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A Father's Love

Dear Paulie,

You were my only Son. To write words to a Memorial is very difficult, so I need to go back in time and look at some of the things we did together.

You were such a ball of energy, and I really liked that, it never mattered to me when you were a young tyke -- always getting into things, making messes around the house, scampering here and there.

I can still feel your young hand in mine when we walked together.
I feel your weight when I had to carry you because you didnít want to be in the stroller.

All the times when you were growing up -- when we went to Wildwood Crest every year, the rides we would go on, miniature golf, digging in the sand, playing in the ocean, getting sunburned.

The first day of kindergarten, I walked you to school and you didnít cry -- you had a good time.

Train sets, Hot Wheels, GI Joe.
We went to see Star Wars, and Darth Vader was in the audience.

Every Christmas -- going to the City to see the lights, taking pictures at the Number 9, at 9 West 57th Street; seeing you and your sister Michelle (Shelly) growing up together.
JHS-what fun and trouble you used to get in to, and I was the biggest culprit by going with you and your friends to set off firecrackers in the studios on 34th Ave (Old Army Photo studios).
Looking for your hamster.
The swimming pools in the back yard -- how they grew with you and Shelly through the years, from a toddler basin to an above ground 4 feet deep monster, complete with clubhouse.
The nights you spent outside in your clubhouse with your friends. Martin Luther HS - years, where you excelled and finally became your own person.
Your wrestling matches: 1985-Co-Captain and most valuable wrestler; your performance in ďGreaseĒ was fabulous and fun to watch.

Just watching you grow up was a blessing to me -- Graduation, becoming a Carpenter, getting married, having Aaron and Joshua.

And just a short time ago, after what seemed so many years, taking the FDNY test scheduled the day of your sisterís wedding -- boy that was close timing.
Waiting again to find that you scored 99 and then waiting to be called.

The happiest moment of your life was doing what you did, since you truly relied on yourself to become one of New Yorkís Bravest.
It was always inside you -- the caring, kindness, love and joy of life and the job made you complete.
Pride of Midtown, Hooper Street, Queens, and back to 48th & 8th. No one knew that day that so many would never return.

Paul, you did not do your job in vain -- so many were saved by your actions. We heard from another firehouse that you were in the Marriott on the 21st floor.

I went to Ground Zero. I wanted to call your name so loudly -- maybe you could have heard me.

Iím hurting, like all parents, wanting to know exactly where you are at that Holy site -- to place a marker, to say ďHere Is My Only Son, He Gave His Life So Others May Live.Ē

Paul, Iím sorry they are desecrating the site, they probably ran you over a dozen times by now, but I know you are in Heaven with our Lord, and you are safe and with Kam, our wonderful and faithful Husky Dog.

Say hello also to Grandpa John, Grandpa and Grandma Daniel. I truly miss you, and you know I loved you as a Father should Love his Son.

We had a beautiful Memorial Service for you on October 20th, and all who knew you were there to celebrate your life, accomplishments and heroism.

Iím glad we have Aaron and Josh, and Georgette and I will make sure they are cared for.

My Heart aches incredibly, and only those who lost someone really understands what we parents, siblings and relatives are going through.
My prayers and thoughts are with them also since I truly know their grief.

One day, Paul, we will be together again, through our Lord Jesus.

My Firefighter Hero Son, I miss you and Love you.


John Gill, Father

To Paul Gill's father,
That is the most beautiful thing I have ever read or heard in my life.
I am so sorry for your loss.
I am a father also. My heart goes out to you. Youíre right your son is a hero.
Everything you said you have done with your son I have with mine.
I will pray you may have peace with this one day.
God bless you and your family

To John Gill; What an incredible memorial you have written.
I am truly moved beyond words. Although I did not know your son, your tribute illustrates what a wonderful man he was.
Mr. Gill, to your entire family I send my heart and my prayers.
Heros are far and few between these days, and I am so sorry that this world lost your son, and so many heros like him on Sept. 11.
My husband is a fire fighter for the City of Atlanta, and I promise you that as our children grow, and we tell them of the bravery on Sept. 11th, we will tell them of Paul Gill.

Kathy Edwards, Atlanta, Georgia

Dear John,
I don't have a son, but I can see all the things I have done with my daughter in my life in your words about Paul.
I can still feel her small hand in mine too. I love her so very dearly as you loved Paul. I don't now how I would go on without her--

I cry for you--
I could barely finish your memorial to your son.
I work with Georgette and we have spoken in training classes about our grandchildren.
After Sept. 11, I went straight to them to lose myself in their innocence and fun. Your grandchildren are Paul's gift to you--I'm sure you know this.

May you find your joy and be healed by those small sweet hands of your grandchildren.
My sincerest sympathy to you and your family.

Cecelia Casey

Click here for Jupiter Courier newspaper article

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