I am writing a review on an accident that happened in Manhattan that Chief Downey wrote a report on. Even in Mr. Downey's death, he is still helping schlubs like me. I am a retired Army guy, going to school to start a new career. I Salute you and know you are still making a positive impact in this world,
Ray and I were classmates at St. Teresa's in Woodside. We played hockey together on 48 Ave between 44 and 45 st. The last time I saw Ray he was changing tires at a Sears Store in Hicksville. When 911 happen I volunteered at the Forensic Recovery Site on SI. Being a retired detective it was the thing to do. I had two people on my mind while working there, Ray Downey and Charlie Mills my old Chief of Detectives. I know Ray's DNA was found but Charlie was never found. God bless them both.
Thank you for lending me your strength and courage today.
Thanks for giving it all for people in need.
Thinking of all the family on this day 11 Sept 2013 and said a prayer for Ray thanking him for trying to save my dad who died with him James D. Cleere
23 years in the fire service and i could never hold a candle to this man..VERY few could!!!
To the Downey Family, My thoughts are with you during this week of the 11th anniversary of your loss. My heartfelt thanks for sharing your memories and photos, especially to Mrs. Downey for the spoken memories I've listened to several times online. I also remember that September 19 would be Chief Downey's 75th birthday.
Though I did not Mr.Downey personaly, I do know that he will lays be missed and loved. I will pray for him every day and do an extra prayer too. Thuogh I didn't lose anyone from 9/11 I still remember it and am thankful and wish I could shake his hands and say thank you for risking your life to save others. I have a sister who wants to join the fire department and I don't know what I would do if I lost her but my prayers and deepest sorrow goes out to the family.
Never Forgotten. Keeping your family in my prayers.
You will not be forgotten!!!! I still remember Sept 11 2001, as if it yesterday. I am curently servicing in Afghanistan with the US Marines and I am a volunteer firefighter, so with that said I am honored in protecting this great Nation of ours, but also fellow Firefighter!!!! Semper Fi MSgt William Elver
I don't remember 9/11,because I was too young,but I have learned a lot about it at school. We did a balloon release at school to remember 9/11,the balloons were red,white,and,blue. Today we planted flowers and wrapped little slips of paper with victims names on them around the bulbs. Thanks for all you did. You will be missed.
I would like to just thank you for all you did before and then the day of 9/11.It had to take some courage to risk your life just so you should help out some people that were trapped during a difficult day in our country's history.I will pray about this family that lost this person.I am proud that we have done ceremonies at our school to help the people that lost thier family members. I have to say we always remember.
hello my name is dee live in rome GA. I attend amruchee middle school. This week will be planting a flower for you thank you for giving your life for saving our country
Hi: My name is Scott Downey. I was watching the 911 10th Anniversary today and heard the name Ray Downey so I decided to google his name and found this site. My great great grandfather came from Ireland. Not sure if we are related. We had about 7,000 Americans stay here in Newfoundland (Gander)on that dreadfull day. I never knew Ray but he makes me proud to be a Downey.
This man was like a father to me as a foster child i looked up to him! I will never forget when he told me "To hang tough you'll get though this!" He was my hero!! I will always remember you and I will never forget you!! in my heart forever!!
we hung out in front of Daffy's in Sunnyside in the 50's,played foot ball on the Rambucks,was saddened by his death and proud to have known him.GOD BLESS--- frank campanello.
TO THE DOWNEY FAMILY
I RECENTLY FOUND OUT THAT RAY DOWNEY FDNY
WAS THE SAME RAY THAT I WENT TO SCHOOL
WITH ST TERASA'S IN WOODSIDE
MY CONDOLANCE TO THE FAMILY
WARWICK N Y
My dad knew Chief Downey back when they were young members of The Knights of Columbus in Deer Park NY. Mr.Downey was a young Fireman in the New York City Fire Department at that time. My dad at that time was a young aerospace engineer working at Grumman on the Lunar Module. Mr.Downey loved to hear my dad talk about my grandfather's days as a Lieutenant in the FDNY and his fighting fires in the Bronx for over 25 years.
Robert L Ford, North Babylon NY
Johnny: Ma what do Guardian Angels look like
Ma: Well Johnny,They are all very good looking
They wear turnout coats,boots,helmets,an airtank on Their back and They carry an axe in Their hands.
They usually have smokey halos over Their heads and They keep Their wings tucked under Their turnout coats.
You always see Them where people are in danger and need help.
They are all over the world,but God keeps the best ones in New York City
On Sept 11, I participated the the 5th Annual Denver Memorial Stair Climb. 343 area fire fighters climbed the Qwest building. It is only 55 stories so we do it twice in full gear to equal the total of the WTC.
