Loving Send-Off For Hero Firefighter

The city said goodbye to yet another fallen hero yesterday -this time it was Firefighter Gary Geidel of Rescue 1, who was given a final farewell at Snug Harbor, Staten Island. An ex-Marine, Geidel hailed from an entire family of smoke-eaters - dad Paul and brothers Mike and Ralph, who were all there, as well as Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Mayor Bloomberg and ex-Mayor Giuliani.

Bloomberg said he could not explain why terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, but promised widow Matilda and daughter Tillie that he would do his best to make the world better for future generations.

"We can't turn back the clock, but I commit to you that we'll try to build a better world," said the mayor.

Geidel, 44, was remembered as a gentle giant who enjoyed simply working on his house or playing football. Firefighter Glen Midvo of Engine 151 said he was routinely mowed down by the blocking Geidel. "He was a monster football player, but the nicest guy you ever met."

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