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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 26
Year of Death: 2001

Sean Patrick Tallon

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

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  1. I was stood outside `Ten House` last month.
    You are thought of with admiration and pride

    – Elaine
  2. This Sunday is the annual stair climb here in Lancaster Pennsylvania. This year I will try to carry Sean Tallon. I do this with a heavy but proud heart. It breaks my heart that we have to do this but I do it with great pride and honor. He will not be forgotten. I think of all those that perished that day and their families every day. I carry every tag I have carried in years past plus the one I am carring for the current year. Sean will not be forgotten as long as I am on this earth. I would like to know more about Sean so I can help keep his memory and legacy alive. Please feel free to email me. Thank you for your time. Robert Roemer. [email protected]

    – Robert Roemer
  3. I did my first stair climb today, the fourth one held at Lambeau. Sean sounds like an awesome guy. I’m glad to have had the chance to climb in his honor today.

    I thank him for his service to our nation, and giving the ultimate sacrifice.

    – Shawn
  4. I participated in the Memorial Stair climb yesterday inn Bismarck N D. I had the honor to wear a badge with Seans picture on it. I am honored and humbled to have had the privilege to honor such a great young man. God Bless Sean and all of you for your tragic loss. I am sure he is in the arms of our mighty God…

    – Carol Holman
  5. Hello
    I had the honor of climbing Lambeau Feild, in the remembrance of your loved one Sean Tallon, today and will also be bringing his picture and memory to church with me tomorrow. Thank you for sharing his story. I feel like he helped me climb those 110 flights today. I am extremely sorry for your loss and will climb next year with him in my heart as well.
    Stephanie Harrill

    – Stephanie Harril
  6. April 2017
    My 8 yo old son Ryan came home tonight and asked me how to spell my friend Sean’s name.
    I told him the spelling and asked Why? Ryan says he was asked to write about his hero and was the only one in class who did not know how to spell his hero’s name.
    I’m in tears. You see it’s 25 years since Sean and I last attended school together after a childhood at St. Barnabas and Fordham Prep. Sean’s life is alive in my 4 boys. Owen, Ryan, Seth and Jude. They know Sean and I played football together, worked out together, worked at Cornyns, drove to school together and spent the odd night out at the bar. My wife was even playing ‘Tallon of the Ten’ house for the boys a few weeks ago.
    Over the years visiting my grandparents grave we also visit Sean. They are buried about 20 feet away from each other. My grandad loved to hear Sean play the accordion and always pulled one out for Sean to play when he visited. I know they are all in heaven keeping watch over us.
    This Easter we once again visited the graves and my boys planted some Easter flowers. We visited Sean and kept his story alive.
    I look forward to hearing Ryan’s story and educating a class of 2nd graders in Pennsylvania on Sean’s rich heroic life.
    Jesse Quinlan
    St.Barnabas ’88 Fordham Prep ’92

    – Jesse Quinlan
  7. My kids and I often talk about 9/11. They ask questions knowing their dad was there as a firefighter. We talk about Sean since their father and Sean both worked in Tenhouse but not at the same time. We walk to his memorial on Mclean and say a prayer for him and all the other brave souls who lost their life that day and every day doing this selfless job. Sean will be remembered always even by those who did not know him like my children.

    – Lisa
  8. I climbed for Sean and for Ladder 10 this past weekend at the Lambeau Field Stair Climb 2017. It was an honor to climb for him not only because he was a firefighter, but also a military veteran. Hoorah! God bless Sean and God Bless your family! I will be carrying him at every climb from here on out!

    – Meredith
  9. Hello, My name is john dean. I am a Firefighter with The Phoenix Fire Department in Arizona and a member of AZ-TF1, our Urban Search and Rescue Team. I responded with our task force to 911 as a Canine Search Specialist with my dog Reo and walked by Station 10 every morning heading to the pit. I have a picture of all 343 FFs hanging in my house and even today get tears in my eyes every time I look at pictures of that disaster. We will never forget stays with me every day at work…and home.
    I do not mean to intrude into your lives…we have developed a close partnership with the folks at Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia. They train and study service dogs that include Disaster Search Dogs. One of our handlers met his new dog a few weeks ago at PVWDC…his dog’s name is Tallon. All PVWDC Disaster Search Dogs are named after 911 First Responders and canines.
    I would like to talk to you about the possibility of meeting our Tallon in October. His handler will be attending a week long orientation with his new canine partner before heading back to Arizona and becoming part of AZ-TF1. My cell number is 602-571-3838. Thank you!!!! Respectfully, j dean/Phoenix Fire/Local 493

    john dean
  10. We haven’t forgotten ya buddy. Rest Easy. SEMPER FI BROTHER

    – Rick Castelhano
  11. Hello. I will be running in honor of Sean at a 9/11 Heroes Run on September 14, 2019 in Lithia, Florida. There are so many heroes from that fateful day, but I happened across Sean’s story while doing some 9/11 research and decided I’d run in his honor. I’m a retired Marine, so we do have a connection there – we’re brothers by service. I look forward to running my heart out for Sean.

    Paul F. Pamrow, Brandon FL

    – Paul F. Pamrow
  12. We remember Sean Tallon annually, along with our other first responders who made the supreme sacrifice. County Kildare, Ireland, has a beautiful 9/11 memorial with his name inscribed on the monument. Sean’s family is from that part of Ireland.

