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Captain William F. Burke, Jr.
World Trade Center, New York City, NY
Employer: New York Fire Department

New York, NY NY
Age: 46

To post a memory, prayer, or offer words of encouragment, click here.

Tiffani WAre

My name is Tiffani and this past Saturday, October 20,2012 I ran in the Hero Rush 343 wave in honor of you and may I say what A blessing it was to wear your name on my runners bib. I knew the whole time you were with me, The times I may have wanted to give up because the obstacles were to high in the air, or just scary looking, but you were there with me to tell me to never give up, like you didn't give up running into that flaming building to save the lives that you did!!! Thank you for being a Firefighter and serving your duty, I never met you, but you will forever be in my heart.... Thanks for being there with me the whole way through those hard five miles.

Dustin Zakar

Billy Burke,
Growing up at the beach with all of you guys was such a great experience, one that I wouldn't trade for the world. Such great times. I miss all of you terribly and hope you are all playing together on the beach somewhere. Until we meet again.
Love Dustin Zakar

Derek Bryson

It was an honor to do the Dallas Stair Climb this morning to honor Capt Burke for paying the ultimate sacrifice 10 years ago today. I climbed 110 flights of stairs with his name and picture. It was an honor to be a part of this and I look forward to doing this every year on 9/11 to remember our fallen brothers. God Bless you all!

Mark Jos

I googled a random name I heard being read out loud and decided to leave a prayer. The name of Captain William Francis Burke jr. is no longer random to me.

In The Netherlands, I have been watching the television and feeling your pain, tears on my cheek.

I have never known you William Burke, but I so much hope that your family and friends are in good health. Good luck to all of them in these harsh times from the other side of the globe!
I hope you are having a great time in heaven, where they probably have a special place for great heroes like yourself.

Maybe, some day I will meet you up there,


carol schwartz

I did not know that Billy died on 9/11. I went to high school with him, and it just does not seem possible. A little belated, but my hear and prayers go out to his family.

Paul Ongtooguk

During my first visit to NYC stayed at a hotel near Engine Co 21 and was able to visit the memorial on the company house wall.

Captain William Burke, Jr. my thoughts are with you, your family and friends.

We live along the water in Anchorage and think of you and your life of taking care of others as a life guard, family member, friend and fireman.

Peace be with you, your family and friends.
Quyanna (thank you)

sean bothwell

You are always in my thoughts,I will always be grateful for the great time you gave me in N.Y. when I was hosted by your marvellous family.May the lord be with you and god bless all the family. Sean. N.Ireland

Kelly Vargo

I'm a firefighter/EMT-En for a small town volunteer fire department and rescue squad in South Eastern Virginia (Boykins Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad). On the day of 9-11, I was a senior in high school and a 3rd year member in my department.

Mourning for the loss of my fellow 343, I wear Capt. William F. Burke's name on a memorial bracelet around my wrist everyday. It reminds me of his unselfish act to his community on that day. It is also a constant reminder to keep my goals of becoming a flight nurse for an air ambulance service so I, like Captain Burke, can serve my community. Captain Burke is with me everyday, on every call, and is watching out for my fellow members in my department.

God bless Captain Burke's family

*If a family member happens to read this, e-mail me at klv1400@netscape.net. I would like to get to know a little more about Captain Burke. Thanks, Kelly

Gwendolyn Webber-McLeod

As we approach another anniversary of September 11 may the lives of those who died on this terrible day serve as an inspiration to us all. May their spirits soar forever
Gwen Webber-McLeod


I know it's really hard to say at this time of year but I wish the whole Burke family Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year.

James Burke

To all those who have taken the time to write such beautiful words, my family and I thank you! Your love and support mean much more than words can describe. As those of us who knew Billy can agree, Billy was so often larger than life. He was truly one of the most caring and given people I have ever known as well as one of the most fun people to be around. It is still very hard to believe he really is gone. I still expect him to come rolling in and turn my kids and the rest of the house upside down at any moment! Thank you for keeping his legacy alive!

James Burke

To all those who have taken the time to write such beautiful words, my family and I thank you! Your love and support mean much more than words can describe. As those of us who knew Billy can agree, Billy was so often larger than life. He was truly one of the most caring and given people I have ever known as well as one of the most fun people to be around. It is still very hard to believe he really is gone. I still expect him to come rolling in and turn my kids and the rest of the house upside down at any moment! Thank you for keeping his legacy alive!

Susie Kushy

Dear Billy,

Miss you terribly. Took a swim the other day - survived- made me think of some of the old days and the great times we all had.

You are always in my thoughts and prayers.



Gone but certainly not forgotten. You are missed by many.


As the second anniversary of this tragic event approaches, we all must realize that we are on this earth for a short time. We must take care of each other and love one another. Don't sweat the small stuff because life is too precious. Never forget those you love!!!

Jimmy Fitz

Its taken me over 2 years to write something to you, but words can't describe the way I feel about this sad event. We shared those "tender years" together and stayed close friends until the end. Your death changed my entire outlook on life. I treasure each waking moment knowing that this time on earth may end today. Life passes in the blink of an eye, and I try not to waste any moments since 911.

You are in my prayers nightly, and I know sometime from now we will meet again, and continue our eternal lives.

