Fire Dept. Bids Farewell to Last Known 9/11 Search Dog
A 16-year-old golden retriever and the last known surviving dog that responded to ground zero during search and rescue efforts was put to rest Monday.
Richard Morgan’s retirement lasted approximately 14 hours. But, he was so widely respected and loved his job too much. On June 8, 2000, he was forced to officially retire at 65 years old from his role as vice president of Con Edison’s emergency management team. On the next day, he returned to work as a consultant.
He worked with Con Edison’s emergency management team responding to disasters to assure site safety and swift power restoration. He responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. He was trying to reach an electrical substation and help firefighters navigate the system near the towers and was killed when the South Tower collapsed. Today would have been his 81st birthday.
Morgan valued developing professional relationships and loyalty. His daughter Kathy remembers he would often say, “It doesn’t matter how high you climb on the ladder, it matters how many people are going to stand on that rung with you.”
Despite his senior position, Morgan continued to descend into basements and manholes with his crew. His son Kevin remembers asking him why he worked so much if he was the boss.
“If I’m going to ask my people to go into work on a Saturday or Sunday or a holiday or late at night, then I’m going to go too,” Kevin Morgan recalls his father saying. “I’m not going to ask them to do something I’m not willing to do myself.”
Morgan was a family man who adored his wife Patricia and is remembered by his four grown children for his profound fondness of sweets. The family bought a separate freezer to hold the quarts of chocolate mousse and economy-sized gallon drums of vanilla chocolate fudge swirl ice cream that he always kept stocked. A cake sat on a glass cake stand on the dining room table, “like a shrine.”
In honor of their father’s memory, tonight his children will serve his favorite cake.
By Jenny Pachucki, 9/11 Memorial Content Strategist