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Gerald "Jerry" Dewan
Age: 35
Occupation: Firefighter
Worked for: New York City, N.Y.
Originally from: West Roxbury, MA
Resided in: Rockaway, NY

May God guide you on your way, my friend.
Submitted by: Lin Hendrickson ()

Other links: Firefighting `was in his blood': Boston Herald
 More Tributes

From Boston Herald Oct 25, 2001

Pride, pain for a kid brother
-- Irish Tribute (Friend)
25 Oct 2001

From Boston Herald, Dec 14, 2001

'A bit of peace for the family of fallen hero'

If ever a service should have brought peace to loved ones, it was the memorial Mass two months ago for Jerry Dewan, 35, the youngest member of a renowned Boston firefighting clan who, thwarted by a court-imposed hiring decree, went to New York to fulfill his dream, perishing there in the line of duty at the World Trade Center on September 11.
Bernard Cardinal Law and Tom Menino led the mourning at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury where, outside its packed sanctuary, more than 2,500 firefighters filled Centre Street in silent tribute.
``But it brought no peace,'' Maureen Gilligan, Jerry's sister, explained, ``because they still hadn't found his body. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and my first thought would be, `It's cold and Gerard's still in that pile.' ''
Her only consolation was assurance she received from his colleagues that, like the Marines, they don't abandon their own, and that their search for his body would end only with its recovery.
So Gilligan, 54, was horrified last month when New York firefighters, ordered to cut back on those rescue efforts, clashed with New York cops dispatched to enforce the order.
``It was heart-wrenching. I immediately called Sean Cummings, another New York firefighter who was also Gerard's landlord, asking what was happening. He told me, `Maureen, I promise, we'll be at that site until we bring him home.' That meant so much to me.''
Gilligan, whose late grandfather, father and two uncles were Boston firefighters, has four other brothers, three of whom became firefighters and one of whom, Frank, is a recently retired Boston cop.
``Our parents were 45 when Gerard was born. By then I was almost 20 and my mother had health problems, so I quit work to stay at home with him when he was 15-months-old. In many ways, my husband, Joe, and I helped bring him up. I not only lost a brother when this happened, it was like losing a child, too.''
But through it all, the kindness of others did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
``Let me tell you a story about Ted Kennedy. On Thanksgiving morning he called my brother Jack and said, `I'd like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, if you can have a happy one, and want you to know my heart goes out to you because we certainly know what tragedy is like.' God bless him, he didn't have to do that. I have a friend who couldn't stand him and I couldn't wait to tell her how much this man has gone out of his way to be kind to us.''
And that's how her life was going, coping one day at a time, when her phone rang a week ago today and she heard Frank say, ``Maureen, sit down, I have wonderful news; they've recovered Gerard's body!'' Frank had just gotten the news from Steve Brown, Jerry's lieutenant at Ladder 3 in Manhattan, a house that lost 12 men when those towers collapsed.
State police in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts provided a constant escort as his body was brought home for burial two days ago in West Roxbury, following a brief service at the P.E. Murray Funeral Home.
``It was going to be small,'' Gilligan said, ``but about 200 New York firefighters showed up; so did Cardinal Law. After we left the cemetery one of them said they found Gerard on Stairwell C of Tower 1 next to a beam from the 40th floor, meaning he had raced up 40 floors to rescue people that morning. He told me, `All work stopped, and everyone stood at attention, saluting, as we brought him out with dignity.'
``I kept wondering how to express my gratitude. I didn't know. I think I hugged and kissed every one of them before they left, whispering, `Thank you, and please be safe.'
``So now the stone's been ordered. Under his name I asked them to put, `FDNY, 9/11/01, World Trade Center,' because after all of us are gone, I want our grandchildren and their children to always know who their uncle was a
-- Anon (Friend { })
15 Dec 2001

From NY Times Dec 21, 2001
'Gerard P. Dewan: Finding a Home'

Gerard P. Dewan was not a New Yorker, and he would have told you that. He was a Bostonian, the son of a firefighter, who in turn was the son of a firefighter. But there were no jobs going in the Boston Fire Department, and so he took the southbound bus and began his career in New York five years ago.

Gerry Dewan, 35, just wanted to be a firefighter, said his friend and landlord, Sean Cummins, also a firefighter. He was one of the first rescuers to enter the twin towers. Along with 11 others from Ladder Company 3/Battalion 6 in Lower Manhattan, he never made it out.

He is the first member of his family to die in the line of duty, Mr. Cummins said. He was not married, but had always planned to have children and move home to Boston. In the meantime, he found a family in the Cummins household in Rockaway Park, Queens, where he rented a basement apartment. Two nights before the calamity, he was helping write the names of the Cummins children on their crayons for the first day of school. "He finally found a home with us," Mr. Cummins said.
-- Anon (Friend { })
25 Jan 2002

Jerry used to call me at all hours of the night, crazy hours, like 4 am, to let me know how he was & to tell me what was going on in his life. People used to say to me, "Why do you answer the phone at 4 am?" & I used to say, because it's Jerry. & to know Jerry - well, lets just say, I think he just liked to call to let me know he was thinking about me - or wanted advice - or maybe even just to chat - even if it was at 4 in the morning. & that's just the way he was. & I liked that about Jerry & I could never stay mad at him for waking me in the middle of the night - or calling me from the firehouse to tell me that he just came back from a fire. At the end of every call, especially if he was calling from work I would tell him to "be careful at work." After September 11th, I thought about how the phone would never ring late at night & be Jerry & how I wish I could have told him to be careful one more time. It has been almost 9 months since that horrible day & I think of Jerry every single day, smiling & crying everytime I do & hoping that he is in a better place now.
-- Jennifer Woods (Friend {})
17 May 2002

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