For now all I can do is think of a quote from the Countin' Crows Mrs Potter which says "...The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings..." and right now I am paying that price, but someday I know the memory will turn into a reality and the sorrow will go away.

May God bless you Billy Burke, and lay his hand of comfort on your family.

I am proud to have lived knowing that you made the world a little better place to live, and that my children sleep tight at night knowing that people of your character are alive in the dreams and aspiration of today's youth.

Rest well old friend,

Jimmy Fitz

a friend

I miss you sooooooooo much. Celebrated your birthday with some of the many who love you. Toasted you at midnight. Ate a black and white cookie on my walk home. I miss you so very much.

Britt Kaplan

Silly Uncle Billy-
Heyy Billy, how's heaven because I know that you are up there with your heart of gold. Not everything is going the best, I miss you like crazy and can't stand not having you ask me your famous question! Well, actually my answer now is I'm so pretty because you're my friend. You've taught me so much over the 12 years that I have known you, and by the way those years were the best years of my LIFE! You have taught me to not be slefish and put others before myslef, and now I am going to think of you every time something happens and people have to go before I do. I miss you and I love you with ALL MY HEART!!!!<33 You're the best SILLY UNCLE BILLY!!!

-Britt Kaplan
(Stuart Kaplan's daughter)

Jay Liegey

Remember when You, Stu, Zakar, Rich Malen and Me posed for that photograph, in the summer of '01. I quoted it and you wrote it- " The best RM II lifeguard and four other guy's" There is a problem though. We ALL think we are the BEST!!!! I know that there is a girl alive today because of you and me. I brought her out of the water. I was exhausted, you ran up and we started CPR on her. She lived because of your persistance. I remember early in your fireman career I was walking by a news stand here in Florida. The NY Daily News had a front page article about some fireman pulling these bums out of a burning building. I looked closley it was you. So I brought this to school and laminated it, and when we started the beach the next summer I took the newspaper article to RM II and hung it in the shack. Above it I placed the words "MY HERO" You were then and you are now and you will always be "MY HERO" I miss your funny cards, your phone calls talking about the Yankees. I miss you singing and dancing on the deck at the beach, I miss your BIG mouth. But mst of all I miss you. Please watch over all us, we need your help still!!!!!

Jay Liegey


Miss. U

"Capt. William F."- I recognize the sameness and you know exactly what I mean. Before September 11, 2001- when we would send each other messages via e-mail almost daily- I addressed you as "W". Although I may know more than one Captain William F., I know only one W.


If you're not busy tonight, come visit. I'm going to bed early and saving my dreams for you. I love you.

-Miss. U


We think and pray for you every day. We miss you terribly and wish your family only the best. Your family is so proud of you!!!

We love you,
Carole & Jay


Although I never knew you, I feel like I do. I live in Dallas, but your firehouse is directly across from my company's offices in Manhattan, and during the time I have spent in the office post 9/11, I have gotten to know the men of Engine 21 and you through them. Your entire life as a fireman and lifeguard was spent protecting others, which is the most noble calling one can have. I am forever thankful for the kindness and courage that you and all firemen express everday, and for the ultimate sacrifice you paid on that fated day in September. May God bless you and all firefighters and hold you in the palm of his hands.



William De Jesus

Even though we have never met, I would
just like to say that me being a retired Army soldier, I can say that I
am proud to serve for my country. My thoughts and prayers go out to your
family. May God bless all of you.

St. Andrew's 5th & 6th Sunday School Class

Prayer from AVD 5th grader-

May God be with you, may you have memories of him. Amen

Aisys Adona

To Mr. William F. "Burke" Jr,

There are not enough words to express how I feel about September 11th. It saddens me to know that you, along with many thousands of innocent people, were killed because of such a violent and hateful act. On that Tuesday morning, my heart and prayers immediately went out to all those who were in New York. I would now like to offer a prayer in your memory...

May your memory be remembered forever more. May God bless and help your family through the one year anniversary of September 11th. I am hoping you can now rest in peace, enter the Gates of Heaven, and join our Heavenly Father. Thank you SO much for your courage and strenth. It is people like you who make this world a great place to live in. To all those who lost you as a partner/worker/friend/loved-one, may they have enough strength to mourn your loss. I offer my condolences to them, as I know it must be hard to grieve again. I will never think of September 11th as 'another normal day' ever again. Rest in Peace. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you. You are truly a HERO.

Aisys Adona
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

Jordan Kaplan

Silly Uncle Billy,
I love you more than words can say. You've inspired to me to do my best and put other before myself. You are like an uncle to me and I miss you with all of my heart. I love you my Silly Uncle Billy...
-Jordan Kaplan
(Stu Kaplan's daughter)

Karen Keough Doane


Our families have always been close and now more than ever we are keeping you and all the Burke's close to our heart. You will be loved and missed forever. Thank you for showing us what a hero really is. We couldn't be more proud of you.

James M. Burke

As my older brother I always looked to you for guidance and approval. I never realized how much of a hero you are till you were gone. God Bless you and know that your nieces and nephews and I are incredibly proud of your courage and leadership in facing the worst attack in this countrys history. You will always be my hero and the hero of all who knew you.

Gwendolyn Webber-McLeod

To Billy Burke You will be forever missed by all that love you. Rest in Peace. May Your Spirit Soar.