Maynard will get a hero's burial tomorrow, almost four years after he gave his life in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
June 10, 2005 -- Maynard will get a hero's burial tomorrow, almost four years after he gave his life in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Maynard, 30, had been a firefighter for two years when he and six other members of Engine Co. 33 died at the World Trade Center.
His family held an emotional memorial service for him in November 2001 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and his son, Keithroy Maynard II, then 6, wearing his dad's fire helmet, spoke of his love for his "hero" father.
"That wasn't closure for me," said Maynard's twin brother, Kevin, 33. "There was no casket or remains. This brings closure."
Keithroy Marcellus Maynard's remains were identified in 2003, but relatives weren't "ready to say goodbye," according to an FDNY source. They didn't want to bury the fallen hero in case other remains were found - but they made up their mind to have a funeral after the Medical Examiner's Office wrote to 9/11 families saying it was halting identification efforts.
"We decided to have a Fire Department funeral," said Kevin Maynard. "The guys at the firehouse felt he deserved a department funeral."
Family, friends and firefighters will attend Keithroy's Manhattan funeral service at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Master on Morningside Avenue.
"We hope he gets a big turnout and gets buried with the type of honor he deserves," said Paul Washington, president of the Vulcan Society, an organization of black firefighters to which Keithroy Maynard belonged.
Many 9/11 families have asked the Medical Examiner's Office to hold on to their loved ones' remains until they can decide whether to bury them or wait to see if more remains are identified, said spokeswoman Ellen Borakove.
The agency is storing the remains - 9,194 unidentified out of 19,963 recovered - and will one day transfer them downtown, where they will become part of the permanent 9/11 memorial, Borakove said.
Since 9/11, the medical examiner has identified 1,591 people of the 2,749 killed - using DNA, dental records, X-rays and photographs.
Kevin - who moved to Houston and became a firefighter to honor his brother - says coming back to the city is a tough task.
"There's a feeling of emptiness," he said. "But it's part of life, I guess.
"I didn't want to be a firefighter at first," he said. "But when he died, I decided to do it and kind of finish out his career.
"It's not a decision that I regret."
Keithroy, who was born in Montserrat in the Caribbean and was a resident of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, was the youngest member of the executive board of the Vulcan Society. He served some time with Engine Co. 220 in Brooklyn.
He was also survived by his mother, Pearl, along with several brothers and sisters, according to the FDNY. His distant cousin, Army Staff Sgt. Maudlyn White, was killed on 9/11 during the Pentagon attack.
Kevin said Pearl is "doing a lot better because it's been a while," but "when I went with her to see the casket, it brought back a lot of reality. For me, it started all over again. But I know it's for the best."
Friends and family say Maynard will be remembered for his big laugh and his immense heart.
"Keithroy was a great guy. He was a fun-loving kind of guy, but he was serious at the same time," said Washington.
Washington said Keithroy, the group's former sergeant-at-arms, was a Continental Airlines mechanic before following his father into the FDNY.
Maynard's father, Reynold White, was an FDNY captain. Maynard "was proud of Montserrat, his West Indian heritage," said Washington. "He was proud of his family."
One mourner who will attend is Malik Maynard, the 11-year-old son of the hero's brother Vernon.