Band of Dads

Joe Downey

September 11, 2001

Joe Downey

On September 11, when FDNY Captain Joe Downey of Squad 18 arrived at the smoking remains of what used to be the World Trade Center, the first thing he did was approach a fire chief and ask, "Have you seen my dad?" The chief turned away without giving Joe an answer. He could not bear to tell Joe that his father, 63-year-old Deputy Chief of Special Operations Ray Downey, was missing. It was then that Joe knew something was wrong. Days later, Joe and his two firefighter brothers, Ray, Jr., and Chuck, found their father's crushed car and spent hours retrieving personal items, such as one of Ray's favorite caps, which Joe now holds close to his heart. Joe quoted his dad as once saying, "I have no intention of ever retiring. They'll have
to throw me out. "Joe, following in his dad's footsteps, has since been promoted to Battalion Chief and works in the elite Special Operations Command.

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