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'Brotherhood' Memories

The images tell the story - a lone firefighter from Engine 46 hangs his head as he rests on a cot in his Bronx firehouse. His exhausted brethren from Engine 298 doze on couches across town in their Queens station.

The photographs are among hundreds in a 240-page book documenting Sept. 11 losses of New York City's Fire Department. A total of 343 firefighters died in the terrorist attacks. Nearly 70 photographers spent weeks inside the 79 city firehouses that lost members, recording the aftermath of emotions, memorials and community support that followed the devastation.

Photographers, including Mary Ellen Mark, Albert Watson and Mark Seliger, donated their time; American Express donated the publishing costs and Ogilvy & Mather Advertising created the book, "Brotherhood," which will be available early next month.

Rick Boyko, co-president of Ogilvy & Mather, came up with the idea for the book days after the attacks when he, like many New Yorkers, wandered Manhattan to gaze at the hundreds of makeshift memorials. Boyko was drawn to firehouses that day, and visited two in lower Manhattan and another in midtown.

"It was sort of like art. There was poetry on the sidewalk, flags made of flowers, letters people had taped up to their fallen families and friends - all of it just felt like art," Boyko said. "I said, 'Somebody should document this,' but didn't think of us doing it at the time. I said, 'This could make a book."'

His co-workers jumped on the idea the next week, and by Saturday, Sept. 22, nearly 40 photographers were heading out to fire stations all over the city. The Fire Department eventually joined the project, and will receive 500 copies of the book to give to families of firefighters lost in the disaster.

The book features introductions by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and author Frank McCourt.

"I have traveled all over New York City in the aftermath of this tragedy and one thing has become clear to me: their heroism has dramatically increased the size of our Fire Department family. Now it includes all New Yorkers," Von Essen wrote.

"They have opened their hearts to us - whether it was lining the streets to hold up messages of encouragement, covering the front of our firehouses with candles and flowers and expressions of sympathy ... or simply shaking our hands in thanks, offering a kind word of consolation," he continued.

On its cover is a firefighter with a flag draped laboriously over his arms, holding a helmet with the number "343." Inside the book, the names of the fallen firefighters are written in a continuous line of tiny silver script about an inch from the bottom of each page.

"Brotherhood" is divided into six sections: "The Places" features outside photographs of the stations themselves; "At Home" shows the insides of the firehouses; "The Living" is made up of portraits of firefighters; "The Fallen" has images dedicated to the lost; "Grief" features shots of the many akeshift memorials; and "Hope" contains images of children's letters to firefighters, which were posted throughout New York City following the devastation.

Proceeds from the $29.95 book will be split between the Twin Towers Fund and the Family Assistance Project of the FDNY Fire Safety Education Fund.

By Sara Kugler ©MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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