wants the troops to know that he supports you. He will write something
to add to this page, I just got it started. Aside from all the press
you see below- which Chris did not want- as a retired Navy and Coast
Guard sailor as well as FDNY firefighter, it's tremendously important
to him that you know this now familiar face from 9-11 is 1000% behind
you. Please note his firehouse is Ladder 5
(although I met him at Ladder 20).
ignore the "play" button above, I can't get rid of it.)
Waugh holding a photo of himself, (left to right), former NYPD
Lt. William Cosgrove, John Maguire and Kevin Allen - who, aided
by firefighter Zachary Vause, carried the body of fire Chaplain
Mychal Judge away from the towers.
Father Mike: What Really Happened
By NEIL GRAVES
Courtesy The New York Post
About a half-dozen rescue workers were suddenly stuck in a smoky
nook in the north tower lobby, with debris everywhere and the
floor still quivering from the collapse of the south tower.
William Cosgrove, then a lieutenant with the NYPD, was gasping
for air in the choking darkness after being tossed across the
floor by the tremendous thud of 110 stories falling to the ground.
"I said, ‘Everybody, let's just hold hands so we
know where each other are,' " Cosgrove recalled recently.
"I tripped over something. I said, ‘There's a body
over here.' A fireman showed the light on the person on the
floor. And he said, ‘Oh, my God - it's Father Mike.' "
The Rev. Mychal Judge, the Fire Department's much-beloved chaplain,
had died doing the job he was born to do - ministering to others:
He had just given the last rites to another victim.
Judge loved his firefighters so much that he lived just across
from Ladder Co. 24/Engine Co. 10, in the Franciscan friary on
West 31st Street.
And the men that day would love him back, eventually placing
his body at the altar of St. Peter's Church, a block from the
World Trade Center, after he was retrieved by five heroes.
Moments before the ghastly discovery, firefighter Christian
Waugh of Ladder Co. 5 watched the priest talk to a video team
when matters were bad but not yet catastrophic. "Father
Judge was standing a few feet away, giving an interview to [documentary-makers
Jules and Gedeon Naudet]," Waugh remembered. "When
the plane hit the second building, we felt it. The pressure
threw us to the ground."
Before the collapse, Zachary Vause, of Engine Co. 21 on East
40th, had taken the subway downtown, dressed in full gear, because
the engine company he was on loan to, Truck 7, had taken off
without him. Upon emerging from the Brooklyn Bridge station,
Vause ran smack into a tidal wave of people running the other
way. "I was swimming through people on my way in,"
He arrived at the scene just in time to get his helmet jarred
off his head from the force of the south tower's collapse. Lost
in the pitch-black north tower lobby, Vause could see none of
the others as Cosgrove asked them to huddle. "Next
thing I know, somebody was screaming, ‘Over here, over
here,' " Vause said. "[Judge] was taking his last
breath. "We opened his shirt. I tried pumping out his
chest with my chest pump. He came up - for one last gasp. I
checked his pulse and there was nothing."
The men crawled out of the area, only to find they were facing
an out-of-commission escalator that led to a balcony area. They
started toting the body. "Everybody had a leg or an
arm, but he was so heavy," Cosgrove said.
Kevin Allen, of the Office of Emergency Management, came all
the way from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, that morning and reported
to the OEM command bus on the far side of the Church Street
Post Office. "We felt this huge shake, the whole ground
was shaking," said Allen. "I guess that's when the
south tower came down. We got in the bus, behind the building,
and that's what saved us - that post-office building."
The OEM team fanned out and were stunned to hear the voice of
their boss, Calvin Drayton, the first deputy commissioner, calling
for help over the radio. But no one could discern his location.
On his way searching for Drayton, Allen saw three men carrying
a body. He pitched in. "I didn't know he was a priest
at that time," Allen admitted. "It wasn't 'til we
got to Church Street and I saw the white collar that I knew.
I said, ‘Oh, my God.' "
John Maguire, a Goldman Sachs employee who had come from Wall
Street to help, saw the four struggling toward him. "I
asked them if they needed any help," said Maguire, a West
Point grad who is presently an inactive Army captain. "These
guys were really exhausted. They had on so much gear and I didn't."
