The somber wake for Long Island firefighter James Ryan Sunday was filled with sadness and anger.
Upset that Ryan wasn’t given a line-of-duty funeral service, Ryan’s Engine Co. 320 organized an honor guard, bagpipes and transport vehicles on their own.
They said it was about respect for a hero who worked at the World Trade Center site for months after Sept. 11 and whose body gave in to the side-effects of pancreatic cancer on Christmas morning.
“I’m pretty bitter about it,” said Ryan’s brother, Michael, 50, of how his brother’s death is being handled by the city fire department.
The family, including widow Magda and three children, has no doubt Ryan’s death was related to 9/11.
“The doctors had no doubt,” Michael Ryan said. “The people who were there that day were victims. They didn’t hesitate. . . That’s what a real hero does.”
Fellow firefighters said Ryan deserved a line of duty funeral with all the bells, whistles and family benefits that usually come with it.