Unsung Heroes

Unsung Heroes Gallery open by appointment during renovations. Fine Art Gallery and event space in converted 1880's Textile Mill.
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Our mission is to advocate for our front line First Responders and educate the public on related issues through exhibitions, multimedia events, and gallery talks.

Well worth a re-post. Never forget.
09/11/2020

Well worth a re-post. Never forget.

45 years ago today. Remember them.
08/17/2020

45 years ago today. Remember them.

I’m sure you have all heard of Mike Rowe, host of the show “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel.I just learned of a rem...
06/24/2020

I’m sure you have all heard of Mike Rowe, host of the show “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel.

I just learned of a remarkable moment that connects Rowe with a subject of the Unsung Heroes portrait series, Lt. George Kreuscher.

Kreuscher was a Lieutenant with FDNY Rescue 1 when I painted his portrait in 1992. He spoke at the first reception for the portraits that year, and when he wrote his biography, he put that portrait on the cover.

The photos here are of his oil portrait and a book signing he did at Unsung Heroes Gallery in Philadelphia.

But back to Mike Rowe, and this remarkable, true story.

“....Most memorable however, was a quick conversation with a dairy farmer named Brandt Kreuscher. After my speech last night, Brandt approached me, somewhat sheepishly.

“Mike,” he said, “I’m so sorry to do this, but when my Dad heard you were speaking at this conference, he made me promise to give you a copy of his book.”

“Who’s your dad,” I asked.

“His name is George Kreuscher. He was a Fireman for 31 years in New York City. He’s a big fan of what you do and what you stand for. And he really wants you to have his book.”

I accepted the book and took a photo with Brandt, so he could prove to his old man the deed was done. Then I went off to imbibe with more dairymen. Now, I’m sitting on a plane, reading George’s book. It’s called, “Fireman,” and it’s riveting.

George Kreuscher answered over 28,000 calls during his long and extraordinary career with Rescue 1. If you want to get a sense of what it’s like to be a fireman – not as a profession, but as an identity – George can tell you. The fact that a man of such grit and work ethic would want me to read his book is deeply flattering. And his inscription is nothing short of humbling.

Thanks Brandt, for following orders.

And thanks George, for risking so much for so many, and for taking the time to write it all down. https://amzn.to/2MpYXWP

Mike

https://mikerowe.com/2018/06/connecting-with-dairy-farmers-learning-of-an-amazing-book/

My family is so very grateful to the Philadelphia police officers, firefighters and National Guard citizen soldiers who ...
06/06/2020

My family is so very grateful to the Philadelphia police officers, firefighters and National Guard citizen soldiers who are protecting our Kensington neighborhood tonight. Every Guard member I spoke with is from my city; South Philadelphia, The Northeast, and right here in Kensington, where one went to high school.

These men are the Protectors; they are here to keep the peace.

Without them our neighborhood and our city would be lost. 🇺🇸❤️🙏🏻

Duet (Tribute To The PFD)It’s after 2am, there is the sound of gunshots nearby, sirens are constant, growing louder, the...
06/01/2020

Duet (Tribute To The PFD)

It’s after 2am, there is the sound of gunshots nearby, sirens are constant, growing louder, then fading into the distance. I check on my daughter Audrey, who can’t sleep tonight either. I go to the kitchen and turn on the Philadelphia Fire Dispatch scanner, there is something comforting and reassuring in the back and forth patter.

As I listen to the radio calls, I can tell a lot about who’s speaking; for example I know their race because I’ve been in Philly long enough to be familiar with the nuances of culture and upbringing. Tonight the dispatchers are mostly black women; the fire commanders out in the field are mostly older world-weary white men but there’s some younger guys too.

The back and forth is music to my ears; it’s like a duet. Street names like Erie and Allegheny, Germantown and Tioga, names as old as the city itself. And the terminology. Who ever said “fire ground” isn’t a beautiful phrase? (It’s beautiful because I know the good guys are on scene and have established a command post).

And all those numbers, special meaning behind each one, men and women that I know personally on some of these trucks, been in their kitchens, grieved with them when one of their own was lost.

