Protector to the End
On Sept. 11, Philip T. Hayes rescued children from a day care center in 5 World Trade Center. Then, as debris fell from the sky, he ran into the south tower to redirect people out of harm's way.
It had always been that way. Mr. Hayes, 67, the second oldest of 16 children, was the cornerstone of his family and its great protector. He was the patriarch.
"I had a feeling that he had no fear of anything," said his son, Philip T. Hayes Jr. "To him, anything was possible."
A New York City firefighter from 1959 to 1979, Mr. Hayes lived in East Northport, N.Y., and had worked as fire safety director at the trade center since 1995. He loved that building. He loved those firefighters.
On Oct. 1, his daughter, Laura, gave birth to a son who weighed 9 pounds 11 ounces and was immediately given his grandfather's name.
"The weight, 9-11, correlates to the Sept. 11 date," Mr. Hayes's son said. "We all said, that's Dad, telling us in his own way, 'I'm still here, watching over you.' "
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 25., 2001