9/11 Cash Makes Its Way Back To Victim's Father


Site Administrator
Community Leader
Link to Firehouse.com story

I read this story and I just had to post it here.

9/11 Cash Makes Its Way Back To Victim's Father

Courtesy of The New York Post

A small wad of bills found in the debris of the World Trade Center has finally found its way home to the family of a firefighter who died on 9/11.

The remarkable journey of these folded $10s, $5s and $1s ? a total of $74 ? ended at Police Headquarters on Monday after James Boyle received a call saying that DNA tests confirmed they belonged to his son, Michael.

"I was stunned," said Boyle, the former president of the firefighters union. "I had to take a deep breath."

Boyle's 37-year-old son died after finishing his shift at Engine Co. 33 in the East Village and heading to the Twin Towers after the first plane struck.

The elder Boyle worked day and night at Ground Zero helping in the search for remains. His son's bunker gear with the name "Boyle" on the back was found four months later, buried beneath the ruins.

Remains found inside the protective clothes were eventually buried on April 20, 2002.

"We pretty much thought that was the end and there was some closure," Boyle said.

But last Thursday, Boyle was at home when NYPD Officer Michael Henley telephoned with the bittersweet news that some of his son's belongings had been identified ? three $10s, four $5s and 24 singles that had Michael's DNA on them.

The cash was found separately from Boyle's remains, so investigators didn't have a clue they were connected to the slain firefighter. But they found traces of DNA material on the bills in sufficient quantities to test. The genetic material proved to be a match with Boyle's.

James' own firefighter experience told him instinctively that the assortment of cash had to be from a firehouse collection his son apparently made the night before he perished to pay for his engine company's meal.

"I had put so much effort into finding out what happened on 9/11," said Boyle, 65. "Suddenly, I was hit again with a very personal thing."

He immediately telephoned his wife, Barbara, who was in Rochester visiting their daughter, Jeanne, after the birth of Jeane's girl.

With the required Surrogate Court paperwork he needed to claim his son's property, Boyle went to Police Headquarters, where he was handed a clear glassine evidence pouch with his son's folded cash inside.

The unmistakable scent of Ground Zero wafted up from the keepsake when he opened it to touch another piece of his son.

"You can never forget that smell," said the retired 31-year FDNY veteran.

He headed to Ground Zero to be where his son died.

"I was holding the money and trying to figure out what hit my son and wondering whether they knew it was coming, which they must have because of the rumble and roar," he explained.

He then circled Ground Zero and recalled how he had his own brush with death that day after walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to help and being nearby when the towers fell.

"I had to tell people about it," he explained. "How I just feel real good to have another part of something that belonged to my son and that reminds me of him."


I put the M in EMTLife
Community Leader
Amazing story, I dont think I can say more.