Monday, September 11, 2006


James Michael Gray

Main Entry: he·ro
Pronunciation: 'hir-O'
Function: noun
1 a : a mythological or
legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b : an illustrious warrior c : a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d : one that shows great courage 2 a : the principal male character in a literary or dramatic work b : the central figure in an event, period, or movement 3: an object of extreme admiration and devotion

Although I never met him, it is with certainty that I acknowledge James Michael Gray as a hero. He was one of the firemen who went into the World Trade Center, putting his own life on the line to help others in need. It can be said that only a truly selfless person would or could take such a risk.

By the time he got the call, he was already working overtime- he was that dedicated to his job and loved what he did. He could've been at home in bed or helping his wife send his two daughters off to school. Instead, he called to wish them all a good day and went on to participate in one of the most infamous days in the history of the United States. A former city busdriver, James was in his fifth year of the New York Fire Department. His wife, Jean Marie has been quoted as saying, "He loved his job as much as he loved us."

I am honored to keep the memory of James Michael Gray alive. A reminder of what true heroism is. As sad as I am for the loss of his family, I hope they can hold their heads with pride at what a wonderful son, father, husband and man he was.

To the Gray's, you will be in my thoughts and prayers and thanks everytime I lose my step or question my abilities. I will be reminded of all that James' generosity stood for and hope to walk my journey with the same strength and passion.


Bob Merrick

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