Each of us are issued an ID tag and photo of one of our fellow fire fighters that we lost that day. Since I am an organizer of the event, I am able to choose whom I climb for...and once again I chose Chief Downey. It was with great honor and pride that I carried him with me this year.
I can not image your loss, but I thought of you greatly this day. We remember and will never forget. I just wanted to let you know that we think of all of you and will never forget. I have had the opportunity to meet several different members of your family at different events through my father (Garry Briese) and carry in my fire helmet a memorial card that you gave to me.
Much love and respect,
To the Downey Family, I learned your story recently. Several months ago, while browsing the Barnes & Noble website, I found the book Requiem: Images of Ground Zero. I've thought of you often, especially this week as Father's Day approaches. I have the greatest love and respect for firefighters and police officers because they not only risk their lives every day, they are also Samaritans when off duty. They are always looking to help someone in need--by holding a toy drive, collecting food for a food pantry or soup kitchen, donating their vacation time to work at a camp for children who have suffered burns, to name just a few of their charitable efforts. My heartfelt thanks for sharing your memories and photos--and for giving me this opportunity to say, "I care."
I can not believe it is 7 years since we spoke, laughed and saw each other. Life has changed so much since then. I hold you very close in my heart and miss you very much. You were a very special friend to me and I thank you for that. You looked after me like a 2nd dad on this job. I am glad we had the opportunity to work together and become close friends. I hope you know how much I admired and respected you. Continue to watch over us. This job is not the same and it will never be.
my bestest friend nicolette grandfather died. when we heard wut happend we started to cry cause i noe that they were really close so we had a soccer game deciated to wut happend n dwe won nd all of us on the soccer team scored all the goals fo deputy raymond downy all of us on the soccer team wil remember him as he was our grandfather nd we pleaged if nicolette or anybody in that family nedded anything we were there fo them and to this day we will still remember him as a hero who saved a lot of people adn we thank him to this day and we will remember him as the guy who saved lives and hw was a wonderful father grandfatther brotherand-law and everything else to everybody but mostly to us our friend so i thank u ray fro doin wut u did and we will always be with u
My heart goes out to the family of Chief Downey. I respect and admire him although I never worked for him, nor met him myself. But after reading about him and his acheivements, I think he was a great leader and individual. God Bless him and his family. I wish that I can be half the Firefighter he was.
I am a student at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, FL, doing a research project on Chief Downey. From what I have read, he was a very fine man. I send my sympathy out to his family and friends.
I have worn a 911 rememberance bracelet with Chief Downey on it for almost 6 years now. I lost my own father a week before the attacks. As a fire fighter I wept as much for those lost that day as for my father. We had time to say goodbye, you didn't and only God can pass on that hug and kiss you give to the wind.
In memory of Raymond M. Downey and all fallen FDNY Fire Fighters!
Sept. 11th 2001
~Always remembered and never forgotten!"~
Firefighter poet Hartmut Reinsch
Toronto / CANADA
please visit my Firefighter guest book, with more than 4600 Firefighter entries!
Tribute to Firefighters of FDNY!
In the battle against the beastly fire...
They stay together, ready to fight!
To help all the victims of every accident,
committed to rescue, by day and by night.
These are the courageous Firefighters,
In their cities and towns of every land.
They stand together as really true friends,
Routinely they're all working hand in hand.
Everyone of them looks after the other,
Their brotherhood knows no borders...!
They are ready to help in their unselfish way,
Without fear, they follow their orders!
Many of them gave their lives in New York,
On September the eleventh, two thousand and one...!
Firefighters everywhere will remember that day,
And their feelings of loss will never be gone.
Written by Hartmut Reinsch
(FIRE Fighter Poet)
September 16, 2001 Toronto Canada
May we always remember their sacrifice,
in their quest to help and save the lives of innocent victims,
on that tragic day of Sept. 11. 2001 in New York City, USA.
A word after..., from "ground zero!"
What we are left with,
surrounded by death and fear,
is our sense of loyalty and of duty...
which calls upon us
to place a shining beacon of hope in this world,
and to entrust the universal darkness
to the light of God.