Battalion 10, stand by. Release 35. Ok. Affirmative. Releasing 35. Staging at 10th and Clearfield. Affirmative.
A long tone sounds.
Engine 901. What’s your location?

On it goes, hour after hour. Call and response, seasoned veterans sending brave knights on their missions into the darkness and chaos. Little jobs like rubbish fires, occupied row home conflagrations too. Looted businesses showing heavy smoke, single alarm fires that escalate to three alarms. And multiple times tonight I hear firefighters requesting dispatch notify police because looters are present. At one point a Battalion Chief advises the dispatcher to tell the crew to stay in their truck with the doors locked.

Tonight, companies are shifted all over the city at the last minute to cover one another. Runs are interrupted, additional alarms struck. Three-digit apparatus numbers starting with a 1 or 2 indicate standby or relief units, older rigs pressed into service because of the volume of runs or equipment breakdowns.

And through it all, as they go from emergency to emergency, solving complex logistical problems, putting themselves in harm’s way, there is no trace of resentment or “attitude” on either side.

Because there aren’t any “sides” and there never were. All parties on the radio, in the dispatch center, on the fire ground are on the same side and always were—the side of civilization.

That’s why this mutual respect and spirit of cooperation between seasoned professionals is so humbling tonight, it’s what brings me to the verge of tears.

This is what it takes to manage a disaster. This is what it takes to protect a large, complex metropolis, in good times and bad.

This is what it takes to live in a complex, diverse society.

Outward focused, selfless. In service to humanity, regardless of race, color or creed.

Can we be more like them?

Michael Robert Goodwin, Sr., Battalion Chief, LODD April 6, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. Laid to rest seven years ago today...
04/11/2020

Michael Robert Goodwin, Sr., Battalion Chief, LODD April 6, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. Laid to rest seven years ago today, on April 11, 2013.

We shall never forget your service and sacrifice. Rest easy, brother. We’ll take it from here.

04/08/2020
No words.
03/13/2020

No words.

Our hearts are breaking today for the family of Philadelphia Police SWAT Corporal James O’Connor, who was killed in the line of duty this morning while serving a warrant. He was a 23 year member of the police department, a father, a husband, and a wonderful friend to all who knew him. He was also a friend and supporter of Maureen Faulkner and the Justice for Daniel Faulkner fund.

This photo was taken the day his son graduated from the Philadelphia Police Academy. His son now serves in the 9th District.

We will never forget you, Jim.

Thank you for your service, Corporal James O’Connor.

Heartbreaking. Rest easy, we will take it from here brother.
02/24/2020

Heartbreaking. Rest easy, we will take it from here brother.

A 9/11 hero who pulled his firefighter brother's body from the rubble at Ground Zero died Saturday of 9/11-related pancreatic cancer, officials said.

I’m working on a portrait of Philadelphia Fire Lieutenant Matthew LeTourneau, Engine Co. 45. He died two years ago on Ja...
01/16/2020

I’m working on a portrait of Philadelphia Fire Lieutenant Matthew LeTourneau, Engine Co. 45.

He died two years ago on January 6, 2018 in a structural collapse. His unit and first alarm companies responded at 0851 hours to the 2200 block of North Colorado Street, a side street off West Susquehanna Avenue near 17th Street. There was a civilian inside and removed by PFD Firefighters-that civilian sadly perished.

While operating, there was an interior structural collapse of the original fire building and the companies of PFD’s special operations unit and from Battalion 8 and 3 were able to enter the building and extricate him-he was pinned in the debris-it took the members approx 30 minutes-and he was treated and transported to Temple Hospital. He was never alone, the rescue efforts started immediately. At 1107 hours he was declared deceased.

Lieutenant LeTourneau was very involved with the recent UL Basement Fire Research Studies and was a deeply respected veteran fire officer, instructor and Firefighter in the Philadelphia and Delaware County area.

I’m thankful that firefighter and good friend Bud Henkels introduced me to Matt at a 4th of July gathering in 2018. Having met makes this LODD portrait more meaningful. This is a rough study, there will be many more showing Matt in different situations until I’m ready to start the oil portrait. I’ll post progress images from time to time.

