PROJECT 2996: Remembering Capt. Patrick Waters Jr.



Project  2,996 is an online tribute to the victims of 9/11.  Each year we honor the people who perished on that tragic day by celebrating their lives, and not by remembering the murderers.  Forget the murderers, they don’t deserve to be remembered. But some people who died that day deserve to be remembered––2,996 people.


The Happiness Zone is proud to join Project 2996, as we remember and celebrate the life of Captain Patrick J. Waters, Jr.


Husband.  Father.  Friend.  Hero. 


That was Captain Patrick Waters of the New York Fire Department.   A Special Operations Captain, he was always willing to step up, whether it was showing his fellow firefighters how to use the tiller truck at Ladder Co. 106 in Green Point, coaching first graders in basketball or roller hockey, or heading the PTA at the parish school in Glendale.


Waters, 45, was always happy to do his job for the New York City Fire Department  and  his wife, Janice,  said it was almost "disgusting" how much he loved going to work in the morning.


Raised in Inwood, he had been a businessman, earning good money and doing lots of travel as an internal auditor for an insurance company, when his number came up on the FDNY test he had taken years earlier. He passed on the opportunity, but the attraction of the job "kept calling him" and finally, in 1983, he traded his jacket and tie for turnout gear and those shoulder patches with the World Trade Center standing out on the New York City skyline. 


He worked for Engine Co. 217 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ladder Co. 108 in Williamsburg, Ladder Co. 106 and a string of other houses. By the time he made captain in 2000 and was assigned to the Haz-Mat Co. 1 in Maspeth, he knew every type of ladder truck the department owned and had won a citation for jumping into the icy East River to help rescue seven people after Greenpoint's India Street Pier collapsed in 1997.


Of Pat Waters, a neighbor said, “I will always remember him being a happy man who was very devoted to his family and always doing something with his sons.”   Pat Waters was a “really big” Yankees fan.  He was a man who loved life and lived it to the fullest.


Waters lost his life that fateful day, doing what he loved – and what duty called him to do.  He was a true American hero.


Original Post


On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools,
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying.

On Monday there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, color & creed,
On Tuesday they were all holding hands.

On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes,
On Tuesday we relearned what hero meant.

On Monday people went to work at the World Trade Centers as usual,
On Tuesday they died.

On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property,
On Tuesday the same people all said "God help us all" while thinking "thou shall not kill".

On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room,
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids.

On Monday people picked up McDonald's for dinner, On Tuesday they stayed home.

On Monday people were upset that their dry cleaning was not ready on time,
On Tuesday they were lining up to give blood for the dying.

On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses,
On Tuesday grief stricken they sang "God Bless America".

On Monday we worried about the traffic and getting to work late,
On Tuesday we worried about a plane crashing into our homes or place of business.

On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived,
On Tuesday we saw people celebrating people dying in the USA.

On Monday some children had solid families,

On Tuesday they were orphans.

On Monday the President was going to Florida to read to children,
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children.

On Monday we emailed jokes.
On Tuesday we did not.

It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into perspective, but is has.  The lessons learned this week, the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.

It was a privilege to share this tribute to Captain Waters.  In reading about his life, I almost came to feel as though I knew him.  He must have been a very special man and he certainly is one of our American heroes.


My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends on this anniversary of 9-11.



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