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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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A bloom far from Brooklyn
By Times Staff Writer
Published September 30, 2007
Carol Coakley watches the planting of geraniums near the Madeira Beach memorial in honor of her son, Steven Coakley, an FDNY firefighter killed on 9/11. Steven was one of four killed from Firehouse 217 in Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Coakley lived on Madeira Beach and commuted to work a few times a month.
[Cherie Diez | Times]
Six years after firefighter Steven Coakley was lost in the rubble of the World Trade Center, his mother, Carol Coakley of Long Island, watches friends and family, including her 3-year-old granddaughter, Stephanie Walker of Charlotte, N.C., plant flowers in his honor at his memorial on Bay Point Drive in Madeira Beach.
Steven, 36, was one of four killed from Bedford-Stuyvesant's firehouse 217 in Brooklyn. But home was the Madeira Beach house he was remodeling. He commuted to work in New York, working double and triple shifts so he could spend a couple of weeks at a time in Florida.
He was in the middle of adding a second story to his home when he left Florida on Sept. 9, 2001, to work an overnight shift the next day.
He was nearing the end of his shift when the call came that the first plane hit the tower. He jumped on Engine 217 and headed to the World Trade Center. He was last seen pushing people out of the way of falling debris just before the first tower collapsed.
The Madeira Beach house stood vacant for more than a year until his father, Vincent "Vinny" Coakley, moved down to finish the remodeling, hoping to gain some closure at the same time.
But both parents say closure has been elusive. "Children," Carol said, "are not supposed to go before their parents."