National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 27
Year of Death: 2001

Michael Emmett Brennan

Michael was a fun loving guy who always had a smile on his face. From when he was a little boy‚ he wanted to be a fireman. He joined the FDNY at 21.

Michael began his career at Engine 54‚ Ladder 4‚ Battalion 9‚ located at 48th and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. The house is known as ‘The Pride of Midtown.’ After Michael completed his training at the Fire Academy‚ he was assigned to Engine 54. After Michael completed his first year‚ he had to complete a required rotation. He went to a firehouse in Queens for one year and then to a Brooklyn house the following year. Michael loved the job at all locations but wanted to return to his house in Midtown. Mike returned to Engine 54 and moved over to Ladder 4.

Michael was studying to take the Lieutenant test in October 2001. On September 11‚ 2001‚ Michael and 14 other members of his house answered the call. Michael died a hero‚ doing what he loved. He earned 2 citations during his career.

Michael loved to snowboard and ski. He also enjoyed water sports. He was a skilled tiler and plumber.

Michael had a heart of gold and was always willing to help others. On July 19‚ 2002‚ the street where Michael grew up was renamed Michael Brennan Way.

His parents‚ stepparents‚ 4 sisters‚ and 4 brothers admired him and miss him dearly.

Michael‚ we will never forget you. Michael lived and loved life. He will be greatly missed.

-Veronica Brennan

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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    – Kathleen Lashinsky
  2. Michael – There are few souls as brave as yours. You will always be remembered as a true hero.

    – joni
  3. Today I ran in your honor for a fallen heroes 10k. I pinned your picture to my bib and did a personal best on my time. It was honor to have you with me.

    – Aricka Beck
  4. You are the true definition of a hero and you will always be remembered.

    – Chrissy
  5. Michael, our hero and our friend. You will always be remembered.

    – The Hickeys
  6. On April 28 2017 I completed the 911 Memorial Stair Climb at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, IN. I was honored to receive a tag bearing Michael’s name and picture to take with me on the climb. It wasn’t easy but I didn’t give up. I didn’t have to try too hard to imagine how difficult a climb it must have been for the members of FDNY. Thank you for your service. You and your brothers will never be forgotten.

    – Jennifer Ruwe
  7. I am honored to have known you and went to school with you…you are truly a hero

    – Kimberly Rought
  8. Remember picking you up from the train with all you football equipment for our game at John Adams. Restaurant near me is pouring a beer for each firefighter that died that day. I asked for yours…

    – D end
  9. In one of my classes I had to choose a victim of 9/11 and find out their story and I picked Michael. His story is touching and he sounds like he was an awesome person to be around. When we go to the 9/11 Memorial in NYC I am going to place a flag by his name.

    – Athena K.
  10. I’m not sure what’s the connections between us, but I know it’s more than a last name.

    – Ronnie Brennan
  11. Dear Eileen and family, I think of Michael often and the ultimate sacrifice he made so others could live. My aunt and uncle, Peter and Cecile Walsh, remember their nephew with much love in their heart, and I know Michael, Uncle Peter and Matthew are watching over all of us. Love , Cecile

    – Cecile Locurto
  12. I never had the pleasure of knowing you. But I will not let you be forgotten.

    – Susan Suits
  13. Michael was a student at SUNY Delhi around 1993 studying plumbing. I was a lab instructor, he was in my class. Great kid never a dull moment. He missed class one and I asked him where he was, he said he was in the city taking the test for the FDNY. RIP Michael.

    – John Madeo
  14. Every anniversary of 9/11 I attend the Red Rocks Memorial Climb, Denver Colorado. We climb the stairs around the amphitheater equal to the height of the World Trade Center. Event contributions benefit the Fallen Firefighters Foundation. I carried your photo on my person as I climbed and thought of you and your comrades. Many of the participants at the event are firefighters in their full gear, with hoses, oxygen tanks, etc. It was an honor to be shoulder to shoulder with such dedicated and inspired people. We will never forget your sacrifice, Jack Lopez

    – Jack Lopez
  15. I’ve climbed in the Kansas City 9/11 memorial stair climb for the past 6 years. Evey year you can climb for the same firefighter or have a new assigned to you. I have always keep with Michael and every year on this day I always research him on the internet to learn more about him. It’s my honor to climb for him. He has made an impact on my life and I Will Never Forget you brother!!

    – Jeremy Allison
  16. I carried your picture and info on a badge yesterday (9-11-18) to the top of Snow King Mountain in Jackson, WY during a memorial hike. The goal was to climb the 110 stories that firefighters climbed on 9/11, but I went a little further to make sure you could enjoy the view of the Tetons from the top. After seeing here that you enjoyed snowboarding as I do, I’m glad you could be with me on this beautiful ski hill on a glorious evening. Thanks for being my climbing partner…we will never forget your sacrifice.

