Firefighter Edward Day, 45, was known for putting smiley-face stickers on the helmets of grumpy firefighters. Joining the FDNY in 1988, Day was a third degree black belt in karate, a discipline he believed conferred “personal peace.” This was a principle he passed on when he taught karate to young children. It was not about “kicking butt,” but respect and discipline.
Day had a special fondness for learning new things. He’d pick up a book, study the issue, then dive right in and do something new, whether that was re-roofing his house or troubleshooting computers. He and his wife had a house full of pets: a dog, many cats, three snakes and a rabbit. On 9/11, Day’s wife was in Germany with her ailing father. It took days to get a flight home, and even then she could only fly into Montreal. Firefighters there drove her home to Staten Island when she arrived on the 15th. The next day she learned her father had also passed on.