are many heroes to many different people, and as I try to think
of one other than my dad, it is impossible. I have no other true
hero in my life. My father has been my hero since I was born.
He and I had a very special relationship. You see, I am the only
boy in the McCann family and I was the only boy in the McGrane
family until I was seven years old. My dad and I shared all the
things that guys do together. Playing sports, watching sports,
coaching sports and talking sports. I loved this time with my
Daddy was a hero to all of my family. My mother, sister and I
depended on him to love us, make us laugh and support us. He worked
harder than anyone I had ever met. He was away all the time working
but he never missed calling me. He called about five times a day
and I still hoped every time the phone rang it would be him. He
supported us by working as a firefighter who helped others and
saved people’s lives. In a sense, my dad was a hero to many
people before he died at the World Trade Center.
My dad was also a Trustee for the Carpenter’s Union and
he worked hard to get this promotion which came only this year.
This job was physical and hard to do especially after working
a 24-hour shift as a firemen, putting out fires, and helping people
all night long.
The thing he loved the most about my growing up in Manalapan was
how I had the opportunity to play so many sports. He grew up in
the city and he was a very good athlete, but they did not have
ball fields to play on. My dad used to play football and baseball
on the hard basketball courts behind the public school. His knees
and ankles were so bruised from falling and sliding so many times
My dad also loved the golf courses in Monmouth County and we played
golf all the time. On September 11th, dad was supposed to be on
the links, but went on a run to the World Trade Center instead.
Daddy was my caddie and I would play in the New Jersey Junior
Golf Tournaments. He was an excellent coach in all my sports,
but you should see how he taught me to play golf. He also won
a lot of tournaments. He taught me to play basketball and would
coach me from the sidelines every chance he could. I always played
ten times better when he coached me and told me what play to make.
He was great to have on the sidelines in any sport. He was sad
that he could not always make my baseball games and so was I.
All of the other dads were there to help their kids, but my dad
always had to work. I actually quit baseball, because it was not
fun to play if he couldn’t be there to watch me. Last year
he taught me how to snowboard, even though he had never snowboarded
before, he was such a good athlete, he just knew what to tell
I like to talk about my dad a lot, but sometimes it hurts too
much. He was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. You
all know that my dad was a hero to me and I am proud that now
he is a hero to the rest of the world.
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