Company 3 in the News
It has been three months now, and Richard
Burban still comes to the fire station
expecting to see their faces.
Capt. Patrick Brown. Lt. Kevin Donnelly.
Firefighter John McAvoy.
But they, and nine others from Ladder
Company 3 in New York City, never come. They
were lost in the World Trade Center on Sept.
11, leaving behind the grieving faces of their
15 remaining comrades. The faces make up a
photo exhibit on the third floor of the
Portland Museum of Art.
“Everybody hurts,” said Burban as
he stood in front of the picture of himself,
staring back. “The whole country is
hurting. It’s not just us.”
Whether it was a chance to hurt or honor,
nearly 3,000 people came to the museum Tuesday
night to take part in the official and
emotional opening of the photo exhibit of the
members of Ladder Company 3.
The pictures were taken by Jack Montgomery
of Portland, who spent time with the Greenwich
Village company in October, capturing the
faces of the men who lost so many of their
brethren when terrorists attacked America. The
exhibit runs until Dec. 30.
Burban and eight of his fellow firefighters
came for the opening, which served as a chance
for Mainers to memorialize the firefighters
who died and cheer those who lived.
“It takes a situation like this for
the rest of us to realize the incredible
service these people provide,” said
Maggie Raymond of South Berwick, who shook
Burban’s hand and thanked him for just being
him. “The human connection between the
people who are immediately affected as he is
and the rest of us, I think, is really
Firefighters from Portland marched down
Congress Street from the Bramhall Station in
formal dress, accompanied by bagpipes and
flags, as their way of showing support Tuesday
The firefighters from Portland’s Ladder
Company 3 have been personally affected by the
death of the New York City firefighters. They
have attended funerals for men they never met.
They have raised nearly $7,000 for Ladder
Company 3, their New York counterpart, and
more is yet to come. They passed around boots
for donations during the opening Tuesday and
plan to continue fund raising. Montgomery also
plans to use the exhibit as a fund-raiser.
“What they’re trying to do is take
care of the families,” said Keith
Gautreau, a firefighter with Portland’s Ladder
Company 3. “What we’re trying to do is
help make that happen.”
Lt. David Jackson said more than 75
Portland firefighters marched in the parade as
a way of showing support. “It’s a big
deal for them to come up,” he said.
“We’re looking for nothing more than
spending some time with them and help with the
But it seemed the presence of the New York
City firefighters helped Portland heal as
People erupted into explosive applause when
the firefighters arrived and wept openly,
loudly, during the opening ceremony as Lt. Ray
Trinkle of FDNY read the names of his fallen
“We will carry on,” Trinkle told
the crowd. “We look for their faces in
the crowd and we see their faces in Portland
right now. Their loss is not in vain. They
have united our country.”
The word “hero” was used often
during the ceremony—where the men were given
the key to the city and teddy bears for the
families back in New York.
Rita Mooney of Portland said that
“hero” label applies to every
firefighter in America, not just those who
lost their lives on Sept. 11.
“Every time they save a child, rescue
an old person,” she said. “Any time
they go in the door when they’re called,
He was in a fog, coming off a 24-hour
shift, he said, when he stood for the camera
portrait—arms crossed, eyes wide.
Neither he nor any of his comrades are
Staff Writer Giselle Goodman can be
contacted at 324-4888 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org