H. Reinsch. Toronto 2001
Thinking of you Chief Downey
I have met your family on several occassions and they are so wonderful. God Bless you and all the Firefighters in heaven and here on Earth...
sister of FF George Cain Ladder 7
Hello Downey Family,
I still wear my bracelet with Chief Raymond Downey's name on it in rembrance of 911. I worked as support staff for the Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department in Deer Park, TX at the time of 911. My life as yours will be forever changed by those events. I want you to know that I am grateful for the sacrifices of Chief Downey and fellow volunteers that will forever be remembered many years after 911, as I am writing you today. I wish you all peace and understanding and comfort as I know this has been a very hard time for you and your family. God Bless, Pat Varley
To the Downey Family:
I have recently been made aware of this guest book, otherwise I certainly would have offered my show of respect sooner. I fondly remember your dad patrolling the sidelines at the Knights of Columbus. I viewed him as a wonderfully dedicated father, in addition to being the epitome of a true American hero. His selfless acts of heroism will forever resonate in my heart. People such as Raymond M. Downey make me proud to be an American, and this country is a better place having had him serve her. May God bless all of you. With great respect, Christopher M. Inguanti
To the entire Downey Family, it has been almost 6 years and it still tears me apart every single day. Chuck, this is Gary (Sonny) Schoenberger, Deer Park FD & Ten House back in the 80's. When my sister Lynn first told me your Dad was on Shift I was devastated . I could'nt get there because my doctors would'nt let me fly. I watched the TV day and night till I heard something. You, your family and most of all your Dad, (and I know his nickname was " GOD") will always be in my prayers. I will be in Deer Park soon Chuck and I will give you a call and we can meet up at Deer Park Fire Department. God Bless. Gary (Sonny)
I worked at Rescue 2 in 1998 as an extra firefighter (i'm a firefighter from The Netherlands) I worked there with LT.Chuck Downey, Kevin O'Rourke, Ron Ball, Capt.Lund, ext and that was an time i never will forgett. This team was so speciall, that i could feel the history and proudness in them all an in the station. They were proud to call themselfs RESCUE 2.I had to proof myself within the group, but after a while they took me into their mid's and i felt very proud to be one of them for a short time. The person who organized all of this, was Ray Downey. I only cerrepsondent with him via letters and telphone.But with this contact, i noticed that he was an extreemly proffessional, dedicated and proud man to be an FDNY member and he loved his men.
My Fire Department (Amsterdam Fire Department) refused to lett me go on september 11, to look for my buddy's and to this day, i regret i just didn't go. I wish i was there with them in those towers. After september 11, something is missing in me and i miss those wonderfull ,men from RESCUE 2.
Amsterdam Fire Department
As I cross-stitched your name on the memorial that I am doing for all of the victims, I prayed for you and your family. Please know that your death was not in vain. We will always remember. God Bless.
Thank you Raymond for your service, courage, and bravery. We will never forget the sacrifice made on 09/11 by all of our fire fighters, police officers and innocent bystanders. God bless you all.
I knew Ray when he worked on Union St. & Park Slope. He was a very nice person to know. I rode with him when he was Capt. at Rescue 2.It was a shame to lose such a good man. My prayers & thoughts are with your family.
I had the honor of knowing the Downey family while I was in college at Stony Brook. I can honestly say that I had never seen such a close, loving family in all my life. Raymond Downey was an exceptional man. I remember him as a strong man of few words, but when he spoke, everyone listened.
I know he will always be remembered as a true hero...
My husband wrestled & graduated with Joe, I went to school with Marie. We both knew your Mom & Dad. Their are no words that could ever say what you want to hear or to comfort your loss of such a wonderful, great, loving man such as your Dad. Your Mom & Dad raised such wonderful children & you have a wonderfully close knit family that alot of families wish/dream about. Your Dad is definitely an angel, with all the lives he saved to give up his own he had wings waiting for him as soon as he got to heaven to guide everyone else through. God Bless all of you and you are always in our hearts & prayers.
All our Love.
I went to school with one of Chief Downey's sons Chuck. Although I never met Chief Downey, I know he and Chief Larry Stack would do the same thing over again. During my first year at StonyBrook, Chuck was an upper classmen and mentor for me. Now I know he got this way due to the leadership his father provided. On that day of Sept 11th great men of the NYFD were lost forever. To the Downey family, god bless and know that Chief Downey is watching over all of you.
My heart goes out to your family and friends. Raymond has done a great, brave and wonderous service for all of us. God bless his soul and thank you.
Thank you for all you have done and all that will continue to be done in your name. You and your family are some of the greatest and strongest people I have ever met. God bless all of you! THANK YOU!
I met Ray in 1996 while conducting research for my book, US Elite Counterterrorist Forces. In the aftermath of the 1993 WTC bombing, he was urgently trying to wake up the rest of the country to the threat posed by terrorists. I was proud to include his insights in the book. He is a compassionate, passionate and patriotic man who will be greatly missed by family, friends, and acquaintances.
