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Vincent Brunton
Age: 43
Occupation: Captain, Truck Company Ladder 105
Worked for: FDNY
Originally from:
Resided in: Brooklyn, NY
School:
College:
Submitted by: Irish Tribute (Friend)

Other links: Vincent Brunton: A Picture of Inspiration: NY Times
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From NY Daily News Dec 11, 2001

Farewell to Vinny, A True Hero

When the World Trade Center crumpled on Sept. 11, lower Manhattan was buried in ash. And in the outer boroughs, whole neighborhoods were smothered in grief.

For many communities, the wheel oflife wobbled off the axle. When a vital neighbor is abruptly stolen from a brotherhood of neighbors, which is what wecall a neighborhood, a whole community is knocked off kilter.

Just as the twin towers are missing from the skyline, crucial people, outstanding citizens, have left glaring, gaping holes, first in their families and then in their close-knit neighborhoods.

Such an irreplaceable man was FDNY Capt. Vinny Brunton from my old neighborhood of Windsor Terrace.

Paying Respects

Today and tomorrow the thousands of people who loved Vinny, who died with the men of Ladder 105 in the twin towers, will be paying respects at Smith's Funeral Home on Prospect Park West.

On Thursday at 11 a.m., Holy Name Church will swell beyond capacity with an endless procession of family, friends, firefighters and patrons of Farrell's bar, where Vinny worked a second job behind the stick for 20 years.

The last smoke to billow over the memory of Vinny Brunton will be from the incense that will bring tears to the collective eye of a grief-stricken neighborhood.

"Vinny started working here when he was just a kid old enough to serve beer," says Jimmy Houlihan, co-owner of Farrell's, the quintessential neighborhood tavern that still serves as a mini town hall in that enduring neighborhood. "He took the fire test, passed, went on the job, got married, had kids and kept working here all these years, even as he rose in the FDNY to lieutenant and then captain. He was always a perfect gentleman behind the bar. A sweeter guy you never met. Tough, funny, loyal, brave, honest. What could I say? I'd have trusted him with my life."

A lot of people who never met Vinny Brunton also trusted him with their lives, and in return he ran into flaming and smoking buildings to save them. He did the same thing Sept. 11, and no trace of him has been found. But those who knew him take comfort in knowing that his life was much larger than any coffin could ever contain.

"Vinny was a quiet guy who ran every day, kept in great physical shape, and rarely had an unkind word for anybody," says his brother FDNY Lt. Tommy Brunton, a piper in the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums band. "He was a great fireman, a great brother. I will miss him every day of my life."
-- Anon (Friend { })
12 Dec 2001

(contd)

A Pal Behind the Bar

Back in what I can remember of my drinking days, Vinny Brunton was always a friendly guy of laconic reason behind the busy bar, serving an always thirsty throng of hardhats, cops, firefighters and sanitation workers. He knew when to politely tell someone he was overserved, or listened patiently when someone needed an understanding ear.

He'd earned enough money to flee the city. But Vinny stood his ground and stayed in Brooklyn, the place that gave him a very good life, a great wife, Kathy, and two terrific kids.

Vinny came out of those tough Brooklyn streets armed with pride, honor and a fierce work ethic that helped him scale the ranks of the Fire Department as quickly as he must have climbed those final stairs on Sept. 11.

And now it is time to say goodbye to the guy who always had the friendly hello.

It seems that all over town in this season meant to be jolly, that all the holiday wreaths lay on coffins. Yuletide carolers must compete with requiem choirs, and every time you hear a holiday bell ring, you hope another Sept. 11 angel receives his sooty wings.

Final Toast

On Thursday, Capt. Vinny Brunton will be honored by his beloved neighborhood that he honored for 42 years. After the Mass, there will be a reception in nearby Bishop Ford High School. And later that night, many will pack Farrell's, which is decked in holiday trim. And as his friends push to the bar to raise one last cold one in his honor, they will be reminded that Vinny Brunton will be forever missing from behind the stick and from this brotherhood of neighbors.

And down the street, in the fine home he bought with the sweat and toil of two jobs, Vinny Brunton's family will await the saddest Christmas of their lives.
-- Anon (Friend { })
12 Dec 2001

This message is from a fellow fireman in Mn. I had been out in Brooklyn after the chaos in NYC and had the honor to attend Captain Brunton's service. I did not know Vincent but from what I heard when I had walked in to Farrell's in Park Slope that the city of New York has lost more than just a fireman. The guys at the house I stayed at said the same. I felt like I knew him personaly just from the stories and good things I heard. After the coalition I also gave his brother Tommy a hug and said farwell, and the guys were so grateful that I had come all that way to pay my respects. I guess I have alot to thank to vincent even though I didn't know you face to face but you have really set an impression on me and your brothers have showed me what real brotherhood is all about. God bless you and you family and friends.
-- n. Johnson (Friend Fireman)
04 Jun 2002

Vinny,
You probably alredy know what me and my brother Donald did in Ireland. At least one of the hundreds of trees dedicated to all of you that made the ultimate sacrifice, now has a picture to match the name. The good people of Kinsale will take care of it. Say hello to my sister Rosanne and my nephew Brendan.
-- Bud Lang (Friend {})
07 Oct 2003

Vinny,
You probably alredy know what me and my brother Donald did in Ireland. At least one of the hundreds of trees dedicated to all of you that made the ultimate sacrifice, now has a picture to match the name. The good people of Kinsale will take care of it. Say hello to my sister Rosanne and my nephew Brendan.
-- Bud Lang (Friend {})
07 Oct 2003

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