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updated 12/18/2003 3:59:37 PM ET 2003-12-18T20:59:37

Last Wednesday, a a rookie firefighter was killed in the line of duty. Thomas C. Brick, a 30-year-old father of two, led a team of  firefighters into a fiery warehouse.  He made it in a bit further than some of his colleagues.  His body was found under debris 30 to 40 feet away from the staircase used by his team.   

But this is more than just another story of heroism:  Brick was part of a group of new recruits helping to rebuild the fire department after 9-11, and he was the first New York City firefighter to die since 9/11.  Think about that:  27 months since the last New York City firefighter died in the line of duty, and, yet, on 9/11 alone 343 died. 

We‘ve memorialized the deaths of the firefigthers, and we‘ve done what we can to appreciate their selfless work. But it still struck me to hear that Mr. Brick was the first to die since 9-11.  It just makes it that much clearer how devastating that event was to the fire department on so many levels. 

So, again, to the families of Mr. Brick and to all the firefighting families, I just wanted to let you know we‘re thinking about you. 

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