This is Kevin H. Bracken, New York City Metro Firefighter, Manhattan Division, Engine 40, who died on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center attempting to save the lives of his fellow Americans.
Kevin was son to Sergeant Major Hugh and Mary Bracken of Sandwich, Massachusetts, brother to Billy Bracken of McGraw, New York, Chickie Carlson of Sandwich, and Patty Sample and Kathy Brown of Houston, Texas. Kevin was husband to Jennifer Liang, with whom he lived on the Upper West Side, and last saw on the morning of 9/11 as they parted ways at the polling booths.
Kevin was a graduate of the Central Islip High School Class of 1982, and was known to his fellow Central Islip alums as "an avid golfer who was up for anything."
The morning of the attacks, Kevin Bracken and his wife, Jennifer Liang, left their Upper West Side home together and parted company at the polling booths, where the couple said goodbye for the last time, said Kerry Katz, a longtime family friend.
Shortly after arriving at his firehouse, Engine Co. 40-Ladder Co. 35 on Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan, Bracken was dispatched to the World Trade Center. He and his unit of 10 others, reportedly never made it out of the towers.
If she had to hazard a guess, Katz said, she'd say Bracken is prowling the heavenly greens right now. An avid sports fan, he was big into golf, she said. Bracken, 37, was known among family and friends for his seemingly miraculous shots on the greens - shots of his had been known to bounce off trees and into the cup. So much so, they coined the phrase, "Bracken Bounce," after his mysterious plays.
Katz said Bracken's relatives and friends hoped and prayed the "Bracken Bounce" would somehow work for him in the days immediately following the attack.
But his body has not been recovered. A memorial service for him is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.
Bracken's eight-year career as a firefighter included a stint with Engine Co. 23 in New York City. His father had been a volunteer firefighter in Central Islip, where Bracken was born and raised. Katz said Bracken worked in construction and sales before joining the ranks of New York's bravest. He and his wife, who had been married five years, were planning to start a family, Katz said.
Youthful in his ways, Bracken strived at several sports. Katz said he played hockey for his fire company, which regularly competed against other fire companies and police departments. Softball, too, was a love of his, Katz said. As coach of a co-ed team on which his wife played, he was fondly known as "Coach Pugs," a reference to his cherubic physique. He took it all in stride, Katz said. "He was up for anything, anytime. He was a fun-loving, easygoing, carefree guy" who seldom got upset or angry.
Kevin H. Bracken was laid to rest on November 7, 2001.
The 2,996 Project was created by D.C. Roe so that bloggers could adopt one of our fallen citizens from that horrible day and remember them on our pages. Even if readers happen to stop by today to read about jewelry, you can read about Kevin H. Bracken. And if you follow the link, you can read about many others.
I didn't know Kevin H. Bracken. But I honor him today. Thank you, Kevin H. Bracken, for your service to our country.
We miss you.