Roll of Honor

Thomas A. Gardner

Thomas A. Gardner

  • Firefighter
  • Fire Department City of New York
  • New York
  • Age: 39
  • Year of Death: 2001

My husband‚ Firefighter Tom Gardner‚ was a 17-year member of the FDNY. He worked for 13 years in Harlem in Engine 59/Ladder 30. Then he transferred to HazMat 1 in Maspeth‚ New York. He had a B.A. in Biology and Education and planned to teach high school science when he retired from the fire department. Over the past few years he taught about hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction to various law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. He was a Master Instructor for the IAFF and Louisiana State University. He also taught a course in HazMat at the Fire Science Program of New Jersey City University. He developed a web course at NJCU‚ which was one of the first of its kind in the country.

Besides being a successful career man‚ he also was a loving husband to Liz and a father of two children‚ Amy Rose and Christopher. He loved nature and the outdoors and always taught his family about the values of the earth and why we should take care of the environment.

He had a real appreciation for animals. In the past‚ he volunteered at the Bronx Zoo and the Queens Hall of Science. When he was just 21‚ he traveled with the Audubon Society to Africa because of his love of animals and wildlife. His favorite thing was traveling and seeing new and exciting things. We have many fond memories of our family camping trips and excursions all over the U.S.

He had a thirst for knowledge and read profusely on all different topics. He was searching for inner peace and the meaning of life. He also had a humorous side and had a local radio show once a week where he and his comedian friend would entertain anyone who would listen. He wrote jokes and even sold a few to Joan Rivers‚ Phyllis Diller‚ and Henny Youngman.

His wit and bright smile will always be missed by all who knew him. He truly was a unique person with a lot to offer and he will never be replaced. I hope he has found peace and that he’s watching over us all.

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Memorial Wall

  1. I was honored to participate in the Green Bay Lambeau Field Stair Climb today Sept 16,2017 in Thomas Gardner’s memory. My husband is a retired firefighter, so the tragic events of 9/11 were very personal. After reading Thomas’s profile, he sounds like he was a wonderfully kind and compassionate person. Today I prayed for Thomas and all the loved ones he left behind. RIP Thomas, I thank you for your unselfish service to mankind and promise I for one will never forget!!!

    – Sue Gaulke
  2. You are not forgotten….. Rest in Peace

    – Brent Smith - Columbus, Oh
  3. Tommy was a very good friend of mine. I pray for him and his family often.

    – Marie Mathews
  4. Tommy was a very good friend of mine. He was one of the most caring person that I have ever known. RIP

    – Marie Mathews
  5. Tommy was a very good friend of mine. He was one of the most caring individuals that I have ever known. RIP

    – Marie Mathews
  6. Today I climbed for Thomas and his family at the 2018 Lambeau Field Stair Climb in Green Bay, WI. He sounds like a wonderful man who will always be a part of me and my family as I continue with my fire career. I will pray for him and his family daily and hope that he will continue to watch over his fellow brothers and sisters. He will never be forgotten! RIP Thomas

    – Ashley Engeldinger
  7. Today I participated in the stair climb in Indianapolis, IN and my climb was in honor of you. You are not forgotten and the country is endebted to you for your sacrifice. I am honored and will keep your badge for the rest of my life. Thank you hero.

    – Steven Cayton
  8. You’ll never be forgotten. Today I had the honor of learning about who you were. Watch over us brother. Thank you.

    – Edward T Gardner III
  9. When we went to the 9/11 Memorial my family walked up and focused on the first name we saw. That name was Thomas Gardner. He sounds like a wonderful man, father, and husband.

    – David Henricks
  10. I had the honor of interviewing Tommy’s parents, Al and Peg, in the researching of my book on Bomb Disposal Operations in WWII. This opportunity arose shortly after 9/11, but Tommy’s parents were very kind and forthcoming with details about their war experiences. They took great pride in their son, and having read his memorial, I can see why. He was a real hero and a real humane individual. The world could do with more Tommy Gardners, but there was only one, alas.

    Jeffrey M. Leatherwood
  11. I just completed a stair climb at Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, IL. Each of us was given a band with a name of a fallen first responder on 9/11. The band I wore had the name of Thomas Gardner. I climbed the equivalent of 78 floors, which represented the number of floors first responders made it in the south tower. As the climb became more and more difficult, I would look at the band with Thomas Gardner’s name on it and remember the sacrifice he made. Thank you, Mr. Gardner, for your brave and heroic efforts. You will not be forgotten.

    – Cary Church
  12. I never posted this or spoke to anyone about this before. Thomas Gardner was my HazMat instructor at NJCU many years ago when I was a student and employed in the chemical industry. I considered him a friend. What I learned from him saved my bacon many times. What I learned allowed me to make sure that my people went home to see their families at the end of the day. I’m now a Compliance Officer with PEOSH in NJ. I regularly perform inspections of fire departments for compliance to safety regulations. When I see the poster with all the pictures of the Firefighters and Police Officers lost on 9/11, I always stop to find his picture. I hope his wife and kids have found a way to live their lives.

    – Paul Stamm
  13. I met Tom in Harrisburg, PA at a HazMat training he instructed. I ran into him at the bar and we talked for several hours about the job, kids, wives and many common interests. I later invited him to sit with our team at dinner. On 9/11 I sent an email and several days later Mrs. Gardner replied with the confirmation of my worst fear. I want you to know that he loved you and the kids intensely. He was an example of what this brotherhood means, with the risk of leaving home and never returning but accepting that risk and going out every day to deal with other people’s problems. I think about him every time I walk into out county hazmat station and I am proud to have met him. I hope that you and your family are well and my prayers for your recovery were answered that sad day 19 years ago. James F. Campese, EMT-P, HMT Beaver County Team 700.

    – Jim Campese
  14. When I saw my name listed on the deaths of 9/11 it hit me pretty hard. I have been in emergency services for 40 years and now serve as a career lieutenant in the fire service. I was a hazardous materials instructor, fire and EMS instructor. Seeing Thomas Gardner and he and I seemed to have a lot in common that sends chills up my spine. May God bless his family!

    – Thomas Troy Gardner
  15. Yesterday, 20 years after that tragic day, I walked in the March to the Arch in St. Louis, MO. It is a 21-mile walk in which many firefighters walk in full gear along with many others who will never forget. We were all given a photo of a hero lost that day. I walked in memory of Thomas. I’m blessed to read about him and want you to know he is not forgotten. No greater love a man has but to lay his life down for others. I pray for you, his beautiful family, as you live lives that make him proud. What a sacred honor for me to walk and hold him and all of you in my heart.

    – Ann Gravette