'A Cop's Cop'
Maggie McDonnell is trying to keep Christmas normal for her two children. Their Long Island lawn is decorated in lights and they will have a tree. The tree will be decorated in red, white and blue, and Daddy's police cap will stand atop it.
Brian McDonnell was a member of the Emergency Service Unit Truck 1, stationed on East 21st Street in Manhattan. He was last seen heading into the south tower. "Brian was a cop's cop," Mrs. McDonnell said. "When people get in trouble they call the police; when the police get in trouble they call Emergency Services."
But more important to him than the job were his children, Katie, 8, and Thomas, 3. When his daughter was born, he was there in the delivery room holding his wife's hand, gently weeping.
A former Army paratrooper, Officer McDonnell, 38, was never decorated in his 15-year career because he never wrote himself up for an commendation. "He wasn't showy," his wife said. "It wasn't his nature. He just wanted to help people."
Once, he saw a little girl waving to him and the mother pulled her in the window and scolded her: "'Don't wave to him, police are bad,'" Mrs. McDonnell recalled. "It crushed him."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 15, 2001.
McDONNELL-Brian, N.Y.P.D. Police Officer. Tragically lost in the line of duty on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center disaster. Survived by his beloved wife Margaret and cherished children Katie and Thomas, dear brothers Robert and Kevin, devoted sister Alicia, and his loving mother Ann Claire. Brian was a loyal friend to many, and he will be sorely missed. His command was Emergency Service Squad #
Paid Notice published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 11, 2001.