Hero is defined as “a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities.” While this definition encompasses the actions of the bravest and best of our world, it will never be enough to define the giant of a man my family lost.
Michael L. Feldman was born in 1957 to Carole and Jerry Feldman. Michael knew from an early age that he wanted to be a member of FDNY. Growing up, Michael loved driving fast cars and living life faster. He loved boating and fishing and was the life of any room he walked into. Michael always looked out for his friends and family. He was a loyal and fierce friend, the one you always wanted in your corner.
Michael was a volunteer firefighter for the Long Beach Fire Department for many years, and he was extremely talented in many other areas. His talents with computers led him to a successful career with the Department of Defense. He felt a deep pride and passion for serving his country, a country he felt gave him so much. While he would have been set for the rest of his life with such a fulfilling career, in 1989 he decided to chase his dream.
He started his career as a firefighter in Coney Island, New York, and so began a distinguished 16-year career. Michael took such pride in his work; he knew it was his calling and truly loved the job. He received multiple awards and acknowledgements for his outstanding performance over the years. Saving lives and supporting his fellow firefighters was so natural to Michael. It was that passion that made the events of September 11, 2001, even more painful for him. Like many other brave men and women, Mike spent countless hours, days, and weeks working at Ground Zero. We all knew it was painful for him emotionally, but it took a physical toll that we would never fully understand until years later in 2019, when he was diagnosed with 9/11 cancer.
It is so hard to put into words what he meant to his friends and his family, the void he has left in all our lives. Everyone who knew him knew beyond any doubt that you could depend on Mike to stand up and do whatever needed to be done. Among all his qualities, his spirit, sense of humor, energy, and approach to life is what will be instilled in the hearts of those who knew him and worked with him.
He left this world as a husband to Donna, father to Marisa and Danielle, grandfather to Lily and Nicholas, stepfather, and valued friend. We love him, we miss him, and we could not be prouder of this amazing man. Love you very muchly.