    – Sarah Rowe
  17. I am a 26 year veteran of the Little Rock FD, we had our first 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb today 9/7/2019. I picked your name to carry with me, it was an honor. My brother and son are both on the department as well. My entire family is thankful for your courage and sacrifice in service of others. We will never forget you. Thank you again, God bless you and your family.

    – Arthur Schmeckenbecher
  18. Climbed the 110 flights through Lambeau field 9-7-19 in your memory. Your service, sacrifice and life are not forgotten.

    – Cathy Borek
  19. In Columbus, Ohio yesterday (9-8-19) I participated in the annual 9/11 stair climb. I had the honor or wearing Michael’s name to honor him. Thank you for your sacrifice, it was an honor.

    – Andy Brower
  20. A hero, a friend and missed by everyone who knew him. Prayers to the Brennan family.

    – Jason Villar
  21. I went to Utica with Michael and he was a great friend . I saw the ceremony today and I teared up then smiled. He was the kind of guy that had fun and would take care of friends or anyone that needed help. A true hero. Miss u mike. Love u bro Kevin merrill

    – Kevin merrill
  22. I carried your picture today (9/11/19) for my first memorial stair climb in Lexington, KY. My husband became a fire fighter this year and was on shift during the climb. Halfway through our climb we rang a bell and spoke the name of the first responder we carried with us. Thank you for your service and sacrifice Michael and thank you for climbing with me today.

    – Danielle Eilerman
  23. Also, I picked you because my husband is also Ladder 4.

    – Danielle Eilerman
  24. Michael, I never met you, but our Grandfathers were brothers. From their native Ireland, yours went to make a new life if the US, mine came to the UK.
    Today it’s 19 years since that dreadful day.
    I always raise a glass on this day to the second cousin I never met, and always will. There’s only a couple of years between us, I’m sure we’d have got on brilliantly if we’d ever got together.
    When I get the chance I’ll visit Ladder 4 and say hello to a true family hero.
    God bless mate.

    – Iain Timlin
  25. The Firefighter

    I often find myself thinking about my cousin Michael Emmet Brennan, a firefighter assigned to the Pride of midtown fire house in Manhattan. I first met him in 1990 soon after I arrived in New York City and was immediately impressed with his wonderful sense of humor and the way he made me feel truly welcome. He had the unique qualities of physical strength coupled with childlike gentleness. I sensed a good soul. Always jovial, he had a ready smile, a sharp wit, and his greatest desire was to become a firefighter.

    When he finally realized his ambition his sense of pride was all consuming. He seemed to walk just a little taller and his stride appeared to be a little bit longer. On the morning of Sept.11 2001 he responded to the call of duty like so many of his comrades and made his way back to Manhattan. Earlier, he had completed his previous night’s shift and was having breakfast with his mother and sister at home in Sunnyside, Queens, when the phone rang. The call was for Michael. He listened to the voice on the other end, hung up the phone, turned to his mother and said calmly, “Mom, I have to go.” He never came back home.

    I stepped out from my apartment on a glorious August morning and was greeted by the aroma of the plants and shrubs in the flower beds that ran the length of the avenue. The heady scent took my breath away, as it always did, the trees were in full leaf and the sun was warm. I waved to Jim the doorman and motioned for him to straighten his hat. Jim was a good doorman but had a habit of wearing his hat pushed back on his head and slightly tilted, which is a no-no for a Park Avenue doorman.

    As I walked to the corner, I barely noticed the blare of the two-way traffic or the impatient honking of the cab drivers as I stood there enjoying the moment. The low rumble of a Metro North train heading uptown underneath the avenue barely caught my attention and I remember thinking how fortunate I was to be living in that great neighborhood. The sanctuary of Central Park was not more than two blocks away and from the moment I stepped inside, the city disappeared, the noise faded, and the magic would begin. I normally used the entrance beside the Metropolitan Museum and would make the Egyptian obelisk the first stop on my rambles.

    Suddenly, my reverie was interrupted when I was grabbed from behind in a bear hug, lifted in the air and told, “Aha! I’ve got you now you Irish Mick.” I knew right away that it was Michael as bear hugging was his favorite method of greeting and I would not have been surprised if he hugged real bears, he was burly enough and I am sure he had many opportunities to do so as he loved the outdoors lifestyle. “Sorry to wake you up,” he said laughing and when he finally decided to put me down, we talked for a while like old friends. He spoke about his uncle Joe who had recently returned to Ireland and we talked about our Irish heritage and of course women. I cracked an old, familiar joke about how ‘fast women and slow horses’ had always been my downfall and he roared laughing and added, “Don’t forget the bad whiskey.”

