A FDNY Chaplain Ann Margaret Kansfield is being hailed a hero by a New York couple claiming that the caring chaplain provided them peace and comfort during a time of chaos and uncertainty. Kansfield was near the deadly crane crash in lower Manhattan when, through the chaos, she saw a shivering bride, 25-year-old Nesh Pillay, dressed in her white wedding gown emerge in a state of shock from a local hair salon. The determined FDNY chaplain immediately rushed to the bride’s side and threw her yellow and black waterproof jacket over her beautiful white dress. She then led the young bride through the crane wreckage to find her waiting groom-to-be, 27-year-old Aaron Vanderhoff.
With the bride’s hair, makeup and dress all in place, it appeared that the wedding would be cancelled as plans for an intimate wedding with close family and friends at the local courthouse was no longer a possibility as the officiant couldn’t wait any longer for the couple. However, Chaplain Kansfield wasn’t about to let the couple’s big day be ruined in an already unfathomable tragedy. Instead, Kansfield performed an impromptu wedding for the couple on the steps of the courthouse building as family looked on.
The Daily Mail reports that FDNY Chaplain Ann Margaret Kansfield had no idea when she went to the scene of a fatal crane crash that she would end up saving a young couple’s wedding and brighten a bride’s day amid the horrible tragedy which surrounded them. When Kansfield arrived on the scene, she noticed a woman dressed in a beautiful white wedding gown outside of a hair salon, shivering in the cold as she looked on in horror at the devastation around her. The young woman, bride-to-be Nesh Pillay, had been in the salon getting her hair done for a wedding that was supposed to take place around the corner at the local courthouse. However, as the woman prepared for her special day, unspeakable tragedy struck outside as a crane collapsed into the streets of lower Manhattan, killing one young man.
Determined not to let the chaos and devastation ruin this woman’s big day, Chaplain Kansfield immediately rushed to the bride’s side and threw her yellow and black jacket over her shoulders. She then took the bride to a safe location and went back to the salon to gather a suitcase and other items left behind by the bride. Meanwhile, the groom had no idea of the tragedy as he was on a train headed to the courthouse in his tux. According to the New York Daily News, the bride texted the groom about the tragedy and the groom was told to meet his future wife at the courthouse. The Chaplain escorted Pillay to the location.
Upon finally arriving to the courthouse, the officiant was not there. He was not able to wait for the couple, who were late to their appointment due to having to walk to the venue since no cabs could pass through the streets. Instead of rescheduling the wedding, Chaplain Kansfield explained to the couple that it was “still okay to celebrate” despite being worried about the crane crash victims. She was so adamant that it was okay to be happy during this time that she even offered to marry the young couple on the steps of the courthouse in place of the courthouse officiant. The pair agreed to Kansfield’s offer and were married on the courthouse steps despite all of the tragedy surrounding them.
Bride Nash Pillay said that during a time of such chaos and uncertainty, it was amazing to see Kansfield step up to ensure her wedding day still went on as planned, bringing happiness and hope to her family during such an unfortunate event. She also said that she had always respected first responders, but now has a new respect for the FDNY after her experience with Kansfield.
“I was really cold, and she just ran up to me to put her jacket on me. I’ve always had so much respect for New York first responders, and it’s increased so much today. The fact that she did all this in the middle of an emergency situation meant so much to us.”
Groom Aaron Vanderhoff also thanked Kansfield, noting that his wedding was even more special than he had imagined. It may not have gone as planned, but it was a true showcase of kindness and love.
“But this was totally unplanned with the FDNY jacket (over her dress), and it made it really special, though in the shadow of something so terrible.”
What do you think of FDNY Chaplain Ann Kansfield’s actions during the deadly crane crash?
[Image via Facebook/Ann Kansfield]