Firefighter Gerard Schrang

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Five months before 9/11, Gerard Schrang and his wife bought their dream house in upstate New York. It was for “the second phase of their lives.” Having promised each other to live to be 90, “he only made half of that,” she said. This 45-year-old firefighter was a 20-year veteran with the FDNY and a volunteer firefighter before he could even vote. The son of a firefighter, there was no other profession he ever wanted to do. For relaxation, he practiced search and rescue techniques. In the firehouse he expressed his love for his brothers with practical jokes. Volunteering was second nature to him and in addition to the second job he kept as a volunteer firefighter, he also helped the Red Cross run a canteen when the recovery effort for TWA flight 800 was underway. “If anybody needed anything, he was always there.”

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