Queens In The Wake Of The Towers:
Sends Personal Message To Bin Laden
By LIZ GOFF
All eyes are on Queens Firefighter Michael Moran.
The feisty Far Rockaway resident took to the stage at the Oct. 22 "Concert For New York" at Madison Square Garden with a personal message for Osama bin Laden.
(From l-r) Congressman Joe Crowley with cousins John Moran, missing at ground zero, and Queens firefighter Michael Moran who had a few choice words for Osama Bin Laden.
"In the spirit of the Irish people," Moran said, "Osama bin Laden Ė you can kiss my royal Irish ass."
The crowd of 6,000 firefighters, police officers, city paramedics and other emergency workers went wild with cheers and applause for the 38-year-old Moran.
"Look at my face," Moran said, "Take a good look. Now come and get me Ė Iím in Far Rockaway, Queens, USA," he said in his message to the terror suspect. "Iíll be waiting for you, bitch," he declared.
Moran was introduced to the crowd by comedian Michael J. Fox at the end of the concert.
He began his remarks with a tribute to his brother, Battalion Chief John Moran, 42, who was killed when the Twin Towers collapsed, and to his 12 "brother firefighters" from Ladder 3 who were killed while helping people from the towers.
Moran told the Tribune that he spoke using the "most genteel" language he could. Moranís words, tinged with anger, touched millions of New Yorkers and viewers nationwide. "He said exactly what each of us has wanted to say," said Queens Firefighter Paul Brady.
Moranís words were also greeted with rousing applause by his cousin, Queens Congressman Joseph Crowley.
Crowley told the Tribune that he is "proud" of his cousin for "telling it like it is."
"Mike has spent countless hours searching at ground zero for John (his brother)," Crowley said. "He is heartbroken over the deaths he has experienced and his grief and anger fueled his remarks.
"I believe he was echoing the words of almost all of us. It was a relief," Crowley said.
Moranís words also drew applause from Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, who stood behind the 12-year FDNY veteran at center stage.
"I really didnít hear a thing," Moran said of the crowdís response. "I remember walking on stage and searching the audience for my girlfriend. Then I kind of went blank," he added. "Stage fright."
"It was a breath of fresh air," Brady said.