Thanks to FirefighterCloseCalls and local news sources for the incident details in this post.

Two years ago today...“Saying goodbye to a hero...As the heavens opened up and rain poured down, hundreds of firefighter...
01/12/2020

Two years ago today...

“Saying goodbye to a hero...

As the heavens opened up and rain poured down, hundreds of firefighters from across the country stood at attention along the procession route. The beating of drums and the skirling of pipes echoed off the walls of the Cathedral as Captain Mathew LeTourneau was carried to Engine 45 for one final ride.

Rest easy sir, we'll take it from here.”

From Mark O’Donnell, PFD. Thank you for your service my brother, we will take it from here:“After a long and courageous ...
01/02/2020

From Mark O’Donnell, PFD. Thank you for your service my brother, we will take it from here:

“After a long and courageous battle we lost a great friend to cancer tonight. Greg Browne was an Academy classmate and excellent fire service paramedic. Our last conversation was what bagpipe music he wanted at his funeral. Among the songs he already knew was “The Minstrel Boy” which words are stuck in my heart right now:

“The minstrel boy to the war is gone, in the ranks of death you will find him”.

My thoughts and prayers are with Greg and his wife, and his Philly Fire family, especially L5/M35 and FSP-32.”

Unsung Hero. She was killed in a drive-by, protecting her five year old son from a hail of bullets fired by evil people ...
12/06/2019

Unsung Hero.

She was killed in a drive-by, protecting her five year old son from a hail of bullets fired by evil people with no appreciation for the sanctity of life.

Firefighters have that protective instinct; they see all life as precious. My friends and family in the Fire Service and Law Enforcement know what I mean.

Rest easy, Lieutenant. We’ll take if from here.

A first responder mother of three was tragically killed on Thanksgiving while protecting her young child from a hail of gunfire.

One of the first paintings I did for the Unsung Heroes series, in 1991. It took me many years to realize the significanc...
11/28/2019

One of the first paintings I did for the Unsung Heroes series, in 1991.

It took me many years to realize the significance of this self-portrait. I spent a lot of time in firehouses, and attending LODD funerals before I got it.

Firefighters consider all life precious. It’s who they are. It’s who I am too, and why I do this work.

Stay safe out there, and thank you for following this page.

This is a superbly written story about a humble man who made it his life's mission to save lives. I'm sure you have noti...
10/25/2019

This is a superbly written story about a humble man who made it his life's mission to save lives. I'm sure you have noticed the rescue jacket I wear from time to time; My daughter Audrey was photographed in it as well. This jacket belonged to Dick Otte, the subject of this story. His daughter Mickey Herr, who authored this remarkable article, donated it to my firefighter portrait gallery, along with the rest of his rescue gear. There is a connection between Mr. Otte and the gallery through my portrait of Lt. Dennis Mojica, FDNY Rescue 1. They both worked for Power Hawk (Jaws of Life), which was used to extricate victims of the World Trade Center collapse, including the body of Dennis Mojica, found intact in a stairwell of the North Tower.

Dick Otte encountered his friend's portrait at Cuba Libre in the fall of 2001 at a dinner, where I had hung the portrait series at the invitation of the owners. His daughter told me that he was profoundly moved at the sight of his friend and colleague looking down on him from the wall, and was so overcome by emotion that he had to leave the room. He wanted to meet me, but unfortunately he died before we had that chance.

The article is long, but well worth your time as it chronicles the indomitable spirit of a man who typifies the American spirit of entrepreneurship and service to others.

Saved from the Jaws of Death by the Jaws of Life. A father’s legacy leads to an unexpected journey.

FDNY Lt. Dennis Mojica, Rescue 1. Born January 20, 1951, Lt. Mojica, a 28 year veteran of the F.D.N.Y. succumbed to inju...
09/12/2019

FDNY Lt. Dennis Mojica, Rescue 1. Born January 20, 1951, Lt. Mojica, a 28 year veteran of the F.D.N.Y. succumbed to injuries sustained while operating at Manhattan 5th Alarm box 8087 at 2 World Trade Center transmitted at 0840 HRS, September 11, 2001.

