Matthew Rogan, Lad.11 Firefighter With a Record As a Humble Hero by Carolyn James Matthew Rogan grew up in a home where dedication and service was an example that was set every day in his life. His father was a New York City Police Officer who moved to the New York City Fire Department and his mother was one of the first female Police Officers in New York. Every day, the couple went from their home in Queens and later West Islip to serve the people of New York City. It came as no surprise to anyone then, when Matthew followed in his parents footsteps and joined the New York City Fire Department. “Actually, my brother was very much like my father,” said Matthew’s brother Christopher. “He was quiet and humble and very religious. He also had that twinkle in his eye that gave away his sense of daring and adventure. “My grandmother would say that he had the devil in his eye and an angel on his shoulder,” said Christopher, a resident of Brightwaters. Matthew Rogan was killed in the World Trade Center in New York City September 11, one of hundreds of police and firefighters to rush into the burning building to save the lives of those trapped there. The youngest of four children, Matthew Rogan also grew up in a home where his older brothers and sisters cared and protected him. “In the end, I guess we couldn’t protect him from everything,” said Christopher. In addition to his mother, father and brother Christopher, Mr. Rogan is survived by his wife Melissa and his children Sarah, Monica and Matthew. His brother Gerry and his wife Ellen of Pinebush, New York and his sister Bernadette Rogan Benenati of Dix Hills survives him as does his mother- and father-in-law Helen and Anthony Puleo and his sisters- and brothers-in-law Margaret Rogan of Brightwaters, Pam Puleo of West Islip, Stephanie and Randall Horner of Huntington, Susan and Gary Kammerman of Central Islip, and Michael and Joyce Puleo of of West Islip. Matthew Rogan was described by his family as a very humble person who didn’t think he did anything extraordinary. In 1998, when he and another firefighter jumped into a cold East River to save a woman, he said it was more difficult to walk up to Mayor Rudy Giuliani to receive a heroism award than it was to save the woman’s life. “He told me he was sweating at the ceremony, thinking about having to go up to the Mayor to get the award. He just didn’t want to take credit for what he did, he was just happy and I think honored to be able to do it.” The day of the attack, Rogan was not scheduled to work, but he had taken some time off from work the week before to finish some work on his kitchen, which he was redoing and was making good on what firefighters call a “mutual”—exchanging days with each other within their schedules. “I’m not sure when he got to the fire, but I do know he was always early for work, sometimes relieving some of the men on the shift before him a little earlier,” said Christopher. Matthew Rogan was born and raised in West Islip and attended local schools. He graduated St. John’s High School in West Islip, and from Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. He wanted to be a Park Ranger. “He loved the great outdoors,” said Christopher. He worked as a landscaper and his brother recalls how he used to watch his Matthew scale a high tree with a chain saw to cut a limb down. “He was somewhat daring, but after he got married and had children, I think he became more serious and as concerned about what would happen if something happened to him.” Matthew Rogan also found pleasure in working with his hands. He carved with wood and was a master gardener, taking particular pleasure in planting unusual plants and vegetables. His family is hoping to keep some of that alive. Christopher and his sister have taken some of the cloves of garlic from Matthew’s garden and will be transplanting them next year. “My brother told us that they grow better with each passing year and my sister wants to do that with his children as a sort of tradition. We are all still trying to find ways of dealing with this.” Article from theThe Babylon Beacon.