The team then accepted a godsend on the balcony overlooking
West and Vesey. "People were jumping in and out trying
to help and someone gave us a chair," Vause said. "The
core of us kept on carrying him in the chair."
The team finally got Judge to an ambulance and laid him down.
Having taken him that far, someone felt they ought to give the
priest a proper sendoff. "I asked an officer to get
a priest," Cosgrove said. "But no one could find one.
Somebody said, ‘If you're Catholic, you can give him last
rites.' So myself and a young cop gave last rites."
Right after that came the other sickening eruption. "As
we covered him up, the north tower came down, and we started
to run," Waugh said.
The Rev. Mychal Judge wound up on the altar of St. Peter's,
carried by a posse of firefighters. Cosgrove wanted to make
sure to set the record straight. "Some people thought
we brought him there," said Cosgrove, who started a new
position with the public school's investigative arm last month.
"We didn't take him there. We left him next to the ambulance.
That was the last time I saw him."
of Ground Zero Dee O'Connell
Sunday February 17, 2002 The Observer Firefighter
Christian Waugh, 55, helped to carry the body of Father Mychal
Judge, the Fire Department chaplain, out from Tower One of the
World Trade Center
I go now, someone mentions this picture. I can't get away
from it. The Oprah Winfrey Show wanted the five of us in the
photograph to come down, but none of us went. My family and
friends try not to talk about it, but it's always being brought
up at work. It's even been nominated for a Pulitzer prize.
Ironically, at the time I was so mad that it was taken. I
was telling the photographer to leave us alone, to get out
of there. I didn't like the idea of it, but the guy was just
doing his job, like I was doing mine.
was standing about 20ft away from us in the lobby, and when
the second plane hit, the debris from the second building
came down and blew into the lobby of Tower One. The dust and
the wind blew us over and everything went jet black. As it
started to lift, I found Father Judge laying there. I think
he died of a heart attack. We put him in a chair and carried
says if it wasn't for Father Judge the five of us would have
been trapped in the building and we would have been killed.
So he got us out of the building by dying. When you look at
it that way, it helps to have a reason why I'm out, why I'm
lost 11 men and the house I was working with that day lost
14. That's 25 guys that I know right off the bat. I wake up
at night and still see the different faces of missing firefighters
coming into the building and walking by me in the lobby. So
long as they're still digging down there and people are still
missing, it makes it harder. They're still finding people;
I understand they found two bodies the other day.
I worked for
maybe two weeks after 11 September, but since then I've been
off sick. I'm retiring. I have 28 years' service and I was
going to go for 30, but I've had it. I'm too old for this
and I think it's time.
"The Firemen's Friar"
Grimmest task: Rescuers carry Mychal Judge's body from ower One, Tuesday, September 11.(Photo credit: Reuters)
Cosgrove, a lieutenant in the Manhattan Traffic Task Force, was in a
car on West Broadway when he heard on his radio about the first plane
hitting the World Trade Center. He raced to Tower One to help guide
rescuers in and out of the area. Later, inside the building, he found a
group of firemen, including Christian Waugh, clustered around a granite
desk at the tower's emergency command post. "I was just about to tell
them which way to drive," says Cosgrove. "That's when the whole
building shook. The lights went out. And there was this giant vacuum
sound." Waugh dropped to the ground. Others, including Cosgrove, ducked
into the nearby stairwell. "We thought it was our building that was
collapsing," says Cosgrove. "It wasn't." He's now pretty sure it was
Tower Two. "The pressure was sucking the windows out of Tower One."
The men waited in total darkness.
Abruptly, they were enveloped in plumes of smoke, fireproofing, and
pulverized cement. "You couldn't breathe," says Cosgrove. "You couldn't
see. It was totally dark. Someone shouted, 'Everybody hold hands!' "
Gasping, their eyes stinging, the men
reached out for one another and started a slow, awkward march out of
the stairwell and back through the lobby. They had proceeded no more
than twenty paces when it happened. Cosgrove tripped over something.
