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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 44
Year of Death: 2001

Kevin M. O’Rourke

Kevin was a man who loved life‚ but two things he loved more than anything else were his family and his work. He had wanted to be a firefighter since he was a little boy and we couldn’t imagine him being anything else. He taught his two daughters‚ Corinne and Jamie‚ to always try their hardest at whatever they chose to do.

He was considered by all an ‘all around nice guy.’ We lost a great husband‚ father‚ son‚ brother and friend.

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. If we met on the street we have never known each other for it was when we were wee tots that I knew you @ St.Joachims .. But being the Guy you are your name was always mentioned . Thank You for all your Service , RIP <3 May your beautiful family always stay strong

    – Debra Andrino
  2. I had the honor in doing the stair climb in your Memory today. It is a moving experience I will never forget. Even though I by passed a few flights, we hit the bell in your honor at the 78th floor and finished. R.I.P. and may your memory live on through those who knew and loved you.

    – Dawn Novitski
  3. Thou we never get to say hello. We wanted your family to know that in our little town of Wheatfield N.Y. Just north of Buffalo there was a tribute on this past 9/11 and my family and I went to it. There was over three thousand flags flying in honor of the people that lost there lives that day. After the beautiful ceremony you could purchase one of these flags. My wife walked up to this flag without looking at the name on it and said she had a good feeling about this one. Little did we know about Kevin M O’Rourke. We now know the story of Kevin and what a great man he was. We fly this wonderful flag at our home in honor of him and had a plaque telling a little about him. My family thanks you for sharing such a great man with us and want you to know that we will never forget what he did for us! So for now we honor are HERO and hope to see him soon! Dan&Donna Colpoys

    – Dan & Donna Colpoys
  4. I recently spent a few days in New York and visited the 9/11 Memorial. As I approached the wall the first name that that sprung out at me was Kevin M O’Rourke and being Irish myself I felt a connection with what appeared to be an Irish name. I said to my travel companion ” I guess he was Irish or of Irish decent and I feel he must have been a fireman”. I took a little picture of his name and decided to look it up on my return home and so found him on here. I can not find words to explain the sadness I felt that day. Like many others I watched the horror unfold on TV here in the UK. Kevin was obviously a great guy who gave his life on that day and I am proud to have been able to read a little about him. My love goes out to his family and all who knew him. The memorial is amazing and I found it a very emotional experience being there. God bless you all. Philomena

    – Philomena Izzard
  5. There was a Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K race in Buffalo and runners had the opportunity to wear a badge in honor of a fallen 9/11 hero. Amidst so many names, Kevin’s popped out at me because of the familiar O’ … I was proud to race in his honor this morning wearing a badge with his name and picture on it. I hope his family knows that he is still being remembered. May God bless you all and all those who lost loved ones on that tragic Tuesday. Love and prayers from Buffalo!

    – Siobhan O'Connor
  6. I am so humbled by the experience to climb today in your honor. The feelings within that stairwell today were overwhelming at the least. Such an honor to have on the badge with you name, and a glowing picture to show your true personality. Thank you for all that you did, and laying your life down for others. God bless you and your family, Sir.

    – Teresa Forson
  7. I found you through Jim Defede’s book and also through the Broadway musical Come From Away. What a beautiful story. Rest In Peace

    – Gwen McQuaig
  8. Kevin every day since you ran up, not knowing you would touch Heaven, you have been missed. We had a plan to grow old together in public service, so I will have you by my side or on my shoulder. Love and miss you Brother and hope I make you proud. Till we meet again keep the tinkering going. While I struggled and overcame, I will honor you everyday.

    – Keith Carman
  9. I had the honor of climbing in memory of Kevin M. O’Rouke in the stair climb at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. It was a humbling experience that I will always remember. I climbed because he climbed. Never Forget.

    – Connie Malueg
  10. God bless 17 yrs later and it still hurts.

    – Vickie Sandover
  11. I was young when 9/11 happened, but each year since the gravity of everything hits me more as I get older. I just read about Kevin in “The Day the World Came to Town.” As a fellow Catholic of Irish descent, and a fellow American, my heart breaks at the loss of a good man like Kevin to such unspeakable evil. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice Kevin, it is not forgotten. I will say a prayer for your family today who must miss you terribly.

