Firefighter Peter Brennan

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Peter Brennan, 30, began his firefighting career at 16 when he joined the Lakeland Volunteer Fire Department. The Hauppauge Fire Department awarded him the 2000 “Medal of Valor.” More recently, he’d stopped at a fire and – still in street clothes – saved three trapped firefighters. For this he was named their 2001 “Fireman of the Year.”

Brennan joined the FDNY in 1995 after a couple years in the NYPD. A charter member of Squad 288, he had only recently joined Rescue 4.

Brennan was pursuing a degree in fire science technology and taught technical rescue at the fire academy. On 9/11, Brennan was coming off a long vacation and “itching to get back to work,” according to his wife. He was filling in for a colleague that morning.

He was awaiting the birth of his second child, a son, born on Christmas Eve, Pete’s birthday.


When Better Angels toured with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, I had the pleasure of spending hours with Pete’s big brother Vinny, a retired FDNY firefighter. From him I know Pete had a thick black mustache that was missing from his FDNY photo, and my painting. “He was a funny guy, a practical joker.”

His remains were never found.

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