Sean Patrick Tallon was a probationary firefighter at Ladder 10‚ the fire station located directly across from the World Trade Center. He was among the first to respond to the attack on our nation on September 11‚ 2001. He was a brave U.S. Marine and NYC firefighter.
Throughout his short time with us‚ Sean made my father and mother very proud‚ while at the same time remaining very modest about his abilities and accomplishments‚ often remarking how good others were at just the tasks we saw him do so well himself. He wore his insecurities on his sleeve and wasn’t ashamed to admit them‚ whether it was about approaching a girl for a date or being able to pass the Fire Department physical. These little anxieties were endearing and made him someone that people felt comfortable admitting their weaknesses to without feeling vulnerable.
It was hard to imagine that Sean could ever feel insecure. He was such a handsome‚ tall‚ fit fellow‚ with fair hair‚ smoky green eyes‚ tan skin‚ and ruddy cheeks. His spitfire wit would have you cracking a smile when you were in your worst of moods. His Marine platoon buddies were activated for duty after the attack and they expressed that they would miss Sean’s love of a good laugh and his ability to diffuse a tense situation with a quick witty comment.
Sean played varsity football at Fordham Prep‚ graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from Iona College‚ reached the rank of Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves‚ and served the community as an EMT in the Bronx before becoming a NYC fireman. He was a devout Catholic and attended Mass every Sunday. Sean’s nickname was hard-charger‚ not just because he was a Marine‚ but because he charged head-on into the events of his life with great intensity. Sean often expressed his admiration for the hard work that my mother and father had done throughout our lives‚ and I know that he wanted to make them happy. Therefore‚ he worked hard to graduate from college and get his firefighting job.
When barbecuing or playing with our dog Rainbow in the backyard‚ Sean would blast Irish music from his bedroom window. Within the past few years‚ Sean had started playing his childhood instrument‚ the button accordion. On any given evening after coming home from the firehouse‚ or on a weekend afternoon‚ Sean would pick up his accordion and play some lively reels‚ jigs‚ and hornpipes. He loved to watch NY Mets baseball and NY Ranger hockey with my Dad in the living room‚ while eating a feed of Mom’s chicken cutlets.
The morning of September 11th‚ Sean removed the tags off a green Irish rugby shirt he had purchased just two weeks before on a trip to Ireland with my parents. My mom said he was beaming. That prior weekend he had served his Marine duty‚ and on Sunday night he went out with his good friend‚ Rob‚ to look for some girls. They made plans to continue the search for Mrs. Right that Thursday. He was so happy to be completing his probationary year on the Fire Department. Sean took his firefighter job very seriously and was a very diligent probie. The new probies had been assigned to his firehouse recently‚ and Sean was no longer the most junior man. He finally had reached a position in life where he was content with himself and his confidence was shining through.
The most beautiful thing about Sean was that he always wanted the best for other people. For such a strong‚ tough guy‚ he felt deeply for others. He always made sure that he thought enough about a person’s problem so that he could give them some good simple advice. Sean somehow managed to be a tough-guy with a very sensitive heart. I couldn’t have asked God for a better brother. My parents and I pray that Sean has reached God’s bright home in Heaven with all the angels and saints where there is no sweat‚ pain‚ or tears. We pray that God will take Sean into His loving arms‚ where he will be happy and at peace. We hope he is waiting there safely for us so that we can talk and laugh again with him someday.
– Eileen Tallon