Mojica, a highly decorated and well respected officer was appointed on September 29, 1973 and served as a Lieutenant with Rescue 1 from 1990. In 1998, Lt. Mojica received the Henry D. Brookman Medal for assisting the rescue of a firefighter and civilian in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn while detailed to Rescue Co. 2.

He frequently volunteered with FEMA and mentored young firefighters in New York City and Puerto Rico

Never forget.

09/11/2019

From Phil Hoffman and Cape May County Firewire.

The calm professionalism of the 9/11 firefighters and dispatchers, even as they realized the severity and scope of the disaster, is an inspiration. We should all take a moment today to remember all lives lost on 9/11, and in particular the brave souls who went bravely into the jaws of death so that others might live. Please read and share.

0847 Hours
BATTALION 1: Battalion 1 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Battalion 1.
BATTALION 1: We just had a - a plane crashed into an upper floor of the World Trade Center. Transmit a second alarm and start relocating companies into the area.
DISPATCHER: Ten-four battalion 1.
BATTALION 1: Battalion 1 is also sending the whole assignment on this box to that area, K.
ENGINE 6: Engine 6 to Manhattan, K.
DISPATCHER: Engine 6.
ENGINE 6: The World Trade Center - tower number one is on fire. The whole outside of the building. There was just a huge explosion.
DISPATCHER: Ten-four. All companies stand by at this time.
UNKNOWN UNIT: Transmit a second alarm on that box immediately.
DISPATCHER: 10-4.
ENGINE 10: Engine 1-0 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Engine 1-0.
ENGINE 10: Engine 1-0 World Trade Center 10-60. Send every available ambulance, everything you've got to the World Trade Center now.
DISPATCHER: 10-4, 10-60 has been transmitted for the World Trade Center, 10-60 for the World Trade Center.
LADDER 3: Three truck to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Three truck.
LADDER 3: Civilian reports from up here, a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center for your information.
DISPATCHER: 10-4 K.
LADDER 3: Three truck's available.
8:48 Hours
BATTALION 1:Battalion 1 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Battalion 1, K.
BATTALION 1: We have a number of floors on fire. It looked like the plane was aiming towards the building. Transmit a third alarm. We'll have the staging area at Vesey and West Street. Have the third alarm assignment go into that area, the second alarm report to the building, K.
DISPATCHER: 10-4. Second alarm assignment report to the World Trade Center, second alarm assignment report to 1 World Trade Center.
ENGINE 10: Engine 1-0 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Engine 1-0 K.
ENGINE 10: It appears an airplane crashed into the World Trade Center.
DISPATCHER: 10-4. Third alarm's been transmitted box 8087, third alarm transmitted box 8087 for 1 World Trade Center.
SQUAD 18: Squad 1-8 to Manhattan, K.
DISPATCHER: Squad 1-8 K.
SQUAD 18: ...If the first battalion transmitted that it looked like it was intentional, inform all units going into the box it could be a terror attack.
DISPATCHER: ...10-4 all units be advised. . .
LADDER 10: Truck ten to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Proceed.
LADDER 10: Truck ten to Manhattan, just so you know this is confirmed. This is confirmed.
DISPATCHER: This is confirmed. 10-4 K.
ENGINE 10: Engine 1-0 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Engine 1-0, go.
ENGINE 10: Roll every available ambulance you've got to this position.
DISPATCHER: 10-4 K.