Chief Downey was like a second father to my dad Gary Howard who was a firefighter under Ray when he was captain at Rescue 2. Ray is one of the people my dad misses the most. My dad learned the tools of the trade and all the tricks from Ray. Ray Downey was a great person and leader, may he rest in peace.
I PLAYED ROLLER HOCKEY WITH YOUR SONS RAY AND CHUCK.GOD BLESS YOU.
We miss you and love you and all who risked and lost their lives in that terrible day.
Colleen Corey ( mcgoldrick)
You are in my prayers and in my thoughts, I am the second cousin of Raymond, My family is still in shock of what has happen. All I know is that he died doing what he loved to do. We miss him and all the other but we know they are all in a safe place.
Chief Ray not only served his community in NYC, but the entire country as he worked to prepare our nation for the threat of terrorism. Ray was on a National Academy of Sciences committee and I was lucky enough to have met him there. I was immediately drawn in by his wisdom, kindness, and positive attitude of the world. His smile lit up the room.
Gone for two years now, but never forgotten. God blessed me by letting my path cross Ray's. May he watch over his family and comrades. "You've done good work here, Ray."
Chief Downey, I am at a loss of words to explain how truly blessed I feel at just knowing of you. I bid on your Bracelets for America on E-Bay and won..I never intended to lose such a great memorial. My prayers go out to your family and friends daily and only wish I could have met you in person. Perhaps God will let us meet in heaven, for heaven is surely where you are. You are an inspiration to all people and a special Angel for me. You have shown me the way to become a better person. Though God said it first, you practiced His words by honouring your neighbours and friends as you would have them honour you. Tears flow freely as I write this. I only hope that future generations get to read these tributes to one of the "Greatest Heroes Our Nation Will Ever Know"! God Bless you and all your family. May your sons continue in your footsteps even though you may only be there in spirit. You are an inspiration to us all.
My husband and I send our sincere prayers for your family to have strength, for strength was your forte! I can see it now in my grandson's eyes when he tells me he wants to be a policeman. Every last person who helped another in the WTC incident is a hero in our eyes.
With Love and Affection,
Mr & Mrs William T. Stacey, Jr.
I was fortunate enough to know Chief Downey and to serve on a couple committees/boards with him. Very nice guy, straight shooter, a master of his business. He invited me to ride with his most prestigious comapny....FDNY Rescue Co. #1. I was very honored.
The following are Quotes from Ray.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR TERRORISM ?
Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC)
April 16th, 1997
“Terrorism has taken on a new light. It’s a new part of the fire service that we all better prepare for.”
“Who is the first responder to terrorism? It’s you!”
“Think it’s not possible? Get with it!”
“It’s not a matter of what, where or who.....but when it’s going to happen.”
“IT’S GONNA HAPPEN......ACCEPT THE FACT.”
MAY BROTHER DOWNEY REST IN PEACE.
I just want to send you my condolancees. I now own a 911 bracelt with Raymond M Downey on it. I will/am very proud to own it and will wear it very proudly. He was a true hero and you should be very very proud of him. My thoughts are with you even after a year, they will be our hearts forever!
He who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it,...this one will be blessed in what he does.
My thoughts and prayers are with you today.
TO THE DOWNEY FAMILY
MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOUR FAMILY. YOUR FATHER/HUSBAND WAS A TRUE HERO YOU ALL MUST BE VERY PROUD OF HIM. WE ALL WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT TRAGIC DAY THAT TOOK SO MANY HERO'S SOMETIMES WE ALL MUST FEEL GUILTY BEING HERE AFTER THAT DAY BUT I KNOW YOUR FATHER IS NOW WITH GOD IN HEAVEN AND WATCHING OVER YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU. WITH LOVE, LISA AND KATRINA RICHARDSON
God Bless and watch over all of you. Ray will be missed but in our hearts here in New Hampshire.
To The Downney Family,
God Bless You All. May the memory of Ray serve as an inspiration to us all.
The Downey Family,
We had the pleasure of meeting you in a bad time and we also had the pleasure of being with you in a happier time. You are in our thoughts today and always and if there is anything we can do, please let us know. Stay as strong and as close a family that you are.
Our Deepest Sympathies,
Steve and Suzanne Clark (Budweiser)
I had the priviledge of serving on the National Academy of Sciences committee with Chief Ray Downey. Our work was to develop standards for city-based terrorism response units. He was a wonderful colleague, and brought so much knowledge to the work that we did.