Everyone stopped. One of the firefighters
aimed his flashlight low across the ground. A halo of light framed a
man's face. Everyone saw it. "Oh, my God," they began to shout. "It's
He wasn't buried under much rubble; his
body, even his face, was still perfectly intact. They took his pulse.
Nothing. "I took an arm," says Cosgrove. "Someone else took an arm. Two
other guys took his ankles." Waugh grabbed him by the waist, and
together the men carried him out of the building. They found a bunch of
broken chairs on an outdoor plaza and nestled Judge in one of them, so
that they could carry him down a staircase to the street. That was the
moment a Reuters photographer, Shannon Stapleton, snapped the picture
that Christopher Keenan, one of Judge's closest friends at the friary,
now calls "a modern Pietà."
"He was very in touch with human vulnerability.
Good ministers have an outsiderness to them. And he did, more so than
was born in Brooklyn in 1933, two days before his twin sister, Dympna.
His parents were Irish immigrants from County Leitrim; he lost his
father, a grocery-store owner on Dean Street, at 6. Judge was a
charming, plucky kid, the type who reveled in the city, wandering
everywhere and setting up a shoeshine stand in front of the Flatiron
Building just to make a few extra bucks.
For as long as Dympna can remember, Judge
wanted to be a priest. Faith came naturally, effortlessly to him; he
was an altar boy in elementary school and joined the Franciscan friars
at just 15. He took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in 1955,
was ordained in 1961, and spent the next 25 years hopscotching between
parishes in New Jersey. He settled in New York in the summer of 1986,
at the friary of St. Francis of Assisi Church.
He became the Fire Department chaplain in
1992, after his predecessor, another friar at Assisi, died of cancer.
"Priests and firemen both enter people's lives at a point of crisis,"
muses Duffy. "And they have similar outlooks on life -- it's the need
to help, to rescue. So you have Mike Judge wanting to do that in a
spiritual way, and them wanting to do it in a physical way. It was a
At the friary, Judge's room was
immaculate and spare. Every morning, he'd wake up at around 6:30 and
give thanks for his sobriety. At morning office, he sat in the first
row, always on the right, and prayed aloud for the city's workers: its
bus drivers and subway workers, its councilmen and mayor. He liked to
preach from the first pew as well.
"This was very significant," says Brian
Carroll, a friend and fellow friar. "Because when you step out of the
sanctuary, you're down with the people, eyeball to eyeball with them.
That was the New Yorker in him. As he often said, 'It can get messy, it
can get crazy, but it can be an awful lot of fun.' "
Younger friars often looked to Judge as
their role model. He was heartily spiritual, never ashamed to introduce
God into ordinary conversation. He compulsively blessed people -- the
pregnant, the homeless, the random traveler on the bus. "While the rest
of us were running around organizing altar boys and choirs and
liturgies and decorations," Duffy told the mourners in his homily, "he
was in his office listening. His heart was open." (But occasionally not
his eyes: Duffy later confessed that once, at their New Jersey parish,
Judge was so exhausted he fell asleep while a parishioner was unloading
his troubles; he apologized and asked him to please return the
He walked almost everywhere, briskly.
There were days he'd start at the friary and go all the way to Coney
Island via the Brooklyn Bridge, a dignified figure in leather sandals
and a friar's habit. He never left his room without a wad of $1 bills
to distribute to the homeless.
Judge loved being at the center of
things, loved being in the media glare. His colleagues often teased him
about it -- that and his vanity about his thick gray hair, which he was
forever combing. As soon as TWA flight 800 crashed into the Atlantic,
for example, Judge was racing off to Long Island, tending to the
victims' families, leading them in prayer. He also befriended Steven
McDonald, the cop who was rendered a quadriplegic after he was shot by
a teenager in Central Park in 1986.
The friendships he made with these people
were lasting and deep. Judge stayed in touch with many of them until
the day he died, writing Mother's Day cards to women who'd lost their
children and birthday cards to children who'd lost their mothers. He
and McDonald took three trips to Ireland together -- both were very
committed to the Catholic cause -- and two to Lourdes.