This section (0851 hours) was in the NYT transcript, but there was no audio to match with it. A member working that day recalled hearing these transmissions soon after leaving their quarters. Their ticket is time stamped 0851 hours so this would be about here in the transcript.
Approx. 0851 Hours
CAR 40 CHARLIE: 40 Charlie to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: 40 Charlie go.
CAR 40 CHARLIE: 40 Charlie is responding. Be advised you've got all boats available for transport through the river... Rescue...
DISPATCHER: 10-4 K.
CAR 4-DAVID: Four David to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Four David.
CAR 4-DAVID: How many rescues we got here?
MARINE 1: Marine 1 to Manhattan with an urgent message, K.
DISPATCHER: At this time you have the rescues K.
CAR 4-DAVID: Okay, I want all but one of them here.
DISPATCHER: 10-4.
MARINE 1: Marine 1 to Manhattan with an urgent message, K.
DISPATCHER: Unit with an urgent message, K.
MARINE 1: This is marine 1. We're in the river. You've got fire out of the north side and now coming out of the west side of the World Trade Center, the west side.
DISPATCHER: All right, fire from the north side and the west side of the World Trade Center.
MARINE 1: That's affirmative. Fire has penetrated the skin.
MARINE 6: Marine 6 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: All right box 8087 report of smoke 83rd floor, 103 floor, 104 floor. Also received reports of people trapped on floor number 106 K.
0856 Hours
DISPATCHER: Manhattan calling division 1, K.
DIVISION 1:Division 1 to Manhattan, go ahead.
DISPATCHER: Division 1, receiving reports floor one-zero-six, numerous people trapped floor number one-zero-six.
DIVISION 1: 10-4. We have units on the way up now. We're reporting fire on the 78th floor, that's unconfirmed at the time. We're going to need the PD for security of the entire World Trade Center. We have jumpers coming from the World Trade Center right now from the upper floors.
DISPATCHER: 10-4.
0858 Hours
BATTALION 2: Battalion 2 Manhattan K.
DISPATCHER: Battalion 2, go.
BATTALION 2: Be advised we have jumpers K, jumpers.
DISPATCHER: All right, division 1 be advised, battalion 2 advised we have jumpers from the World Trade Center, K.
DIVISION 1: Division 1 to Manhattan.
MARINE 1: Marine 1 to Manhattan K.
DISPATCHER: Division 1 go with your message, K.
DIVISION 1: Those jumpers, did they already jump?
DISPATCHER: Battalion 2, have those jumpers jumped, K.?
BATTALION 2: 10-4 Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Battalion 2, do you have jumpers down, K.?
BATTALION 2: Battalion 2, 10-4 Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Division 1, battalion 2 is advising jumpers down, K.
MARINE 6: 6 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Marine 6, K.
MARINE 6: We're 10-8 your frequency underway. You also have fire out of the east side of the building.
DISPATCHER: 10-4 Marine 6.
CAR 4-DAVID: Car 4-David to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Car 4-David.
CAR 4-DAVID: Car 4-David 10-84 at the World Trade Center.
DISPATCHER: Car 4 David repeat, K.
CAR 4-DAVID: 10-84.
DISPATCHER: 10-04. Car 4-David, we're getting reports from the hundred and fourth floor back room 25 to 30 people trapped. I also have the hundred and third floor, northwest room 1-0-3 with people trapped also. I have the eighty third floor with people trapped as well, car 4 David receive?
CAR 4-DAVID: Car 4 David 10-4.
DISPATCHER: All right, 10-04. Time is 0901 four sixty one.
0903
MARINE 6: Marine 6 to Manhattan urgent.
DISPATCHER: Hazmat 1 standby. Marine 6 go.
MARINE 6: Be advised. You have a second plane into the other tower of the Trade Center, major fire.
DISPATCHER: Car 4 David, Marine 6 advising a second plane into the World Trade Center, K.