The last time I saw him we were at a NAS meeting. After a long day of intense work we had an outdoor dinner. When the meal was over Ray stood up, smiled at all of us and said, "We did a good day's work here today. I'll be seeing you."
As I watched the towers burn and then collapse, I knew that Ray was there. I prayed for his safety, and then I prayed for his soul. His last words to us are a wonderful epitaph for him. He did many a good day's work, and we'll be seeing him...
With love and admiration,
Director, Office of Emergency Services
City of San Jose
With the entire nation, I grieve with you in your loss. Our church in NC sold MERCY BANDS (Bearing Anothers Name Daily) engraved with the names of the heros of 9-11. As a reminder for us to pray daily for the families of these heroes. I have Battalion Commander Raymond M. Downey. I wear this bracelet every day, and daily remember his sacrifice and pray for your families comfort and healing. As time goes on, events and details grow dim. Ray, and the sacrifice he made, will always be remembered.
God Bless you and your family, Until we all meet with Him in Heaven.
To The Entire Downey Family:
I first heard of Ray Downey during the tragedy in Oaklahoma. His experience was a gift there and was needed again. Life is not the final journey, as you well know. Hold fast to the memories for they never die. May God bless your wonderful family!
All our Love, Prayers and Thoughts are with you Rosalie and Family. His beautiful memory will always be cherished, as we remember the good times. Ray was a devoted and dedicated to his family and career and an inspiration to all. God Bless all the brave and their families.
Anita and Charley
Ray is a True American Hero.
God Bless Mr. Downey for his tremendous gift of life he gave to so many while risking his own. I have been blessed myself by being able to remember such a man by wearing his name engraved on a bracelet that I bought through an organization called Mercy Bands. I will never forget this gift of life Mr. Downey gave to so many helpless victims of 9-11 while sacrificing his own. My prayers will be with you always!
Please know my thoughts and prayers are with your entire family...my brother Gregory Stajk and cousin Martin McWilliams were also two of the 343 lost on 9-11...we are the "lucky ones" wherein our loved ones were identified...I'm glad you have some sort of closure at this point...can we call it closure???? Please know I am thinking of you...Sincerely, Ellen
I would like to express my deepest sympathy to your family. Along with your Dad, all of the FDNY deserve our the biggest thank you for what they did. Ray gave his life while trying to save my brother-in-law, Scott J. Obrien. He was also killed in the North Tower of the WTC. I know there is nothing that one can say to make anyone feel any better. I know we will never get over our loses, we just learn to deal with them the best way we can.
Love and Aloha to your family. May God bless. Tim Hayes
My prayers are with you in your time of loss. You will always be able to keep Ray alive in your hearts and thoughts and rest in the knowledge that he touch many lives and was well loved and respected by those around him. God Bless America
**********GOD BLESS YOU**********
Rosalie: You and Ray will never be forgotten. You are and will be in my prayers always. Thank you for helping to make my trip with you guys the most wonderful trip I have ever had. I will never forget hearing Ray tell you "Don't you think you have done enough shopping?" May god bless you and your family.
To the Downey Family,
I have just seen your story on MSNBC. May God bless you all. I strongly believe Father Judge was taken first to lead the men to heaven. Mr. Downey will be found when all of NYC Bravest have been recovered. Thank you for all you have done.
I am either friends or familiar with each and every one of you. Chuck and Ray- football teammates and high school friends
Marie- as the cheerleading coach of the K of C Dolphins in the late 70's with Kathy, Joey and Mrs.Downey on the sidelines never missing a play. Your father I remember well. His helping me get up after having the wind knocked out of me,issuing advice on what to do with an opposing player, or to pat me on the back after a good play,he was always inspirational. Whether it was Sunday Mass,football games or simply running on Deer Park ave his omniprescent nature was appreciated by my family and I on many levels. I'll always be thankful for his unselfish regard for others. Particularly, when your father was there to dispense calm and medical attention to my Nana, Eileen Granelle and others after the St.Cyril's bus accident a few years back. It is only through the horrible events of September 11th that I can now fully comprehend what a hero is- he is Ray Downey Sr.
All my prayers and respect,
James J Murtha
I have a bracelet with Firefighter Ray Downey's name on it. I am 12 years old and know all of his family misses him. I am very sorry he is not with you anymore.
I only met you and your family once at church and I knew then you were a gift from God... My prayers are with your family
Helen Alexander and family
I met Ray in over 10 yrs ago when our USAR team was 1st forming. He always encouraged me to keep asking the "tough" questions, to keep forging ahead to get our team on the "list". Saving lives was always important to Capt. (at that time) Downey. God Bless Ray and all of his family and friends. Keith C. Cleveland, Ohio ex CO-TF1 Search Team Mgr.
uncle ray was truly an amazing man. His greatness can still be seen and felt in the strength and character of aunt rosalie and the rest of the family. we miss him dearly.