    Isn’t it strange the things that we remember later?

    He always laughed at that joke even though I must have told it a hundred times. He was like that. We chatted for more than an hour and as he was about to leave, I asked him a question that had been on my mind for some time but never got around to asking. I said, “Michael, of all the careers at your fingertips why on earth did you pick one of the most dangerous when you could have chosen the one that the rest of the family follows?” I was referring to the fact that many of his relatives, including me, were building managers. He paused for a split second, looked me directly in the eye and with matter of fact seriousness answered,

    “Cousin, maybe one day I will have to come into your building and carry you out.”
    His answer simple yet so profound, confirmed everything that made Michael one of those special beings we are fortunate to meet in this lifetime. He was one of those rare breeds who would, literally, lay down their lives to save others. He truly did lead by example and showed us all that actions do indeed speak loudest.

    Three weeks after that black day in September, I was sitting on my couch with my daughter who was staying with me for a few days. The topic of conversation was Michael. His body had not yet been found and we were waiting anxiously for news. Ever since the dark, fateful day of his disappearance I kept a lighted candle on my coffee table. It was an old Irish custom meant to welcome home anyone parted from their loved ones.

    As we sat there talking quietly, a sudden blast of cold air swept across the room and extinguished the candle flame. Joanne and I noticed it at the same time and quickly looked at each other with open mouthed surprise. No more than two minutes later the phone rang. The voice on the other end informed me that Michaels’ remains had been recovered from the rubble of the twin towers.

    I am so glad that I got to meet Michael and get to know him, if only for a few short years. If I had not, I am certain that it would have been one of those regrets my father had warned me about all those long years ago.

    © John A. Brennan 2021. All Rights Reserved.

    – John Anthony Brennan
  26. 20 years and we still remember. Your bravery is an inspiration to us all. Your actions were courageous and selfless. You are a hero in every sense of the word, we will never forget.

    – Maria Greco
  27. Hi. I wanted to reach out because our son was given Michael’s name card 10 years ago during a September 11th ceremony. He requested that we keep it on our refrigerator so we can see his name and remember his sacrifice. We still have his card up and look at it daily, remembering his loss. My son is now serving in the US Army in the infantry. I know the events of September 11th, And Michael’s sacrifice did influence this decision. I’m hoping his family sees this because I want them to know their son is not forgotten.

    – MaryBeth Gesell
  28. Today I climbed the Springfield MO memorial stairclimb with Michael’s badge. As I climbed, I prayed for his family and friends. 21 years later we still remember and pause for these fallen heroes. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice.

    – Lorie Jenkins
  29. I ran the Tunnel to Tower this past weekend in Utica NY and wore your tag proudly. God rest your soul.

    – Gina Szczygiel
  30. Today I participated in the 11th Annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. I proudly carried your badge and climbed in your honor! I participate in this every year, but this was a bit different in that I just had knee surgery three weeks ago yesterday. As my knee started bothering me, I kept in mind how much worse you had it in that tragic day and kept climbing! You will never be forgotten, Michael!

    – Denise M Calmes
  31. On 9/9/2023 I climbed the 110 story equivalent and you were climbing with me. It was 110 stories of reflection and quiet introspection. You will forever be a hero in my heart and I am honored to have spent a little time with you this morning. Rest peacefully, hero.

    – Rick Anderson
  32. It was an honor to carry a tag bearing FF Michael Brennan’s name in the Biloxi Tunnel to Towers yesterday. #neverforget

    – Carly
  33. I’m a new firefighter and just completed my first 9/11 stair climb here in Tampa fl. I was giving a picture Michael Brennan from Ladder 4 to carry with me. I’m very honored to be able to keep your name alive, sir. Thank you for all you did, Michael Brennan, you are a true American hero.

    – Jeremy Clement
  34. Fourth memorial climb this year and Michael’s picture was the first one I grabbed again. My first climb 4 years ago was before I decided on a path in the fire service. This year, my goal is to make the transition from medic only to FF/PM. Michael’s picture will be hanging in my gear locker at my station.

    – Danielle Eilerman
  35. Mikey B! I can’t believe its been 22 years. Almost half our lives. You were the most fun, the most crazy, the most loyal person I knew. You saved lives that day and died a hero. Accomplishing so much in your very short life. All of my memories of you and Laura bring nothing but a smile to my face. You were one of the good guys. Rest in eternal peace.

    – Cara Endriss