MARINE 6: Marine 6, that's the other tower.
DISPATCHER: That's the second tower at the World Trade center, K.
BROOKLYN CO: Brooklyn to Citywide.
UNKNOWN UNIT: . . . to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: All units stand by unless urgent. Manhattan calling Car 4 David, K. Manhattan calling Car 4 David.
CAR 4-DAVID: Car 4-David to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Be advised, report of a second plane that crashed into the second tower. Be advised on the 83rd floor, room 8311, we have people trapped, room 8311, 83rd floor. Car 4 David acknowledge.
CAR 4_DAVID: Car 4 David 10-4.
0958 Hours
MARINE 3: Marine 3 to Manhattan, urgent.
DISPATCHER: Go ahead, K.
MARINE 3: One of the buildings is partially collapsed and the whole entire area is (dead?)
DISPATCHER: Unit transmitting the urgent, identify.
MARINE 3: Marine 3, a major collapse in one of the towers.
DISPATCHER: Which tower, K?
UNKNOWN UNIT: Tower 2, tower 2.
MARINE 3: The south tower, major collapse.
DISPATCHER: 10-4.
0959 Hours
DISPATCHER: Manhattan to Field Comm., K. Manhattan to Field Comm.
MARINE 6: Marine 6 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Standby. Manhattan to Field Comm. (tone alert) Manhattan to Field Comm.
MARINE 6: Marine 6 to Manhattan, urgent.
DISPATCHER: Marine 6.
MARINE 6: Tower 2 has had a major explosion and what appears to be a complete collapse surrounding the entire area.
DISPATCHER: Marine 6 10-4, we were notified.
1000 Hours
DISPATCHER: Manhattan to Field Comm.
CIVILIAN: I'm a civilian. I'm trapped inside of one of your fire trucks underneath the collapse that just happened.
UNKNOWN UNIT: Standby. There's people close to you.
CIVILIAN: I can't breathe much longer. Save me! I'm in the cab of your truck.
DISPATCHER: Person transmitting a mayday. Where are you, K.
CIVILIAN: I just told you. It's north of the world trade center; there's the north pedestrian bridge. I think it collapsed when the partial building just collapsed. I was on the street. I don't have much air Please, help me!
RESCUE 2: Rescue 2 chauffeur, I copy that. I'm going to look for her.
DISPATCHER: 10-4.
DISPATCHER: Manhattan to Field Comm urgent K.
CIVILIAN: I can barely breath. Please send somebody.
DISPATCHER: Okay, the person calling for help. Listen to me. You need to calm down and relax. Standby, we do have somebody on the way. You're to maintain air. Get off the air. We do have somebody on the way over to you. You're to remain calm, 10-4?
CIVILIAN: 10-4. I'm in the cab of the truck.
DISPATCHER: 10-4. We do have people on the way over there. Manhattan to Field Comm urgent.
1028 Hours
ENGINE 33: Three-three to Manhattan urgent.
DISPATCHER: Three-three.
ENGINE 33: The other tower just collapsed! Major collapse! Major collapse!
DISPATCHER: That's a 10. . . 10-4 on your urgent.
MARINE 3: Marine 3 to Manhattan, K.
UNKNOWN UNIT: ... To Manhattan K.
ENGINE 289: Urgent, 2-8-9 to Manhattan urgent. The world trade center collapsed. Building two has collapsed K.
UNKNOWN UNIT: Urgent! Urgent!
DISPATCHER: Unit calling urgent, K.
UNKNOWN UNIT: ..body get out. We had a collapse of the second tower. Everybody's running from there this is a... Here it comes, get in!
DISPATCHER: 10-4. Attention all units. We're receiving reports that number 1 and number 2 World Trade Center collapsed. All units at the scene receiving reports number 1 and number 2 World Trade Center, both towers collapsed.
ENGINE 236: Engine 2-3-6 to Manhattan.
DISPATCHER: Manhattan responding.
ENGINE 236: Yeah, we're jammed down in the street over here. We can't even move the car. I'm leaving the chauffeur with the rig. I'm heading over that way.
DISPATCHER: 10-4.

