring Stephen Gerard Siller is displayed on a gray surface. The flag has a red border and the letters FDNY printed across the top of it. A shamrock and American flag border a Maltese cross at the center of the flag. .  On the left is a card for Blessed William Joseph Chaminade attached with a lapel pin.
A memorial flag paying tribute to Stephen Siller.

Memorial Flag for Stephen G. Siller

A memorial flag honoring FDNY firefighter Stephen G. Siller is embroidered with a green shamrock and a Maltese cross. A card for Blessed William Joseph Chaminade is attached with a lapel pin. Siller, 34, is remembered and celebrated for carrying 60 pounds of gear through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to reach the World Trade Center on 9/11—an act that inspired the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk. The flag was preserved by Keith Piaseczny, the unofficial steward of the public viewing platform overlooking Ground Zero in the months after 9/11. Piaseczny curated numerous memorial items left by visitors, anticipating a permanent memorial or museum may someday be built to narrate the history of 9/11.

A metal memorial bracelet honoring Keith George Fairben. The bracelet features Fairben's name, as well as a green shamrock and a blue "star of life" paramedics symbol.
A metal memorial bracelet created in memory of Keith Fairben.

Memorial Bracelet for Keith G. Fairben

A bracelet remembering Keith G. Fairben features a green shamrock and a blue “Star of Life” paramedics symbol. Fairben was a New York Presbyterian Hospital paramedic who reached the World Trade Center minutes after the North Tower was struck. He was killed at the age of 24. This bracelet was acquired by Shelaine Petersen, who hand-wrote condolence letters to many family members who’d lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks. The families would send her thank you letters, prayer cards, and other items, like this bracelet, in return.

A mug belonging to FDNY Lieutenant Joseph Leavey is displayed on a gray surface at the museum. The white mug is adorned with green shamrocks. The word "himself" is printed in green on the mug. Leavey's name has been written in green marker on the lip of the cup.
Joseph Leavey's mug.

Joseph G. Leavey’s Mug

This mug that belonged to FDNY Lieutenant Joseph G. Leavey, who was assigned to Ladder 15 in lower Manhattan. It is adorned with green shamrocks and the word “himself” printed in green text. “Lt. Leavey” is handwritten at the top of the mug in green marker. A lover of skyscrapers, Leavey pursued a career in civil engineering before ultimately joining the FDNY in 1982. The Twin Towers were two of his favorite buildings on the New York skyline. Leavey was among the first firefighters to arrive at the towers on 9/11. He was 45.

A green glass shamrock in memory of FDNY Captain Martin Egan is displayed in a custom-made case with an Irish blessing a message of remembrance.
The glass shamrock and custom box made in memory of Martin Egan.

Glass Shamrock in Tribute to Martin J. Egan Jr.

This glass shamrock in a custom gift box was created in memory of FDNY Captain Martin J. Egan Jr. The outside of the box has an Irish blessing printed in gold text on the lid, while the inside of the box includes a printed message that includes the words: “On His First St. Patrick's Day In Heaven - March 17, 2002.” Egan, who joined the FDNY in 1986, was a member of the department’s Emerald Society, a fraternal organization for members of Irish heritage. “He enjoyed going out, especially on St. Patrick's Day. He always went to both the Staten Island and city parades,” his sister remembered. He was 36.

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