"He rarely talked about himself," says
McCourt. "He would essentially get you talking about your problem, and
the next thing you know, you were talking about your solution -- he'd
be quietly guiding you toward it. Almost a spiritual therapist, in a
Though Judge famously triple- and
quadruple-booked his afternoons, his first priority was always the Fire
Department, which kept him in the loop by beeper and radio. If there
was a fire of three alarms or more -- beep, beep, beep -- off he'd go, in a large sedan the men kept for him at Engine 1-Ladder 24.
"Most of his life," says Christopher Keenan, "he lived with a great deal of stress about what he couldn't
respond to -- the times he had to say no." Two months before he died,
Judge had changed the message on his answering machine. "This is Mychal
Judge," he said. "It's so good to get your call. But if you're calling
about a wedding or a baptism or funeral, I am so sorry, but I will not
be able to do it, because my primary commitment is to the Fire
By nine or ten at night, he would return
to his spartan room and spend the next three or four hours on the
phone, returning calls, touching base, making sure that the batty
shut-in in New Jersey was surviving or that the homeless person he'd
found housing for had figured out how to hook up her telephone. He'd
write in his journal. And he'd write letters -- Carroll calls them his
"midnight notes" -- to the friends he'd seen that day or the people he
was most concerned about. (He made a special point of keeping the
letters coming to David Dinkins, especially when the former mayor was
going through a rough spell.)
Some nights, he'd conclude with a 1 a.m.
phone call to the men at Engine 1-Ladder 24. As soon as a firefighter
picked up, Judge would wander over to his window, facing south over
31st Street, and wave.
first tower continued to burn, Waugh, Cosgrove, and the others carried
Judge over to the corner of Church and Vesey and laid him out on the
sidewalk. An EMT pronounced him dead. Cosgrove, pulsing with
adrenaline, began to shout at the top of his lungs. "Somebody get this
man a priest! This man is a priest!" The firemen ran back to the scene.
At that very moment, José Alfonso Rodriguez, a 28-year-old third-year cop on the downtown beat, was rounding the corner.
"I know where there's a church," he told Cosgrove.
So off he went -- up to Church and
Barclay Streets, and then into the 163-year-old St. Peter's. A woman
inside was tearing up sheets, handing them to people who needed
something to cover their mouths. "I need a priest to give someone last
rites," he panted.
"They're all out," she said. "Are you Catholic?"
"You're allowed to give someone last rites."
Cosgrove had laid Judge's black fireman's
jacket neatly over his head. Rodriguez reappeared and grabbed the
lieutenant by the arms. "All the priests are gone," he shouted. "But
the lady told me that if you're Catholic, you can do this. Are you
The men looked at each other for a split
second. They were both wheezing, covered in ash, and trying desperately
to see through the smoke. Tower One was minutes away from collapse.
They knelt down on the sidewalk.
Rodriguez gingerly grasped Judge's hand. Cosgrove laid his hands on Judge's head. Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven . . .
CHRISTIAN WAUGH: Brannmann
Den 55 år gamle brannmannen Christian Waugh
er en staselig mann. Høy, brede skuldre, kraftige hender.
Den myke stemmen passer egentlig ikke til denne kroppen.
Tung ferd som reddet liv.
Christian Waugh (t.v.) og andre brannmenn
bærer ut katastrofens første dødsoffer, pater
Mychal Judge. Etter 29 år ønsker Waugh nå å slutte
Waugh ble brannmann av eget ønske. Han ville aldri noe annet.
Men i dag sier han: -Jeg vil ut, senest ved årsskiftet.
Etter 29 år.
Etter 11. september halter han, kneet ble hardt skadet. Om
mulig må han gjennom en operasjon.
Det er de fysiske skadene. Psykisk har påkjenningen knapt
vært mindre. Om nettene våkner han iblant og ser sine døde
kollegers ansikt foran seg.
Brannstasjonen hans mistet 11 mann, han deltok i 40 begravelser
og konsulterte en terapeut "som hjalp litt".
Waugh er en ettertenksom mann.
-Det er merkelig å treffe nye folk hele tiden, sier han, og
sikter til dem som har erstattet de døde.
Christian Waugh takker en av de omkomne for at han selv reddet
livet; pater Mychal Judge, brannfolkenes høyt elskede prest
i New York.
