Judge approves Corrigan 9/11 memorial listing

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The city has dropped its opposition to allowing the name of Fire Department Capt. James Corrigan, who retired from Bayside’s Engine Co. 320 in 1994, to be listed on a 9/11 memorial wall at Ground Zero.

Following objections by his wife Marie and others, Queens Supreme Court Justice Augustus Agate ruled that there was no reason to bar the Little Neck resident from inclusion with the other members of Ladder 10 who died in the tragedy.

Marie Corrigan filed a suit in April 2010 against the city Fire Department and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum of the World Trade Center Foundation.

The FDNY had refused to place her husband’s name with other firefighters’ names on the memorial because he was not recognized as being on active duty at the time of the attacks.

Her suit contended that state law reinstated Corrigan — who rescued children at the World Trade Center’s day care center the day the towers fell — to active duty Sept. 11. In July 2010, Agate ruled in her favor, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in the following days that he opposed the ruling and would appeal it.

“We’ll fight this in court,” Bloomberg said at the time. “The Fire Department has a reasonable decision they made a long time ago. You had to have been an on-duty fireman, an active firefighter or officer to be included.”

Marie Corrigan said Tuesday that the city dropped its appeal two months later and that her husband’s name is now slated to be included on the memorial.

“I think that this whole issue should never have been. He was returned to active duty by New York state law, so this shouldn’t have happened at all,” she said. “We went to court about it because we wanted him included with the Fire Department on the memorial at Ground Zero. The court agreed and the city was going to appeal it and ... they withdrew their appeal.”

City Law Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Thomas provided a short statement on the matter.

“We felt this settlement was in everyone’s best interest. We hope it brings closure to Capt. Corrigan’s family,” she said via e-mail.

At the time of the attacks, Corrigan, 60, had been retired. He joined the FDNY in 1969, serving in Little Italy, Brooklyn and the Financial District in Manhattan. In 1992, he transferred to Bayside’s Engine Co. 320.

After retiring, Corrigan was employed by Silverstein Properties and became the fire and life safety coordinator at the World Trade Center. He was killed while helping to evacuate the South Tower.

Corrigan’s two sons, Brendan and Sean, were given “legacy credits” on their entrance exams to the FDNY, DeRose said. The credits bump up the score of any test-taker whose parents were killed in the line of active duty.

In 2002, then-City Councilman Tony Avella drafted a resolution which called on the city to grant full active duty status to Corrigan as well as William Wren and Phillip Hayes, both of whom also died Sept. 11. The state Legislature later voted to grant all duties and honors as active duty members to all three men.

Marie Corrigan’s attorney, James DeRose, did not return a request for comment.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 10:48 am, October 12, 2011
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