TERRIFIC HUSBAND AND FATHER
DEVOTED FIREFIGHTER AND THE BEST IN ALL HE ACCOMPLISHED.
we will never forget you and the many good times we all had together
through the years as our families grew up, and the many celebrations
filled with joy and laughter.Our
hearts are with you, your wife and wonderful family. God Bless you Raymond and thank you for protecting our safety always. You will never be forgotten. God Bless America and keep it safe for our children and their children.
Ray, 1996-Brooklyn Navy Yard. Jimmy,Mark,Pete,Hank,John,Ralph you and I had a meeting I'll never forget. The java was bad but the advice was sound. You saved my life in more ways than one that morning. 800 miles south that day, I drove as fast as I could. I'm sorry brother. SODX
To my knowledge I am of no relation to the Mr. Raymond Downey family. But I wish them the Best that is possible. I also just recieved my 9-11 Honar Braclet and amazingly I recieved Raymond Downey. I wear it with pride.
Thank you Pvt. Damon Downey City of Lafayette Fire Department Eng.#6
may go bless u and your family.no i don't know or never met any of the downey family but from reading about him in this guest book from family and friends.i sure did miss out on knowing someone special.my husband is working at the trade center as i type this and i miss him much, he bought your bracelet along with others my son of 17 will wear it to honer mr.downey thank u and rest in peace ray
In Sept of 1994 the City of Newport News, Virginia, established it's first Special Ops. / Technical Rescue Team. One of the first team training seminars was given by Ray Downey in Fairfax Virginia. I had the honor of meeting him there for the first time. Little did I know that I would not see him again until April 20th, 1995. He issued our first assignment at the Murrah building. I was on one of the first squads to report for duty that afternoon as part of FEMA Virginia Task Force II. The events of September 11th have saddened me greatly, as it has the rest of this nation. It seems to me that besides being a fire fighter, and having that great connection, the only person I had actually met was Chief Downey. Clearly, I didn't know him well at all, but his death has brought me much grief. Last Friday, the 15th of March, my girlfriend surprised me at dinner by giving me a mercy band with Chief Downey's name on it. I'm certain that she didn't know the impact it would have on me and it immediately reduced me to tears in the middle of the restaurant. I am very pleased to proudly wear this band now and I consider myself very fortunate to have met Ray Downey. My prayers go out to you and your family. God bless you all!
I got started in this business after I was discharged from the army in '78. Started out as a volunteer in ther local rescue squad, then EMT, then Paramedic, and finally RN. 10 years as a RN in 2 of the busiest ER/Trauma Centers in Tennessee, and 7 in a Pediatric ICU. EMS is in my blood, had I been there on 9/11, I reckon someone would be writing in my guest book instead of me writing in yours. I look forward to the day that you and I can sit down and swap tall tales. As long as I live, you will too, in my heart.
To the Downey Family:
You do not know me, as I am a stranger and I am sure our paths would have never crossed if it wasn't for September 11. I am the person who brought you the original "memory bracelet" from Ohio - in October 2001. It was such a great feeling to know that my original bracelet made it to Mrs. Downey. Not a day goes by that I don't wear my duplicate bracelet in honor of Mr. Downey and when people ask me what it represents. I tell them the story and all of the wonderful stories I have read or heard about Mr. Downey.
From reading the stories and tributes, he seemed to have been a wonderful person in all aspects of his life.
May God bless and you and your families.
With much love,
We missed you in Salt Lake City at the Olympics Ray...But your memory will always be with us. I hope we did you proud.
True heroes are few and far between but thankfully for the rest of us, there are some like you. Thank you for all you've done and may you rest in peace.
I grew up with the Downey's and came to knew Ray very well. My fondest memories were with his family as a boy. He is a great man and will be remembered for his contributions to this country and fireman community. May he rest in peace and that he knows we all love and miss him dearly.
I just received the link to the tribute/legacy. Thank you for sharing this Memorial with those of us who share your pain and grieve with you however near or far. God Bless you and keep your family close!
