There is no place like McSorley’s in NYC.
The walls here speak: they tell of the Civil War, of a President’s assassination, of two World Wars and the sinking of a ship that wasn’t supposed to. They speak of a city before sewage pipes and hot water heaters, of Vaudeville theaters that lined the Bowery, of the NYPD and the FDNY. Walls dedicated to great men (past and present). There’s Patrick Gilmore who served in the Union Army and wrote: “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” (Hurrah! Hurrah!), there’s Battalion Chief John J. Bresnan, who fought in the 69th Regiment during the Civil War yet died in the line of duty in 1895. Ed Marcoux, his great-grandson, retired from Bronx Ladder 59, still visits to pay respect (and we, him). There’s our very own Richard Buggy who dedicated 51 years to working at McSorley’s but also retired from the NYPD as Detective —the original ‘Muggable Mary’. Behind the bar, a photo of retired FDNY Captain Mike Fitall (Engine 271) and Firefighter Richie Schmidt, Rescue 4, holding a purple and black stripe parade banner honoring their “343” brothers who perished on 911.
Here at McSorley’s, honor, respect, and tradition live and breathe in unique ways: Back in 2002, on the first anniversary of 911, at 3:43 PM, Richie Schmidt stood atop the bar and gave the most loving, poignant speech about the brotherhood ever heard. The sawdust covered floors soaked up more than spilled ale.
In tribute to Richie Schmidt, the FDNY and the NYPD, and to all who serve selflessly to protect, McSorley’s artist Gregory de la Haba created the sterling silver McSorley’s Firemen Helmet with the hopes that the honorable deeds of those who put their lives on the line each day, and to those who gave the greatest sacrifice, will be remembered each day —a tangible tribute to Never Forget.
A portion of the proceeds to benefit The Silver Shield Foundation.