    City of Ocala Fire Rescue
    Ocala, Florida

    – Brian Stoothoff
  13. It’s hard to believe that 19 years ago today, Sean Tallon was taken all too soon from this earth. I knew Sean as a teammate on Varsity football and as a fellow Ram from Fordham Prep. He was in the class of ‘92 and I was a year behind in the class of ‘93 but it never mattered. He would be quick to crack wise with a comment to ease tension. His wit and his ability to bust chops in a friendly way was unmatched. Sean was a fit lad. I am a stout, husky man. He was a fanatic Ranger fan. I am an Islanders fan. He was proud of his Irish heritage. I am Polish. I can’t even begin to list all the ways he’d tear me to shreds and make me laugh, only to build me back up 5 minutes later. I am in my 19th year teaching since 9/11. Every year, I have brought up how the world lost a good man in Sean Tallon. My love to the family and friends who lived what the Jesuits from the Prep taught us all: be a man for others.
    Jeff “Bronco” Michael
    Fordham Prep ‘93

    – Jeff Michael
  14. God rest your soul Sean. You were a lovely fella

    – Mary
  15. Tomorrow I will make my first memorial stair climb in Panama City Beach. I will carry Sean with me . I will remember his service and ultimate sacrifice.

    – Chris Hubbard
  16. After coming across a few articles about Sean. I don’t even know if anyone will see this. My brother Greg and Sean were in the same 8th grade class at St. Barnabas in the Bronx. My brother had just transferred from another school. My brother had an extremely difficult time that year. Was bullied and left out of a lot because he was the “new guy.” The one and only person to friend him was Sean. He was the one to befriend my brother, and take him under his wing. My brother never forgot that. What a wonderful person Sean must have been. God bless his family. They have an angel protecting them always! Karen

    – Karen Petrellese
  17. The firefighters will never be forgotten here in Scotland. God bless them all.

    – Patricia
  18. RIP Sean.. a proud tradition of Irish firefighters in NYC. Rest in Peace

    – Gerard Crosse
  19. Every year my husband and I remember Sean and his heroic efforts. We selected his name add a visit to the memorial. God bless you. God bless him. We will always remember

    – Victoria and Robert Chambers
  20. I did the stair climb at the 2022 FDIC at Indy in honor of Sean Patrick Tallon. Never forgotten!

    – Jason Shackleford
  21. Hello Tallon family, just thought you might like to know that Sean has a namesake. We got married on 9/15/01 just days after the attack. In 2003 we had our second son and my husband was a fireman here where we live in Big Bear Lake, CA. We couldn’t decide on a name for our baby that was coming soon and one night at the station my husband was looking through the names of the fallen and found Sean. We loved your last name so we named him Talon (we dropped an L but it’s still from Sean). We talk about him every 911 and memorial day. Talon got to go to the memorial site a few years ago and we have his picture next to Sean’s name. Talon is 18 now. We are very sorry for the loss you have endured. We will honor his memory forever. Love the Gardner Family.

    – Holly Gardner
  22. I climbed in honor of Sean Patrick Tallon today in the 5th Annual 9.11 stair climb in Cumming, GA. Very proud to honor this hero.

    – Beth Minor
  23. Every year my husband and I remember Sean and his heroic efforts. We selected his name at our visit to the memorial. God bless you, his family – God bless him. We will always remember— as the years march on, We will never forget!

    – Victoria and Robert Chambers
  24. Sean was my favorite camper in my group at St. Barnabas Summer Day Camp in the Bronx in the 80’s. He must have been around 11-12 at the time. He was smart, mischievous, had a hilarious sarcastic sense of humor, and was already a born leader. Trips to Action Park, Great Adventure, Robert Moses Beach, Bear Mountain…those were fun times…and when my group of 10 or so boys was a little hard to wrangle or they got a little out of control on the bus, Sean was my deputy in our “posse” and would jump in and help get the crew in line. He also had tremendous empathy for that age – if there was ever an issue between kids he was the first to help resolve it. I graduated four years ahead of Sean from the Prep, where boys are taught to be “men for others.” Sean is the gold standard. He was an incredible kid who grew into an extraordinary man. I will never forget Sean. Eileen, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you, your parents, extended family, and all those closest to Sean. I am so sorry.

    – Mike Sheridan
  25. I live in Salina, Kansas and Sean’s picture spoke to me at the central Kansas 9/11 Memorial climb I want thank you for sharing your story. He did an amazing job. He was a hero! And I am glad to have climbed/walked in his honor!

    – Jamie Brown
  26. We will always remember. God bless you and your family- rest in peace.

    – Victoria and Robert Chambers
  27. We will never forget. . . .

    – Kathleen Matson
  28. On September 11, 2001, I was only 13 years old and knew nothing of terrorism and the magnitude of the terrorist attacks on our country. Growing into my high school and college years, I began to understand. Since then, I have also changed careers and become a firefighter, which gave me yet another perspective. I cannot fathom what Sean and his fellow firefighters went through that day, but I’m willing to bet they’d do it all again in the service of others. I had the honor and privilege of climbing a Memorial Stair Climb this year (2023) in memory of all lost, but especially in memory of Sean as I carried his badge with me. It is but a small gesture in memory of Sean, who by all accounts I have read, is someone I wish I could have known. Thank you, Sean, for your courage and your sacrifice. We will never forget. God Bless.

    – Rachel