To The Downey Family,
I'm at a loss to express the sadness I feel for all of you in the face of your loss. I remember what a close and loving family you all are, and I believe that in and of itself, is the finest tribute to your father that there ever could be. May God Bless all of you, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Mr. Downey is a hero not only because of his service as a firefighter, but as a man. I have had the priviledge of knowing Mr. Downey ever since i was a boy. He always had a smile and a kind word for me.I ran into him again at city hall a few years ago, and when I went up to say hello to him, he instantly recognized and remembered me; and started introducing me to some of his fellow chiefs. I wore his bracelet to work so my students would know what a hero is about, but to say the country lost it's greatest firefighter is an understatment. Impressive as that is, He is much more than that.To his family, you are in my prayers, and you have my constant sympathies and support.
ANYONE WHO KNEW MR.RAY DOWNEY, KNEW HE WAS A HERO PRIOR TO 9-11, I ALWAYS JOKED WITH MARIE FOR AN AUTO
GRAPHED PICTURE OF HER FATHER..THE HERO.. MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY.
Raymond M.Downey is a true hero. His name should be added in the dictionary next to the word hero.God bless. Louie & Janet...
To the Downey family, I did not have the honor of knowing Ray, but from what I do know of him through my brother, Larry, he was and will continue to be an awesome spirit and proud symbol of the Fire Department. Larry admired him a great deal and was very proud to have worked with him. God bless you all.
From Downeys across the country we all know how wonderful Ray Downey was. I have never meet the man, nor his family, but from one Downey to another I would like to say THANK YOU. Thank you Ray for helping our country fight for its beliefs. Thank You Ray for knowing right from wrong and choising right. Thank You Ray for being a role modle to children. But most of all Thank You Ray for being you. With the six month annivesary of 9/11 we our all reminded of the good and bad in this world. It is good to know that the Downeys are on the good side. God Bless You Ray and you family- and GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Ray will stand as a legendary figure in the fire service, and he was known and respected around the world for his contributions to Rescue. He saw it all, he really did write the book on Rescue, and he crossed the country sharing his knowledge of urban search and rescue with others (sometimes during the middle of national disasters as a leader of the FEMA US&R program). He has influenced so many of us, and his work will help save lives long after he was taken from us.
But despite all the honors, I suspect Ray was proudest of his wife Rosalie and the entire Downey family. What a legacy to have left behind.
My prayers and thoughts remain with Rosalie and the Downeys. I hope you are able to bring Ray home where he belongs.
L.A. County F.D. USAR Task Force 103
FEMA US&R "Red" I.S.T.
California US&R Task Force 2
Dear Rosalie, family & extended family, friends and colleagues,
The words I have read on this site tell the rest of the world what we have always had the privilege of knowing. God Bless your love for all and especially for Ray. When my mother passed on someone told me that God does not judge by how we love but by how we are loved. There is no doubt of where Ray is, only when we'll see him again. You'll always know where we are if you need us.
Richy & Denise
dear Marie and family, sorry i didnt get to see you personally yet but i just want you to know how much we all hurt for the entire family.You were very fortunate to have a man like your dad in your life, and everyone else he came in contact with. He was the kind of man other men dream of being like.
Im sure i will see you guys soon so keep doing what ever your doing to stay strong and to keep your dads name and memory alive.
all our love,
steve, carol, jake & rose
My heart aches for your family Ray-Ray... That is what we called you as a little boy.. Such a sweet boy who grew up to be a big man, in the best of ways.. Our lives took different paths away from 46th Street, however I never forgot you.. When my birthday came on Sept 17th I always thought of you on the 19th.. We had nice birthday parties when we were young, so innocent.. Glad I knew you then and proud of the life you made for yourself and your family.. Just know your with the angels.. Love from the Murphy's
Just a note to let you know your in my thoughts an prayers on this day, the 6 month anniversary. Joe, I think of you often and hope somehow your doing O.K.
FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE I AM AT A LOSS FOR WORDS......YOU ALL ARE VERY STRONG AND I GUESS IT COMES FROM YOUR DAD......THE APPLE DOESN'T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE. YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF HIM...GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND MAY HE ALWAYS REST IN PEACE.. ALL MY LOVE
I had known for a while that there was a Downey as a victim of 9-11. I have finally gotten the nerve up to search. Thank you for your service to your country, your state, and your city. Rest in peace.
To the whole Downey family,
My heart goes out to you for
your great loss.I know from what i
heard,about what a great man your
father was,but growing up with your family i know from the way all the
kid's were and the way you all turned out,you were brought up by great parents.Stay strong,my prayers
are with you
I'll be the first to admit that I never met Captain Raymond Downey of the FDNY/Special Operations. I came to know about him while I was providing security at Penn Station as a member of the New York Air National Guard. His loving children wore t-shirts, hats and bracelets in memory of him, and since I did not know who he was, I queryed his daughter about this fallen hero. Afterwards, I found more about this gentleman, and I'm in awe of meeting his family, although I wished that I could have met him in person. The love that his family displays the same love that this man had for his fellow firefighters, and those to whom he was sworn to protect on that fateful day. God bless Ray Downey, his family, FDNY,and finally, the U.S.A.
