For nearly seven months Marie Corrigan of Little Neck has struggled to face life alone after her husband, retired Fire Department Capt. James Corrigan, was missing and presumed dead in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center collapse.
Corrigan, who retired in 1993 and became director of Fire and Life Services under World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein, was widely hailed as one of the heroes of the rescue effort because he and three other retired firefighters helped save children trapped in the Twin Towers day care center.
In October the family held a memorial service for James Corrigan, 60, who served at both Ladder Company 10 in Manhattan and Engine Company 320 on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Bayside, but it was not until this week Marie Corrigan was able to lay her husband to rest.
About 150 people attended funeral services at St. Anastasias Church in Douglaston for Corrigan, whose remains were recovered from Ground Zero last week.
James Corrigan was recently remembered during a Twin Towers memorial ceremony at MS 67 in Little Neck. After the patriotic and emotional morning, Marie Corrigan said life has been tough since the Sept. 11 attacks.
Friends remembered Corrigan as a man who loved his work.
You couldnt get him out of the firehouse, said retired Fire Lt. Steve Roland, a friend of Corrigans. He was totally generous, a strong presence.
Battalion Chief George Idiart said Corrigan was devoted to his family as well as his job.
He was a great firefighter, Idiart said. Remembering Corrigans heroism on Sept. 11, Idiart said he did what he had to do.
Corrigan was a 30-year veteran of the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York. When the first hijacked commercial airliner hit the World Trade Center, Corrigan was out getting coffee, and not at his desk on the 88th floor.
Though he had inadvertently made it to safety, Corrigan chose to go back into the burning towers and help rescue people.
He and three other fire safety directors all retired firefighters headed for the Twin Towers day-care center on the first level above the lobby as thousands of others fled.
Because the building exits near the day-care center were clogged with people, his family said, Corrigan and his colleagues shattered windows to get the children to safety.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community News Group
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