The "F.D.N.Y. CHAPLAIN" in reflecting yellow letters on the back of Father Mychal Judge's turnout coat marked him as one figure unburdened of even the expectation that he dash into danger. He could have just stayed at the staging across from the tower with nobody thinking less of him.
For Judge to have let his fear rule him would have been to shrink before a challenge to all decent people, to have let evil win. He moved with the firefighters, his black lace-up shoes in pace with the fire boots across the field of carnage, crunching on the broken glass and skirting the fresh red splatters.
He admired nobody more than those who saved lives, and on other days when firefighters died, he declared their firehouses holy ground, their spirits alive anew with every alarm. In the aftermath of this fire unlike any other, his own spirit would join with theirs to be more powerful than anyone could have imagined and, for a brief time, anyway, defeat the evil and affirm all he believed. Those who loved him would remember what he often said of his most passionate love, who was neither man nor woman yet both.
"My God is the God of Surprises."
A tower of strength