National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 51
Year of Death: 2001

Stephen E. Belson

Stephen Belson graduated from Lehman College‚ Bronx‚ NY. in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. He became a ‘career’ lifeguard in Rockaway ‚ NY where he lived for 30 years.

He joined the NYC Fire Department in 1973 along with many of his lifeguard friends and immediately he had found his calling. He established lifelong friendships in Rockaway and the Fire Department. Most of his 23 years in the Fire Department were at Engine 1‚ Ladder 24 on 31st Street and 7th Avenue. His love and dedication to that firehouse gave him the label ‘Mr. Ladder 24.’ One of his dearest friends was Father Mychal Judge and he was made an honorary Irishman by the Consulate General of Ireland. He was not married.

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. I’m doing a research on him

    – Shilon
  2. I believe I lived and grew up with him and his brother. Did he have a brother named Bruce who is now 68 years of age ??? Fresh Meadows Flushing NY.

    Stuart Furstman
  3. I climbed 110 floors in your honor yesterday. I am a deputy from Tennessee, but I consider it a great honor to climb for my new hero. I thank you for your sacrifice, and may you forever rest in peace.

    – Allen Rogers
  4. I participated in a 5K run/walk for the fallen today. I walked for Firefighter Stephen E Belson, Ladder 24. It was an honor to walk in memory of Firefighter Belson. Thank You for your great sacrifice, you will never be forgotten. Nichole Reimer

    – Nichole Reimer
  5. I climbed 110 stories in your honor yesterday sir. Thank you for your sacrifice and I would love to get in touch with any family still alive today

    – Josh England
  6. I climbed 110 stories in your honor 9/11/17 in Denver, CO. This was my first memorial stair climb event. It was the most humbling and amazing experience of my fire career to date, and looking forward I’m planning on climbing again and again. Thank you for your sacrifice, and laying the ground work for all of us to strive to be a better person, and Never Forget.

    – Dave Hawkins
  7. Watching the memorial swim today in Rockaway. RIP we are all thinking of you

    – Kristina
  8. I climbed “110 floors” on Monserate Mountain today with his picture and in his honor. I appreciated his ultimate sacrifice.

    – Charlotte
  9. I am walking the Red Rocks Stair climb for you tomorrow. As a wife of a firefighter, it is important to me that no one ever forget! Blessings to your family.

    – Patricia J. Seno
  10. He was my Uncle/Second Cousin.


    – Ann E Brandstadter
  11. I climbed 110 stories in your honor today, 9/15/19. Thank you for your sacrifice.
    Never forget.

    – Jennifer Lowery
  12. I knew Stephen from my days as a young bartender in Rockaway Beach. He would stop in once in a while after a commute home from working a 24 hour shift in NYC. He was a perfect customer and a wonderful man. He would have one or two cold beers and grin from ear to ear as he told me how much he loved his job and his fellow firefighters. He was so excited for me (as I was waiting to enter the Fire Academy at that time). You were so right Steve, I too love the work. I thank you for being so supportive and encouraging. You are missed and will never be forgotten.

    – Christopher Zam
  13. Today, September 11th, 2020, I am wearing a badge with Stephen’s name and photo on it while myself and a few brothers return home from Pierce in Wisconsin back home to California. It seems fitting carrying “Mr. Ladder 24” with me after we did final inspection on our new Ladder Truck. Matt Dowland, Captain, Apple Valley Fire District

    – Matt Dowland
  14. I’m an East Tennessee paramedic. I climbed 110 flights today in your memory, while holding a badge with your picture and name on it. That badge will become one of the items I shovel into my pockets before every shift. I know you were a ladder man, but you’ll get to go along on a frontline ALS unit now. Thank you and God bless.

    – Jen
  15. Steve was a my Dad’s first cousin and my first cousin once removed. I remember him every day when I see my kids. Steve was always the coolest when I was a kid. Every family gathering he showed up in his crazy Hawaiian shirts. He loved the beach out on the Rockaways and they renamed one of them Bells beach as he was a lifeguard too. He was larger than life and a great person! We miss you!

    – Alec Weiss
  16. I will be doing a 20 year memorial 9.11k run tomorrow in your honor and wearing a badge with your picture. Thank you for your sacrifice, sir. You will not be forgotten

    – Angela Taylor
  17. Today on September 11, 2021 I had the honor of remembering Mr. Ladder 24, Stephen E. Belsen. Speaking his name, ringing the bell, and climbing the stairs was my way of living into the promise to never forget. To his family, friends and fellow firefighters may it be of comfort that strangers continue to tell the story of those who served their city and our nation.

    – Chaplain Tim Dieffenbach
  18. Today I have the honor to wear the badge of Stephen Belson as I walk the stair walk for honored hero’s. As I walk I will keep him in my heart and prayers along with all the heroes of that day. God bless them all.

    – Janet Hake
  19. I met Steve when we both attended Lehman College in 1971-72 and ended up hanging out together. He was the one who told me about the lifeguard trick of using Coca-Cola to remove tar from your feet! I moved from New York and we lost touch but he was a great guy and it was a shock when I learned he had perished on 9/11. Thanks Steve. You’re not forgotten.

    Tom Keating
  20. I received my backing the brave fund raiser 2022 T-shirt last night. When I opened it there was a badge with the t-shirt. When i set the t-shirt and badge over my dinning room chair I didn’t think to much about it . As my son in-law and grand children sat down for dinner I said Stephen is with us tonight, his memory was the talk at my table that evening. I live in S.Florida and will be honoring Stephen E. Belson on 9-11-22 memorial stair climb at Quite Waters Park.

    – Daniel Hutchinson
  21. Stephen, I climbed in your honor today, 09/11, at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten, you are a true hero.

    – Melanie
  22. I climbed in your honor today in Estes Park.. you are never forgotten

    – Donna Williams
  23. I participated in the Tower Challenge today and did it in your honor. Thank you for your service. Godspeed Sir

    – Jennifer. Ledon
  24. I got the honor to climb 110 floors for you at FDIC 2023. It was a challenge but a privilege to do so

    – Austin