-Vi sto i lobbyen på Tårn 1, pater Judge var bare et par meter
fra meg da Sørtårnet raste sammen.
Da støvet lettet, lå den geistlige i grusen, de lette etter
pulsen hans, men fant ingen, -formodentlig var det et hjerteinfarkt.
Waugh og fire andre brannmenn bar presten ut på gaten og i
retning Church Street - like etterpå raste det andre tårnet
sammen. Hadde de blitt der inne, var de omkommet sammen med
Pater Judge er offisielt oppført som det første dødsofferet,
hans dødsattest har nummer 00001.
Wijzende brandweerman : gered door een hartinfarct
54-jarige Christian Waugh werkt reeds 28 jaar voor de New Yorkse
brandweer. Op 11 september rijdt hij met zijn team naar Ground Zero. Ze
staan in de lobby van de noordelijke toren als de zuidelijke toren in
mekaar zakt. Een wolk van stof valt op Waughs team. Als het stof is
opgetrokken, ligt brandweeraalmoezenier Mychal Judge op de grond. Zijn
hart klopt niet meer.
“Een hartinfarct”, zegt Waugh. Samen met enkele anderen draagt hij de
geestelijke naar buiten op een geïmproviseerde draagberrie. Een
fotograaf drukt af terwijl Waugh de richting wijst. Kort daarna stort
de tweede toren in. Zonder het hartinfarct van de aalmoezenier was ook
Christian Waugh omgekomen onder het puin van de noordelijke toren.
Mychal Judge kan niet meer gereanimeerd worden. Hij is officieel de
eerste dode op Ground Zero. Zijn overlijdensakte draagt het nummer
Brandweerman worden was een jongensdroom. Nu wil Christian Waugh ermee
stoppen.“Ten laatste op
het eind van het jaar wil ik ermee kappen”, zegt hij. Zijn knie werd
zwaar geraakt. Sinds 11 september strompelt hij. Maar ook psychisch
heeft Waugh het moeilijk. Hij verloor elf vrienden, was aanwezig op
zo’n veertig begrafenissen. ‘s Nachts ziet hij de gezichten van dode
collega’s. “Ik weet nog dat ik die fotograaf de huid heb vol
gescholden”, zegt Christian. “Hij stond behoorlijk in de weg. Maar ja,
hij deed gewoon zijn job, zoals ik de mijne deed.”
Tom De Smet
Der 55-Jährige ist ein stattlicher Mann. Groß, breite Schultern,
kräftige Hände. Die leise Stimme passt irgendwie nicht zu
diesem Körper. Christian Waugh war stets Feuerwehrmann aus
Leidenschaft. Wollte nichts anderes sein. Heute sagt er: »Ich
will raus, spätestens Ende des Jahres.« 29 Jahre war er dabei.
Waugh humpelt seit dem 11. September, verletzte sich das Knie
schwer. Womöglich muss er ein neues Gelenk bekommen. Das sind
die körperlichen Spuren. Die seelischen sind kaum minder schwerwiegend.
Nachts wacht er gelegentlich auf und sieht die Gesichter der
toten Kollegen. Seine Feuerwache verlor elf Mann, er war bei
40 Beerdigungen, konsultierte einen Therapeuten, »das half
ein bisschen«. Waugh ist ein nachdenklicher Mensch. »Komisch
ist, jetzt ständig neue Leute zu sehen.« Er meint die Ersatzleute.
Christian Waugh verdankt sein Leben einem
Toten – Father Mychal Judge, dem beliebten Feuerwehr-Kaplan
von New York City. »Wir standen in der Lobby von Turm eins,
Father Judge nur ein paar Meter von mir entfernt, da stürzte
der Südturm zusammen.« Als sich der Staub lichtete, lag der
Geistliche im Schutt. Sie fühlten seinen Puls, da war nichts
mehr, »vermutlich ein Herzinfarkt«. Waugh und vier andere
Männer trugen den Pfarrer hinaus auf die Straße Richtung Church
Street – kurz darauf kollabierte der zweite Tower. Sie
wären darin umgekommen wie die anderen Kollegen. Father Judge
wird offiziell als erster Toter geführt. Sein Totenschein
trägt die Nummer 00001.