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On September 11, 200l, there were 6 men who died from Dennis' firehouse, Engine 235, Battalion 57. Since the firehouse is on Monroe Street, people have begun to refer to the 6 men lost as The Monroe Six. Listed on this page are articles about each hero.

Battalion Chief Dennis A. Cross

Running for a Memory


The race seemed more important than ever. For 18 years, on the Tuesday before
Thanksgiving, Dennis Cross competed in the Turkey Trot, a 5- kilometer race held in
Meadows, Queens, where firefighters ran for charity. Now he would be absent.

His wife, JoAnn, used to operate a fitness studio and induced him to run with
her. But once the children arrived, she stopped running. That was 15 years ago.

Yet she felt an unshakable need to have a Cross in the Turkey Trot to honor,
her husband, a battalion chief of Battalion 57 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
So she concluded she would be that Cross. And she would recruit additional
firefighters to run, too, in honor of all the firefighters lost in the attack.

Chief Cross, 60, known as Captain Fearless, lived with his wife in Islip
Terrace, N.Y. His favorite saying was, "Take care of the men and the men will
take care of you." Mrs. Cross was going to take care of his memory. She vowed she
would finish this race and then begin an annual memorial run for her
husband next April 27, the anniversary of the day they met.

For nine weeks, she trained, building up endurance. Race day came. She ran,
as did her four children. She finished in 29 minutes. "I thought I was going to do
it in 45 minutes," she said. "I was proud of myself."

At age 60, Dennis Cross had spent nearly two-thirds of his life as a firefighter in
New York City.

And retirement wasn't on his calendar anytime soon.

"He wanted to be the first to put in 50 years on the job," said JoAnn Cross, his
wife of 37 years.

Along with so many of his brethren, Cross' career was cut short Sept. 11. The
battalion chief for Battalion 57, based in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of
Brooklyn, was killed when the south tower of the World Trade Center
collapsed.

His body wasn't recovered until a week later.

"The first three days it was more than hell," said his wife. "When they found him
on the seventh day, that was such a relief because we could bring him home.
So many of our friends haven't been able to do that."

As is common in the profession, fighting fires was a family affair. Cross' father,
Charles, was a New York firefighter, as is his only son, Brian.

Cross joined the department in 1963 after returning home from a two-year tour

in Vietnam, where he served in an Army communications unit, JoAnn Cross said.

In the department, Cross was widely admired as a gutsy firefighter and, later,
as a respected leader.

"He was a quiet guy, but powerful," JoAnn Cross said. "When he made
captain, they called him Captain Fearless."

He was promoted to battalion chief in 1993.

A frequent runner who kept himself in excellent shape, Cross was looking
forward to competing in an annual 5K race around the Thanksgiving holiday in
Flushing Meadows, Queens. Now, JoAnn Cross hopes to turn the race into a
fundraiser for a local charity that aids burn victims.

Cross is also survived by three daughters and three grandchildren.
An estimated 3,000 mourners, mostly firefighters, attended Cross' funeral Sept. 22
in Islip Terrace, Long Island, where he lived.


Lieutenant Stephen J. Bates

Family in Fire Department

Although Stephen J. Bates liked the solitude of athletic competitions like running,
swimming and bicycling, he was a team player. Period. That was why he
worked for 18 years as a New York City firefighter. The lieutenant
liked the way firefighters relied on one another while sticking to their
vows to save lives and put out fires.

Most of all, Lieutenant Bates liked the automatic brotherhood of the job. It
gave him the family he always wanted. His mother died when he was 15, and
he was estranged from his father, said his girlfriend, Joan Puwalski. He
frequently took family- style dinners with the firefighters at his stationhouse,
Engine Company 235 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He liked cooking
family dinners for the gang; sauerbraten was his best dish.

The other members of his family were two big dogs who lived in the home that
he shared with Ms. Puwalski in Glendale, Queens: Samantha, 8, a 105-pound
yellow Laborador retriever, and Norton, 8, an 85-pound mutt.

"He called them his babies," Ms. Puwalski said. "Sometimes the four of us
would sleep together in our queen-size bed." That was a squeeze, considering
that Lieutenant Bates, 42, was a big man, standing exactly 6 feet and weighing
235 pounds.


Firefighter Lawrence Veling

Father's 'Blue' Period

It can be surprising what latent talents fathers discover when they want to make their kids happy.

Last Christmas, Lawrence Veling found he had a knack for drawing characters from the
Nickelodeon show "Blue's Clues." He had never sketched or doodled, and couldn't
draw anything else.

But for his 2-year-old son Kevin, he could churn out remarkable likenesses of
Blue, Mr. Salt, Mrs. Pepper, Slippery Soap and Tickety Tock in rapid
succession as Kevin cried "More!" Even the neighbors were impressed when
they saw Mr. Veling's chalk drawings on the sidewalk.

Mr. Veling, 44, worked two jobs--one as a fireman with Engine 235 in
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and one as a high school custodian in
Manhattan, so his scarce time at home was devoted to his three children,
Ryan, 7, Cynthia, 6, and Kevin.

He colored in coloring books. He played Junior Monopoly. He went to school
in his full uniform for fire safety week.

"I knew my kids would grow up to be great adults because they had a great
father," said Dianne Veling, his wife.

Mrs. Veling says her own sketches of Blue's Clues characters are inconsistent.
"A couple of times I was impressed with myself, but I forgot how I did it."


Firefighter Lee S. Fehling

Born to Laugh

It did not take Lee S. Fehling's mother long to know that she had a character on her
hands. "You know when the doctor slaps you on the back and the baby cries?"
said his mother, Joan Bischoff. "Lee came out laughing."

Mr. Fehling, 28, relished a good telephone prank, calling his mother, an
insurance investigator, and claiming to be an investigation subject, or
impersonating a Nassau County official to inform a friend that her garage
violated zoning restrictions.

"He wasn't ever a fan of dull moments," said his younger brother, Thomas.

This was particularly problematic for those who played bagpipes with
Mr. Fehling in the American Legion band in Wantagh, on Long Island, where he
lived. (Just try playing the pipes while cracking up.)

Mr. Fehling, a firefighter with Engine Company 235 in Brooklyn, could always
make his wife, Danielle, smile, but he could never fool her. "I could tell a mile
away if he was up to something," she said.

He adored his daughter Kaitlin, 4. But his stepsister-in-law Jennifer Bischoff
thinks she knows the real reason he was pleased that the second little Fehling
would also be a girl. (Megan was born Oct. 18.)

"He was afraid a little boy would be just like him," she said, chuckling. "And he
wouldn't be able to handle it."


Firefighter Nicholas Chiofalo

Nicholas Chiofalo, 39, of Selden, New York, a firefighter with the New York Fire Department.


Firefighter Francis Esposito

Francis Esposito, 32, of New York City,a firefighter with the New York Fire Department.


Below is a prayer dedicated to the 'Monroe Six' and the other 337 special firefighters who lost their lives on September 11. Let's keep them in our hearts and hold them close as we go through life.

Our Angels

On that dreadful day
We huddled in prayer
Hearts joined in sorrow
Pain difficult to bear

Our angels climbed up
As they helped others down
The towers may have fallen
But our bravest
Never touched the ground

They kept soaring up
To that heavenly cloud
Shining strength down on us
We are grateful and proud

So please say a prayer
As a tribute to those
Whose love never faltered
And eternally grows


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