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Michael J. Lyons


Michael Lyons loved his family.

He met his wife, Elaine, while a freshman in high school at the Yonkers deli where she and he both worked. He was always playing jokes at the job. He would sometimes glue a quarter to the floor and watch customers struggle to pick it up, or fill co-worker's shoes with corned beef fat. He was always ready with a joke.

He typically held down two jobs, but when he came home, he was all about his family. His daughter, Caitlyn, got all of his attention and he would help in any way with her. After her birth, he slowed down a bit. Elaine was expecting their second child when he responded to the needs of New York on September 11.

Michael was a firefighter in Squad 41. For his second job, he drove an ice cream truck because it gave him such pleasure to see the kids' faces light up when they came to buy something. He used the extra money from his second jobs to buy a house in the town where his wife grew up.

Michael's normal way of greeting people was to say, "Hey, bro." Even his lieutenant allowed the casual greeting because of Michael's engaging and passionate way. Michael was a seven-year-veteran of the New York City fire department. His body was never found.

On November 2, 2001, his second daughter, Mary Michael Lyons was born. Elaine named the baby girl after her father.


by Brett Rogers, 9/11/2006 8:21:13 AM


Nice Brett. Have you seen the Healing Field? There's a flag for each person killed on 9/11. You can see it at 5700 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines.



Posted by Kelly, 9/11/2006 9:27:16 AM

I did drive by the Healing Field. I live right across the street and it's pretty amazing. That's a lot of people those flags represent.

I've wrestled a lot with this post. I'm not doing it for traffic - I don't care about such things. I'm not doing it to be a good person. September 11 affected me in a deep way. It's the only day in my life I recall when the sky was empty of planes. I remember walking down the gravel road with my son, Aaron, and looking skyward and seeing no jet trails. It made the event more real to us. It wasn't just something to be seen on TV.

More to the point: innocent lives were snatched from their loving families because someone decided to attack us unprovoked. They didn't target only our military, but instead chose civilian targets too. Why did these people have to die?

Some folks think the right response is to remain silent - that to give any noise to this remembrance only furthers the "terror" of terrorism. I disagree. I think the best way is to remind ourselves that some animals want us dead for no other reason than to scare us into believing like they believe. And if we don't, they want us to die.

So in celebration of life, here's Michael, who gave himself to help others, and today in his memory I celebrate his life. Today, I'll live stronger. I'll buy more, breathe deeper, love more fervently. We should celebrate life with more of life. Gusto and passion and exuberance.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 9/11/2006 10:57:07 AM

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