    – Mary
  12. I am so sorry for those that have lost their lives during the terrible tragedy of 9/11

    – Samantha Marin
  13. Just saw “Come From Away” and was drawn to discover: who was the fallen firefighter depicted in the play? Just one more person remembering this son/father/friend and the sacrifice he made that day. A devastating loss. I’m sure you are proud.

    – Diana Carwithen
  14. While listening to Come From Away, I had to find Hannah’s son and put a face to her heartbreak. May you forever be memorialized in this show and our memories.

    – Amethyst Stuart
  15. I wanted to share that I took a picture of the 911 memorial last year while visiting New York and Kevin’s name stuck out to me as it did with others that have commented (maybe because my Dads name is Kevin, but I can’t be sure). I have always wanted to look him up and I finally did today. Of course, he was an all American hero and family man….it seems it is always the good ones that we lose too soon. I was 20 years old on 9/11 and I have always wanted to visit the memorial and just BE in New York, because it impacted my life so greatly. I will NEVER forget what happened to my fellow Americans that day. God Bless Kevin, his family and all of the victims.

    – Annie Mechlin
  16. Just today finished a book on tape of the Gander, Newfoundland landings of the inbound planes to NY that fateful day of 9/11/2001. In it was the story of his parents on one of the flights. Their anguish over the coming days and not knowing if this brave lad was just missing or had perished is vividly written about.
    The book or tape is “ The day the world came to town” (9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland).
    This brave man will always be in my thoughts as I think of that day. As a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran we know that to remember him and the other fatalities of that day, is to honor them. We bring them back on stage when we think of them which is an honor to their memory. Semper Fidelis

    – Gene McCandless
  17. I was honored to join two Batesville Indiana firefighters on a 110 floor 9/11 memorial challenge, 9/11/2020. To the best of my knowledge, Kevin and I were not related but I dedicated my efforts in Kevin’s name. Thank you for your service and may God be with you !

    – Jim ORourke
  18. 20 years later and your story is as heartbreaking as ever. Such a brave man and I’m sure Corrine and Jamie are so proud of you, we all are. All your Irish relations are thinking of you on this day. Rest in peace.

    – Billy Mc Donnell
  19. Today is my sister’s birthday and she chose to do the stair climb tribute at Lambeau Field since it’s been twenty years since 9/11. Three of us did it together. I did the climb in honor of Kevin M. O’Rourke and was proud to say his name as I rang the bell. We will not forget.

    – Karen Bracker Rathburn
  20. Today is my sister’s birthday and she chose to do the stair climb tribute at Lambeau Field since it’s been twenty years since 9/11. Three of us did it together. I did the climb in honor of Kevin M. O’Rourke and was proud to say his name as I rang the bell. We will not forget.

    – Karen
  21. Kevin, I am the age you were when you lost your life 20 years ago today. It was my honor to climb 110 flights of stairs for you today because you could not. I wish you were enjoying a well deserved retirement with your loved ones around you. Your sacrifice will NEVER be forgotten. My love to your family.

    – shauna murray
  22. I too had to put a face to Hannah’s son Kevin, that was featured in the musical “Come From Away.”

    So, I echo & second Amethyst Stuart’s above comment, “While listening to Come From Away, I had to find Hannah’s son and put a face to her heartbreak. May you forever be memorialized in this show and our memories.”

    – Tywanda Mines
  23. I recently saw “Come From Away” and was in absolute awe – the performances; the music; the stories told through song. It touched me in a very deep and profound way. I have been reading a lot about the real-life characters portrayed in the play. While there is so much good in humanity (i.e. the people of Gander), there is so much evil, such as the attacks of 9/11. Kevin – thank you for your service to others and for your bravery. The events and loss of life, due to hatred, is unimaginable. May you rest in peace. Blessings to your family and friends, who I know miss you and think of you every day.

    – Karen Levi
  24. Kev’s legacy endures in Belltown.

    – Ladder Co. 4/Seattle
  25. I did the stair climb at the 2022 FDIC at Indy in honor of Kevin M. O’Rourke. Never forgotten!

