In the Line of Duty


            I read his words on the News that night; for emphasis, I guess

the commentator read them too, and certainly they’re true

A firefighter, he had said, performs in his life but one act of bravery-

swearing the oath of office that binds him to his job

Everything after that, he said, was just in the line of Duty.

Well said, thought I, Chief John Moran, I tip my hat to you

while pictures of him and his family just then came into view

and I felt sorrow, as yet another tale unfolded in a long parade of woe.


But, as the story ended, his portrait then was shown-

Suddenly, staring from the screen was a man that I had Known!

a friend from Youth, a smiling boy, a happy Irish face- 

the years and miles fell away, and took me to a place

where Terror had not touched our lives- or claimed some as a prize.

In the Saint Camillus parish band I’d marched in step with him

playing grand old songs from Sousa and tunes to make you grin

and singing songs at Christmas time, among them, “Silent Night”

I close my eyes and still can hear one song that makes me pause

whose words I could not fathom then –“You’ll Never Walk Alone”


So glad am I that courage lives in the hearts and minds of those

who stand against the harm that comes from men with hearts of stone

All…in the line of Duty.





                             By: Anthony G. D’Agnese   9/17/2001



Dedicated to the brave men and women of the New York Fire Department, the New York Police Department, the New York Port Authority, the United States Armed Forces, all the victims and their families of the Terrorist attacks on September 11th  and to all Americans who put themselves in harms way… in the line of duty.

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