on October 4, 2001.
With Many Sides
Mary Heffernan's spirit just left her on the day of the attacks.
One of her sons, John Heffernan, 37, a firefighter on the Lower
East Side, was missing at the World Trade Center. Five years
earlier, her son Patrick had died in a construction accident.
Another son, Michael Heffernan, 36, also a firefighter, looked
for his big brother. He searched for weeks. Their sister, Deirdre
Heffernan, 32, stayed with their 73-year-old mother. A fourth
brother, Brian, 34, is a New York City police officer. John
Heffernan was a man with many sides. One moment, he was in a
firefighter's uniform, rushing into burning buildings to save
lives at the risk of his own. In the next, he was on stage in
a black T-shirt and jeans, playing rhythm guitar in a punk rock
band, the Bullys, that he helped found. In another, he was a
devoted husband to his wife, Lori, and a devoted father to his
9-year-old daughter, Samantha. A crew sifting through the wreckage
at ground zero discovered John Heffernan's body on Oct. 2, his
wife's 31st birthday, Deirdre Heffernan said. Profile published
in THE NEW YORK TIMES on February 24, 2002.