Edward Day, Lad.11 STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — When Firefighter Edward “Eddy” Day responded to the Sept. 11 attack with Ladder Co. 11 of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, his wife was thousands of miles away, taking care of her ill father in Frankfurt, Germany. Although Bridgitte Day, who’s nicknamed “Gitta” by her friends and family, quickly learned that her husband was at the World Trade Center and was among the missing, she found herself unable to fly home. Finally, after three days of negotiating for a flight with Lufthansa, Mrs. Day made it on a flight to Montreal, Canada, where the city Fire Department made arrangements to pick her up when she arrived on Sept. 15 and drive her to Staten Island. “He was my life,” said Mrs. Day. The next day, as the continuing search and rescue efforts failed to find any sign of Mr. Day, his wife learned that her father had died. “It was just unbelievable,” said Mr. Day’s brother, Tim Day. Eddy Day, who lived in Clifton, enjoyed traveling to Germany with his wife to visit her family and friends and even learned how to speak the language. “He took a little German in high school, but actively studied it later so he could communicate with her family and friends when they went to visit them,” said his brother. Mr. Day had been a member of Ladder 11 since 1993. Before that, he had been assigned to Engine Co. 28, which shares the same headquarters, since 1989. He began his career with the Fire Department in 1988, with Engine Co. 4, also in Manhattan. A lifelong Staten Islander born in Stapleton, he held a third-degree black belt in karate and enjoyed teaching children the discipline and respect associated with the martial art. “He taught very young children, 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds,” said his brother. “He always taught [that] karate was not about kicking someone’s butt — he hated when people took it like that. For him, it was about personal peace. It was something he did for himself.” A graduate of Curtis High School, Mr. Day ran on the school’s track team and had been a runner ever since. “He ran in the New York City Marathon several times,” said his brother. “I can’t remember [which one], but his first or second marathon, he had someone meet him in Central Park and changed shirts. It said ‘I Love You Gitta’ in German — and she was there at the finish line waiting for him and saw it. That was the kind of person he was.” His love of the outdoors and nature held a large place in his heart. This love extended toward the varied pets he and his wife cared for in their home: A dog, several cats, three snakes and a rabbit. Mr. Day and his wife of 20 years always vacationed with friends — at least one week per year — at a lake in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. “His eyes would light up when he talked about vacationing at Peck’s Lake,” said his longtime friend, Margaret Duffy-Shanley. Mr. Day was an avid golfer and was very proud of learning how to swim at the age of 40. He had an appetite for learning new things, said his brother. If a topic interested him, he would simply read a book on the subject and then do it. He enjoyed troubleshooting computers, rebuilding his garage, adding a deck and building a new roof for the house. Mr. Day, who attended the former Staten Island Community College in Sunnyside, also was a self-taught automobile and motorcycle mechanic. Known for his love of fun and friends, Mr. Day enjoyed relaxing with the occasional beer and schnapps. “He was always the life of the party, usually laughing the hardest at his own jokes,” said his mother, Grace Day. In addition to his mother, his wife, the former Bridgitte Milch, and his brother, Tim, also surviving are his father, Edward; his brother, Bill, and his sister, Liz Mindlin.