Accession Number: C.2019.35.2
Credit Line: Gift of Kevin Michael Shea, retired FDNY Ladder 35
Commemorative medals attached to a red, white, and blue ribbon. One medal, attached to a light blue, white, and dark blue ribbon with a bar pin, has the United Nations logo on the front with “IN THE SERVICE | OF PEACE” printed on the back. The second medal, attached to a purple and black ribbon and bar pin, has the FDNY logo on the front with “September 11, 2001” printed across the logo. The back of the medal features the Thomas Franklin image of firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero with “Survivor | September 11, 2001” below the image and “Fire Department | City of New York | World Trade Center” around the border.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Kevin Shea, a firefighter with FDNY Ladder 35, was deployed to the World Trade Center site with Engine 40, which shared a firehouse with Ladder 35. After arriving at the site he intended to join his Ladder 35 colleagues in the South Tower but instead was helping firefighters extinguish car fires near the South Tower when it collapsed. Thrown with the force of the collapse, Shea sustained serious injuries including a broken neck. He was rescued from the South Tower debris and transported to New Jersey for medical care. Shea hoped to return to work as a firefighter following his rehabilitation but suffered from short-term memory loss, post-traumatic stress, and survivor guilt. Shea collected various tributes, cards, and memorabilia after 9/11, including these medals.