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It seems a Bayside familys desire to see their firefighter hero sons name immortalized on the street he grew up on may materialize sooner than expected.
There have been dozens of proposals for ceremonial street namings around the city as a way to remember victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Such street namings usually have to be sponsored by a member of the City Council, get approval from the areas community board and then the OK from the full Council.
Although the family of Firefighter Michael Mullan, 34, first presented the street naming to Baysides Community Board 11 in June, a mixup prevented the effort from getting the boards approval at that time. Mullan was killed trying to rescue fellow firefighters during the Sept. 11 attacks, his family has said.
At CB 11s June meeting, the proposal was to name tiny 32nd Road in honor of Mullan as opposed to Jordan Street where the man lived and grew up. The family said it originally asked for 32nd Road because it is a much smaller street and they did not think that it would be possible to rename the much large Jordan Street.
CB 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said renaming Jordan Street would not be a problem but the board needed time to poll residents of Jordan Street about the change and might not be able to push the effort through until October.
Nevertheless, Iannece said CB 11 made a special effort last month to give its stamp of approval to Michael D. Mullan Way, and now City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has joined a larger council effort to approve the ceremonial street namings in September.
Its just a matter of getting it into the Council, Avella said of the undertaking to name Jordan Street Michael D. Mullan Way.
The process was speeded up when CB 11, which canceled its July meeting, went forward with the survey of Jordan Street residents and met in committee to approve the measure, Iannece said.
We got an extremely favorable response, Iannece said of the survey. I moved the measure to make sure we were able to do this for them.
A firefighter who served in Manhattans Ladder 12, Mullan was a friendly, good-humored man who served as a registered nurse, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves at Fort Totten in Bayside, and a musician, his mother Theresa said.
Mullan was also one of the 343 firefighters killed trying to rescue people during the Sept. 11 attacks.
As the street naming worked its way toward approval, 56 members of the Mullan family traveled to Ireland last week to say a pair of special masses in honor of the fallen firefighter. The masses were to be said in Belfast in Northern Ireland and Tipperary in the Republic, Mullans mother said.
Theresa Mullan said relatives from across the nation and Canada were making the trip to honor Mullan and all those who went before.
Mullan was working to rescue people from the Marriott Hotel, near the two towers of the World Trade Center, when he and his fellow firefighters heard the call to evacuate the building, she said.
Michael was about to go when he got a mayday call from a pair of trapped firefighters and volunteered to go back, his mother said
A graduate of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Mullan graduated from Holy Cross High School in Flushing and in 1992 from Queensborough Community College with a nursing degree.
He joined the city Fire Department in 1994, and served in the U.S. military from 1985 until his death.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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