I ran the ‘91 and ‘92 NYC Marathons and July 20, 2002 marked my first “group” run
in a decade—NYRRC, Mets, & Rusty Staub’s “Run to Home Plate” to Benefit Fund—
if you can please send a contribution, here is the address:

New York Police & Fire Widow’s & Children’s Benefit Fund, Inc.
General Post Office
PO Box 26837
New York, NY 10087-6837

I wore a memorial shirt for Pat Brown, a NY Detective’s hat, & an FDNY
memorial bracelet to honor the memories...


Running has always been a passionate love expression for experiencing the depth, diversity and complexity of New York City. Nineteen years ago when I began running around the streets of the city, people would stop me and ask me “Why not run in the park?” I always loved the diversity of people, architecture, pets and there is always something one never noticed before that was always there. I realized running was a source of education. I could run down the East River and read the wall of Glass: The Vietnam War Memorial with it’s moving missives from soldiers, Presidents and leaders such as Martin Luther King. (The most moving is by a soldier that died in action. I keep a photograph of his letter in a personal memorial.) The area with the plaque to Jews that immigrated here hundreds of years ago is under construction. Then I pass the WW2 Memorials in Battery Park that are quite stunning, The Statue of Liberty and The Universal Soldier: The Korean War Memorial, is brilliant with the image of the soldier formed by negative space—by what is not there and the space becomes eternity past, present and future. I use to sometimes incorporate stairs and run up into the World Trade Centers to the memorial to loved ones lost in the last terrorist attack...I remember one woman was pregnant. We had many more pregnant women this time, lots of Mothers. On the way home I would pass the American Indian memorial made of spray paint which now has begun to fade at Astor Place and when I past the firehouse I first lived behind I would say a silent prayer for a Capt. Drennan and his men that died tragically fighting a fire. Capt. Drennan actually lived for a while but his burns where so extensive it was a blessing when he did die.

I went for a run uptown yesterday wearing a Memorial Shirt of Capt. Pat Brown. I past a firetruck coming downtown and yelled with my opera singer lungs “You are the best!!!” I remember Pat Brown’s startling blue eyes which he would rest on me in martial arts class and although he was junior to me at the time (a decade ago) his eyes are permanently fixed in my mind because they had a unique message—his eyes seemed to recognize the intensity and he was more than okay with it. It turned out he was a highly decorated Vietnam Vet and when he died on the 45th floor the FDNY lost one of their most highly decorated firemen. I don’t know how he could train so hard studying martial arts, later teaching blind students and continue to perform heroic acts as part of his daily work. Despite being 49 years old, Pat was so fit it’s not surprising he made it up those flights of stairs it is just heartbreaking. He visited Capt. Drennan until he died at the Burn Unit.

Running downtown loops is essential to reclaiming New York and keep the passionate love I feel alive. The terrible smell is gone and what is left seems like the work of top plastic surgeon. A doctor who used all the compassionate and sensitivity and caring to make it a neat wound to begin healing. The big building shrouded in black with the moving American Flag draped on it now has missive from the families that brings tears to ones eyes...It somehow infuses the reader with thanks and somehow encourages us to keep on going.

I hope that we have a women’s memorial (John Dennie, a fellow volunteer from the highway first suggested a women’s memorial to me). I would like it to resemble the strong women’s statue in front of the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and it should be dedicated to heroic Women that died Sept. 11 those we know (Moira Smith) but also to the women we will never know about.

Most of all I hope we will have a monument of optimism because the overwhelming New York response was of goodness and everybody in New York from all over the world and different states that were here were New Yorkers and helped out. I actually got to track down some out of towners and thank them for helping for a hospital I did volunteer work for. I remember Moms and Dads taking their children out to play after Sept. 11 and I thought there was something quietly heroic and life affirming...New York City affirming. There were so many small acts...acts of kindness that seemed somehow epic. They are not documented and recorded...or rewarded which it is part of dynamism of everyday living. In New York City they were always be small and epic heroic acts......past, present and future that encourages us to keep going, best humans we can be, New York City style.

I hope we will do a monument to goodness and optimism because that is a part of the fabric of the City that doesn’t get front page news.

Suzannah B. Troy
*an extra special thank you for JG, fireman retired in theory yet very much front line for the FDNY even now
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www.suzannahbtroy.com (sept 11 art, writing, memorial and more)