Lt. Dennis Mojica will never hold his daughter again, he did not see her in a prom dress, or walking across the stage to...
09/11/2019

Lt. Dennis Mojica will never hold his daughter again, he did not see her in a prom dress, or walking across the stage to accept her high school diploma. No tearful goodbyes on her move-in day to the college dorm, or that first dance with dad on her wedding day. Islamic jihadists put an end to his dreams, to her dreams in the fiery inferno of the World Trade Center towers. Born on January 30, 1951, he was killed September 11, 2001. Lt. Mojica, a 28 year veteran of the F.D.N.Y. succumbed to injuries sustained while operating at Manhattan 5th Alarm box 8087 at 2 World Trade Center transmitted at 0840 HRS. Mojica, a highly decorated and well respected officer was appointed on September 29, 1973 and served as a Lieutenant with Rescue 1 from 1990. In 1998, Lt. Mojica received the Henry D. Brookman Medal for assisting the rescue of a firefighter and civilian in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn while detailed to Rescue Co. 2. He frequently volunteered with FEMA and mentored young firefighters in New York City and Puerto Rico.

Image (cropped): Lt. Mojica / 72" x 50" / Oil on canvas. Painted from life in 1994. Copyright 2019 Jesse J. Gardner

A book review well worth your time. It is an honor that the author, retired FDNY Lieutenant George Kreuscher chose the p...
08/03/2019

A book review well worth your time. It is an honor that the author, retired FDNY Lieutenant George Kreuscher chose the portrait I painted of him for the cover. I also painted a portrait of his son George Kreuscher, Jr who is quoted in this article.

We shall never forget their service and sacrifice.

https://www.firehouse.com/leadership/article/12075687/the-fire-scene-recalling-the-men-of-the-fdny

Chief John Salka talks about his experience reading the book "Fireman" by George Kreuscher, and how it helped him recall so many of the FDNY men who made the department great.

Seven years before 9/11, I received this letter from FDNY Fire Commissioner William M. Feehan. Commissioner Feehan (Sept...
06/13/2019

Seven years before 9/11, I received this letter from FDNY Fire Commissioner William M. Feehan. Commissioner Feehan (September 29, 1929 – September 11, 2001) was a member of the Fire Department of New York who died during the collapse of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks. He died at the age of 71 in the collapse of the North Tower, on September 11, 2001.

May his service and sacrifice never be forgotten.

We are blessed to have people in our midst who recognize the service and sacrifice of others, and makes sure the world r...
04/28/2019

We are blessed to have people in our midst who recognize the service and sacrifice of others, and makes sure the world remembers them.

Thanks to my sister Curdie Gardner for sending me this article.

"Beth Regan, 27, befriended Graham four years ago when she began volunteering at his nursing home.

Concerned that Graham’s funeral would be sparsely attended, she decided to do everything she could to make sure he received a farewell befitting a hero.

Mission accomplished."

The Recorder - newspaper of the Montgomery County Region of New York and your best source for local news and information.

Honoring a fallen brother, six years ago...
04/13/2019

Honoring a fallen brother, six years ago...

I will be posting a full album of photos from Captain Goodwin's funeral services later, but I wanted to take a moment to share this snapshot of Volunteer Firefighter Jill Schueckler. I noticed the Maltese Cross (a symbol of protection and a badge of honor) she was wearing, and asked her what connection she had with the fire department. Jill explained that she is a volunteer firefighter in Upstate NY and attends university here, and her dress uniform is back home. But she was determined to honor Captain Goodwin as an anonymous civilian, along with thousands of firefighters from acorss the nation and Canada. These are the kind of people who give us hope for the future of our country...

It's what we do.
04/13/2019

It's what we do.

Just love this photo but so hard to see it knowing we have lost another good man, husband, father, son, Marine. He will ...
04/10/2019

Just love this photo but so hard to see it knowing we have lost another good man, husband, father, son, Marine. He will never hold his wife and children again. An American hero, truly one of the best of us.

Signal 5-5-5-5 has been transmitted. It is with regret the FDNY announces the line of duty death of FF 1st grade Christopher A Slutman, L-27, appointed September 14th, 2003, which occured Monday April 8th, 2019, as a result of injuries sustained while on active duty in Afghanistan, serving in the US Marine Corps. Funeral arrangements to follow.

On this day, April 6th, 2013, Captain Michael Robert Goodwin, Sr., Ladder 27 lost his life fighting a structure fire in ...
04/07/2019

On this day, April 6th, 2013, Captain Michael Robert Goodwin, Sr., Ladder 27 lost his life fighting a structure fire in South Philadelphia. He was posthumously promoted to Battalion Chief. I worked with Philadelphia's Mural Arts program to paint Chief Goodwin's portrait for a mural, which was installed about 18 months later on the exterior of Ladder 16's historic firehouse, considered Goodwin's second home.

