One of New York's bravest who died from 9/11-related pancreatic cancer was laid to rest on Thursday, his casket draped with the American flag as loved ones said their final goodbyes to the hero.
Family and friends of Daniel Foley, a 21-year veteran of the FDNY, gathered at the Holy Family Church in New Rochelle to pay their final respects to the 46-year-old who died earlier this month.
Foley's best friend from his time spent at Iona College in New Rochelle delivered the eulogy. He described him as a man of faith and family, and even though he was behind many acts of bravery, he was humble and never discussed them.
One of those heroic acts came almost exactly a year ago, when a fire tore through an apartment on Webster Avenue in the Bronx — with four children trapped inside.
Foley was one of the firefighters who busted out the windows and went in to bring the kids outside, safely. At the time, he didn't know it would be his last tour with Rescue Company 3.
"He and a lieutenant rescued four children. And at the time he didn’t know he was as sick as he was," Nigro said.
Foley served with the FDNY's Rescue Company 3 and Ladder 49, both in the Bronx. He was cited 10 separate times for bravery. His brother, Tom, was a firefighter and he was killed in the World Trade Center attacks.
Daniel Foley spent 10 days on the pile, combing through rubble before his brother's body was found. Daniel's doctor's said it was that time at Ground Zero that caused the illness that would later claim his life.
"Every two weeks, we lose a member to World Trade Center illness. So Danny’s is the 221st member of this department to die since 9/11," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. "In this case, five children without a dad. Two brothers who have died as a result of this. It’s a terrible tragedy that repeats itself every two weeks."
Sept. 11, 2001, was the day the lives of the Foley family changed forever and they say they will never forget the sacrifices that have been made.
In a statement, the Foley family said they are "determined to shed light on the continuing need for legislation, funding and public awareness to support those who continue the ﬁght today, tomorrow and for many years to come."
Foley is survived by his wife, Carrie Benedict Foley, and five children, Erin, Kiera, Brianne, Kendall and Thomas "TJ." In a touching tribute, the FDNY gifted them an honorary helmet, which was handed to the youngest son — who is named after his uncle.