A Shy Son, a Hero
"I love you, take care of yourself." That was how David Halderman always ended his telephone conversations with his mother.
And this year his mother, Geraldine Halderman, had come to rely more than ever on hearing those words, uttered from her serious, shy and loving son, who she said would have been "embarrassed by all the fuss that's been made over him" since he was killed on Sept. 11. He was a firefighter with Squad 18 in Manhattan, a nine-year veteran.
Firefighter Halderman's father, who was also a firefighter, died last August, six days after his son's 40th birthday. The younger firefighter spent his summer vacation accompanying his mother to the hospital, and he called her every night to check on her.
A belated birthday celebration ‹ nothing fancy, because Firefighter Halderman did not "like to be in the forefront," his mother said ‹ was still being planned when he perished.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 23, 2001.