Daughter shares fond memories of father

Although the memories that I have of my father, firefighter Matthew Rogan, are limited to a child’s point of view, I can look back and say whole-heartedly that they are all fond, happy memories that no tragedy can take away.

My father was a practical joker, someone who would sign our school papers as “George Washington” or “Benjamin Franklin.” He was a rugged outdoorsman who took my brother and I backpacking up Mt. Marcy upstate. He was a woodworker, a man who spent some of his free time carving and making a book shelf for my room. He was a hard worker who worked as a landscaper on the side so he could put 3 kids through Catholic school.

He was a humble, quiet man, who was embarrassed to face the news cameras after he heroically rescued a woman from the East River in 1997, telling Rudy Giuliani that dealing with the press was “harder than the rescue.”

I think the way I remember him the most is as a selfless, courageous man who would not have thought twice about sacrificing himself in order to save others. While I can look back and feel sorry for my family and I, instead I try and think in a way that my father would have undoubtedly wanted us to think -- he would want us to remember that because of him, thousands of other children were able to have their fathers and mothers come home to them that day. I think that shows what a real hero is, and I know that my dad wouldn’t want it any other way.

Sarah Rogan, West Islip

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