I am honored to have the privledge of owning the dog tag with Mr. Downey's name on it that was engraved in his honor and sold on Ebay. It hangs in my car and I look at it every single day. My prayers go out to the Downey family.
MAY THE DEAR LORD SHINE HIS LIGHT
ON THIS BEAUTIFUL MAN..RAYMOND M.
DOWNEY..MAY HE REST IN PEACE WITH GOD AND HIS ANGELS..GOD BLESS HIS
FAMILY AND FRIENDS..GOD BLESS AMERICA AND MAY WE NEVER FORGET 9/11/01..AMEN..WE SHOULD ALL PRAY
I am so proud to have his bracelet! I was asking on the FDNY Bulletin Board , who he was & so many people responded to me by E-mail & told me about this unbelievable man. Not only his family, friends & co-workers (whom I pray for daily), will miss him...but as I understand it, so will the whole country & even the world...that he spoke to. A great Angel is watching over everyone, now! We grieve with you! God Bless!
We thank Raymond and his son Chuck for helping save people as firefighters. Such dedication comes with brave, warm and caring hearts. We are extremely sorry for our nation's loss of Raymond. May his courage, life and love live on in others. May the sorrow in your hearts be lightened by the warm memories of times shared with Raymond. Our hearts cry deeply with you in America's loss of a hero.
We see your sorrow-
and our hearts cry....
We can not erase your pain
but you do not have to face the anguish alone-for we-
-the American people-
are beside you.
We so desperately want to have the touch that brings you comfort,
the strength that gives you courage,
and the words to lighten your spirits.
And when we are left speechless
may the silence of our nation weave love into your hearts
to ease your sorrow.
May you find healing through our nation's strength as we-
-the American people-
face this difficult time together. Our hearts are with you. Teresa Jahn
The U.S., and for that matter, the world has suffered more than we will ever know, and almost more than we can bear.
I am certain there were many great, near great, and soon-to-be great people lost in the planes and structures that fell on that dark day of Sept. 11. One of those Great people was Fire Chief Ray Downey. This man literally "wrote the book" on urban search and rescue techniques and operations. And it is because of this, and his altruistic calling, that he was one of those brave firefighters who was first on the scene at the WTC tragedy; directing search and rescue activities, using every ounce of his strength, experience, and command-presence tenacity to save those poor souls trapped in the WTC towers.
I have no doubt that because of his involvement there, even in the short few minutes he had before the world came crashing down on him - many lives of civilians and firefighters were saved. Just as he has done countless times before, just as I have seen him do it at the Oklahoma City Bombing and at the first WTC bombing, he stands there cool, calm and confident -- inspiring and instilling those same life-saving qualities in his personnel, and in the people whose lives he is responsible for saving.
I can picture him standing there - his jaw set firm, steel in his eyes, focused and resolute to do everything in his power to do it right - to do it in the FDNY way. This man was a firefighter's firefighter. He was loved and respected by all who knew him, and by all who knew of him. He was our friend, our mentor, and our brother. There is a giant hole in our hearts and lives; greater than the hole left in the New York City skyline.
Like a great General who dies fighting in a great battle, if this is the way the good Lord has chosen for our beloved brother to fall, we have no doubt he went down fighting - looking at the overwhelming enemy square in the face.
Thank you Ray for what you have taught us over the years. Thank you Lord for sharing this Great man with us. Bless him, and keep him as near to Your heart as he is in ours.
Chief Chuck Nicola, OCFA
California Task Force 5
Your father is not hero only to his family but to all American. I'm honoring your father by changing my name legaly to Ray.
God bless America.
I just want you to know that to me, Ray Downey epitomizes all that's right with America. These days, people seem to be dewlling on wht's wrong everywhere...
Well, to me, he was the real hero of September 11th -- along with the other fire fighters and the police officers.
I know it won't keep you warm on a cold night, but I wanted you to know.
God bless you all.
When I first Meet Ray he was the Capt. at Rescue 2, My you rest with the angles, and all the rest of the Brothers in Heaven, God Has some fire department up ther.
Please find comfort in memories of a wonderful man and amazing hero! Our hearts are with you, and you will never be forgotten.
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I went to Deer Park High School and graduated in 86. My heart broke when I heard about your terrible loss..God bless you all...Kim Tipton (Berrick)