    – Jason Shackleford
  26. I will run tomorrow in your memory, Kevin O’Rourke, in a Tunnel to Towers 5k in our small town of Lake Zurich, Illinois. I am honored to represent you as well as your family, who will never be forgotten by me personally.

    You gave it all to your job and to all of us. My heart aches reading online recollections of you and the impacts on your fellow first responders. God give you eternal rest and grant peace to your wife and children and all who knew and loved you.

    I have the badge of fellow firefighter Scott Larsen of Ladder 15 at my desk from last year’s run. I say a prayer for his good soul daily. It is an honor to place your badge next to his to be remembered and thanked each day as well.

    Peace to your family.

    – John Schranz
  27. I wish I could have meet the man here. We share the same last name so when I saw his name I knew I had to pay my respects to him and his family! Thank you for everything you’ve done for us!

    – Christopher O’Rourke
  28. We grew up on the same block, so we were automatically friends. In those simple days Kevin was simply a good hearted kid. His career as a firefighter was well known, and the locals all respected his professionalism. Kevin is a legend in the 5 towns and a true hero of our generation. Rest in peace brother, you will not be forgotten.

    – Levi Messinetti
  29. I hope you saw the play Come from Away.
    There is a character in the play who portrayed Kevin’s mom, stuck in Canada trying desperately to contact him on 911. She was a passenger on one of the American Airlines flights that diverted to Gander.
    Sadly, it’s in its last week’s on Broadway

    Kevin was also proudly displayed in the 9/11 memorial Museum that was forced to close permanently due to covid. It was an incredible museum, so I hope you got the opportunity to see that as well.

    – Gina Quad
  30. I never knew of Kevin O’Rourke but feel the pain of th 343 lost that terrible day in 2001. I came to hear of Kevin from the Broadway show “Come from Away.” I wanted to meet the actress who played Hannah O’Rourke and give her a big hug for the great loss to the O’Rourke family. God Bless the family and Rest in Peace Kevin!! God Bless the FDNY and God Bless America!!!

    – Jack Hamilton
  31. Mr. Kevin O’Rourke is more than a Firefighter to me, he’s a role model and prime example that there’s still good people in the world. His life motivated many as well continues to motivate myself to never give up on my Faith. I hope to one day have as big of a heart as he did and one day be a firefighter. He’s with God for sure God Bless his Family!

    – Thomas Cilfone
  32. thank you for your service, Kevin.

    – josh
  33. Kevin was my cousin. My dad was orphaned at 8. Grew up with Kevin’s mom Hanna. Kevin was rescued from an apt fire at an early age. It left a big impression on him. It was a life goal to be a fire fighter. Thank you all for your Beautiful Tribues. Rest in peace Kevin.

    – Dennis Keena
  34. I read about you in Jim Defede’s book. You were a great guy. Rest in Peace Kevin M. O’Rourke.

    – Satvik Mainali
  35. I did 110 floors in your memory a few days ago on the stair master and haven’t stopped thinking about you since. I will continue to do my part to get every last name on the wall at my gym. We will never forget you. Rest in peace, Kevin O’Rourke.

    – Kyliegh Henslee
  36. Never forgotten my friend. Never. Richie

    – Richard Trotta
  37. I never met him, but his niece and I grew up just one block from each other. I remember the loss hitting her family hard. I also remember the love and support they received from the community. I hope the family takes solace in the fact that hero’s blood runs through their veins. I joined the Navy not long after high school due to the events of that day and 22 years later, I find it so strange that most of my Junior Sailors have no recollection of 9/11. I will continue to tell stories like that of Kevin O’Rourke to keep the memory of the fallen alive. Never Forget.

    – Lucas Galman
  38. I remember playing at Kevin’s house when My Mom (Anne) brought us there to play when we were kids. I also attended Catholic school at St. Joachims with Kevin and his brother Dennis. My Mom was good friends with Kevin’s Mom Hannah. After all of the years passing, seeing his picture again brings back nice memories. Rest in peace Kevin, a true Hero.

    – Greener, James
  39. I was honored to participate in the 1st Tunnel to Towers 5K run/walk today, November 4th 2023 at The Villages, FL in memory of Kevin.

    – Sarah Perkins