Every portrait of a line of duty death individual, involves hours of meetings with family members, fellow firefighters and muralists, and poring over snap shots for that one telling detail the family remembers. Getting it right matters to the family, friends and fellow firefighters that never got to say goodbye.

Chief Michael Goodwin was a good man we lost too soon. We shall never forget his service and sacrifice.

They gave all for us, for their city and country. Our job is to remember them. Never forget.
03/09/2019

They gave all for us, for their city and country. Our job is to remember them. Never forget.

Judson Box has never known exactly what happened to his son Gary September 11, 2001. But an unexpected find years later has given him a glimpse into his

This is what firefighters do.
02/22/2019

This is what firefighters do.

At 5:40 this afternoon, High Springs Firefighters responded to a Life Alert alarm activation. Upon arrival, firefighters found that the activation was accidental and there was no medical emergency. But there was one problem our guys noticed...

You see, this member of "The Greatest Generation" lives alone and receives meals from the Meals on Wheels program, many of them frozen. That problem we noticed? Her microwave doesn't work.

After learning this, the crew of Squad 29 reported directly to Lowe's Home Improvement and purchased this young lady a new microwave, promptly returned to her residence, installed it, and cooked her dinner.

In Small Town USA, neighbors help neighbors.

*Disclaimer: Firefighter/Paramedic Hope is engaged. Sorry ladies! ;)

02/03/2019

After the death of her father, who was a WW2 and Korean War attack pilot, Rosemary Mariner decided to follow in his footsteps. She joined the Navy in 1973 with the sole purpose of flying; and she did just that.

Despite the gender barriers, at the age of 21, Mariner became the very first female Naval Aviator, the first to fly a front line attack aircraft, the first to land on an aircraft carrier, the first to serve aboard a warship and the first to gain command of an aviation squadron.

Captain Mariner retired in 1997 after serving for 24 years, flying over 3500 hours in 15 different naval aircraft while on 17 carrier deployments.

She recently passed away on Jan 24 after a long battle with cancer and her upcoming funeral will have an all female squadron flying over. It will also be the first all female fly over in Navy history.

She never considered herself a revolutionary for women, she looked at everyone as people, not genders. She expected everyone to do their jobs and to be treated the same. Her one important approach in life was persistance.
"Life can deal you a lot of curveballs. You hang in there and you don't quit." -Capt. Rosemary Mariner.

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Our Story

Unsung Heroes began in 1991 as one artist’s idea to make the world a better place by painting and exhibiting larger than life portraits of real American heroes. Through his work with the FDNY’s Firefighter Cadet program, artist Jesse Gardner became an advocate for minority youth who wanted to become firefighters. As a New York City resident, Gardner sought out FDNY firefighters, painting their portraits from life in his Manhattan loft. Over the decades, his work has been shown in New York and Philadelphia galleries and in the public realm as a poster series. In 1995 Mayor Giuliani honored the artist with an award for his work with firefighters. Currently the portrait collection is housed in a gallery located in a converted 1880's Textile Mill in Philadelphia’s East Kensington neighborhood. In recent years, he has collaborated with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program to create large scale outdoor murals honoring three Philadelphia firefighters who died in the line of duty. Gardner’s advocacy for our front line First Responders continues through the LODD portraits, exhibitions, multimedia events, and gallery talks.


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Comments

Hi there, I work for a NYC based casting director and we’re looking for firefighters and EMTS/medics for a PAID advertisement. I’ve attached a flyer with all the information. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want more information.

To apply fill out the form here ASAP (ignore the location restrictions on the link): https://airtable.com/shrqj96I9JP8TglcX
https://youtu.be/7K1Yab6lyJo
Where were you when the Planes Crashed?
I was working in a building next to LAX Airport. My heart and soul goes out to everyone in the towers and the Heroes who put their lives on the line to save as many as they could.