Friday, September 10, 2004

Paul Gill, New York City Firefighter

Miss you, Bro... Posted by Hello

Three years ago today one of the finest men I have ever known was murdered by Islamo-terrorists in New York City. Paul Gill was my friend. I remember the day he walked into our shop. He had flames tattooed up and down his arms, kind of like what you might expect to see on a '57 Chevy Bel Air, you know, a real Hot Rod. Paul was a real Hot Rod. He was a New York City Firefighter and like many of his Brother's, he worked other jobs on his off days. For all the hoopla about New York's Bravest, and probably everywhere-else, Paul needed to work other jobs to make ends meet. What does that tell you about how much we appreciate those who risk their lives for us on a daily basis?

Anyway, I came to know Paul after a period of time. I took him under my wing and showed him the ropes of the make believe world of Motion Pictures. Paul fit right in. He was smart, talented, with a great work ethic. He hit it off with this old Marine and we became friends. I often went to the Firehouse with him and hung out with the guys, watching TV and shooting the breeze as guys often do. We used to go to a little Brazillian Restaurant, Chateau Brazil, after work and hit a few cold ones. The days Paul worked at the Firehouse, I would stop by and hang for a while. His fellow Firefighters were always amazed at the fact that Paul was a good enough carpenter to make it in the crazy world of TV and Movies. They shouldn't have been.

Paul was the kind of guy who was good at anything he tried. He was dedicated. He paid attention. He wanted to learn. He took personal pride in everything he did. He never wanted to let us down or make excuses for sloppy or poor workmanship.

I remember when he came in one day after serving his tour with the Fire Department. He was very excited. I asked him what the happy occassion was and he told me that he had gone on a Rescue Call and had actually saved a guy's life. It was the happiest I had ever seen him. Paul was a Life-saver, not a Life-taker.

But on September 11, 2001, Paul's life was taken. He had been transfered back to his home station at 48th & 8th Avenue, the Pride of Midtown and when the planes hit the Trade Towers he was there. No movie, no make believe. No special effects. Not this time. Paul Gill died doing what made him happiest - trying to save other people's lives.

And Paul, you never let us down. We are proud of you. And we miss you terribly.

Semper Fidelis, Brother, for you were, and are, and will always be, "Always Faithfull" We will never forget you.


Paul Gill, New York City Firefighter

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