National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Battalion Chief
Age: 54
Year of Death: 2001

Matthew L. Ryan

FDNY Battalion Chief 6/23/47 – 9/1/01

Matthew Ryan had two loves in his life‚ his family and the fire department. He was a loving husband‚ father‚ grandfather‚ son‚ brother and friend. He leaves behind his wife of 32 years – Margaret‚ his three children – Meaghan‚ Matthew‚ and Joyce‚ his grandson – Michael‚ his mother – Teresa‚ and brothers – Brendan and Frank.

When Matty returned from Vietnam‚ he met Margaret across a crowded room. They became soul mates and best friends and were married shortly afterwards. He attended St. Francis College‚ working nights to help support them.

Upon graduation‚ Matty joined the Fire Department of New York. He served 18 of his 28-year career in Engine 280‚ both as a firefighter and captain. Matty studied hard and rose through the ranks‚ finally being promoted to Battalion Chief almost exactly one year before September 11th. Many firemen and officers in all ranks respected him as ‘a Fireman’s Fireman.’ His strong sense of duty and responsibility gave everyone in the firehouse confidence when ‘Matty was on duty.’ He was often found‚ even in the heat of a big fire‚ whispering in a younger fireman’s ear‚ giving him instructions and keeping him calm. If he was injured‚ he never complained‚ and most of the time‚ the firemen with him never knew until after he went to the hospital. It was those character traits that made everyone admire and love him.

Matthew Ryan was a man of many different loves and interests that made him the man he was. He was very proud of being Irish and epitomized all the best qualities of an Irishman. His greatest passions were hockey‚ music and his newspapers. Matty played hockey with FDNY leagues for 26 years and made numerous friends. His favorite time was a Sunday evening sitting in the living room – simultaneously watching hockey on TV‚ listening to his favorite radio show and reading his newspaper. ‘T’was heaven’ to him.

Matty is dearly missed and will never be forgotten by his family‚ friends‚ and all who knew him and loved him.

Margaret Ryan

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. I’m running a Patriot Race Sunday and Chief Ryan is on my bib. Thank you and his family for his service. My husband Larry is a firefighter, Engine 1, in Corpus Christi Tx

    – Lynn hartnett
  2. It’s very humbling to be able to climb the tower tomorrow in memory of all our brothers and sisters but especially Chief Mathew L Ryan who’s name il be wearing with pride. Thanks to the family also.
    Willie Popata
    Kamo Fire
    New Zealand

    – Willie Popata
  3. I ran in the Run to Remember 9/11 Race in Sacramento today and the name I placed my flag at was Matthew Lancelot Ryan’s. I came home and looked on line to find out who this man was. A Battalion Chief…but also a husband, father and grandfather. Such a terrible loss. Sir, your family must be so proud of the life you lived and the man you were for them! You must be greatly missed by family and co-workers. Bless you for leading by example.

    – Carol Edwards
  4. It was my honor to carry Cheif Ryan with me in the Richmond 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb yesterday. I’m a Volunteer Firefighter with Abingdon Volunteer Fire and Rescue in Gloucester County VA and this is always an emotional time for me. I’m glad I was able to honor Cheif Ryan and the other fallen firefighters, EMS and Police Officers that gave their lives to save others that day. I live my life every day hoping to be even 10% as brave as those men and women were. #neverforget

    – Christina Harrison
  5. Today I climbed in the Memorial 9/11 climb at Lambeau Field (home of the Packers) Green Bay, WI in honor of all of the fallen but in Memory of Chief Ryan. He and I climbed and rang the bell at floor 78 after which we continued on and completed our climb to the top. It was an honor and I Thank him for the service and dedication he displayed on that tragic day. He will Never be forgotten!
    ~~~~ Ralanna Zimmer

    – Ralanna Zimmer
  6. Thank you for your bravery and service Matty.

    – Denise Ryan
  7. I am a 13 year firefighter, 5 year husband and new father I will have BC Ryan on my bunker gear tomorrow for the tunnel to tower 5k. I wish his family both blood and FD the best and know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow as I complete the 5k in his honor. Thank you for the honor of allowing me to run with him.

    – Jason Chesteen
  8. Battalion Chief Ryan, I had the distinct honor today, 9-11-18, to walk with you (a picture of your smiling face on a chain around my neck) at the 9-11 Stair Climb at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. There were about 2,500 of us, firefighters and civilians. It was a beautiful day at the stunning outdoor amphitheater up against the mountains. The bagpipes started the climb and 4 fiddlers finished it. I hope you enjoyed the day. We will NEVER FORGET.

    – Elane Ables
  9. Today September 16,2018 I climbed in your Honor at the Binghamton NY stair climb. Rest easy!!

    – Kimberly Austin
  10. It was an honor to carry your name and photo on my turnout gear as I ran up 28 floors at the Melbourne firefighter stair climb on the 7th of September
    Hope you enjoyed the view up there!
    R.I.P brother

    – Daniel Ellard
  11. Today I completed the 9/11 Tower Challenge in Glendale, Arizona in honor of Matthew Ryan. We climbed the same number of stairs they did that day, in remembrance. Thank you for your service.

    – Sarah Horton
  12. He was my grandpa. I sadly never got to meet him. He was my mom’s dad and he sound like a good guy, through the stories that I’ve heard. I just wish I could meet him, even if its just for one second. I’ve heard so many good things about him and I know what it’s like to lose a dad.

    – Elizabeth Ryan
  13. Happy Valentine’s day to my first valentine. I miss you more than words can express.

    – Meaghan Ryan
  14. What a hero. I’m humbled by his bravery. I’m adopted. I found my father this year, he is Matthew’s cousin. Me and my son visited the memorial site a few years ago and never realized we had a close relative associated with 9/11. God bless Matthew L. Ryan

    – Karl french
  15. Today I had the honor to wear a badge with Battalion Chief Ryan’s picture during the TriCities VA/TN 9/11 Stairclimb in Bristol. I am humbled by his service and his bravery. He will never be forgotten.

    – Zach Lee
  16. To the family of Matthew L.Ryan,
    I climbed the stairs in Knoxville , Tennessee yesterday in honor of Matthew! I felt deeply touched and honored to do this! I will be praying for your family. He will never be forgotten!!! What a true here!!

    – Becky Watson
  17. I’m a firefighter from Kewaunee, WI I honored Matthew at Lambeau field stair climb on 9-11-21. I wore a picture of him on my turn out gear. He sounded like a very strong willed guy.

    – Chad VanLanen
  18. On Saturday 10th September 2022, 600 Firefighters and other Emergency Service Personnel will “step up to fight depression, PTSI and suicide” by climbing the 28 floors of Crown Metropol Hotel wearing 25kgs of turnout gear and breathing apparatus.

    The Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb remembers the 343 Firefighters that lost their lives in the line of duty on 11th September 2001.

    My stair climb race bib will include the name and photo of FDNY Firefighter Matthew L Ryan in memory of their sacrifice made on that fateful day. Read more about Matthew L Ryan.

    I hope this supports his family and friends in ensuring his sacrifice is never forgotten

    Lowan Sist
  19. On Saturday 10th September 2022, climbing stairs wearing BC Ryan’s Picture and details with pride. Never forgotten, service remembered.
    Lowan Sist VFF
    Ferntree Gully Fire Brigade,
    Country Fire Authority

    Lowan Sist