By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 16, 2001 10:46 AM
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New Yorkers, including their indefatigable Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, turned out en masse for Saturday’s three separate funerals of the Fire Department’s First Deputy Commissioner William Feehan, Chief of Department Peter Ganci and Department Chaplain Mychal Judge. The robust and beloved Father Mike, as he was known to all, was the first body to be removed from the World Trade Center wreckage, where he had been administering last rites to fallen firemen before the tower collapsed and killed him. He was identified on his death certificate as victim No. 1. As was noted by Rev. Michael Duffy during the funeral mass, many believers feel that that Father Mike, 68, will be the first soul to welcome the others into Heaven. Ganci, 54, a 33-year veteran of the department, survived the first tower’s collapse and ordered the fire command post north. Ganci then ran south to make sure everyone was evacuated, only to be killed when the second tower came down. His white chief’s helmet lay on his casket during the service in Farmingdale, on Long Island. The funeral for Feehan, 71, took place Saturday morning at a church in the city’s northeastern borough of Queens. He had spent nearly 40 years devoted to the department. “Today was a very solemn and difficult day in New York City,” Mayor Giuliani said at a news conference Saturday evening. “Unfortunately, it is an indication of what we are probably going to face in the future.” Speaking about the three men who were eulogized on Saturday, the mayor added, “They are heroes. They are like the heroes we had at Pearl Harbor. Each one of them were trying to save lives.”