On September 11, 2001, 343 firefighters from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost their lives serving the city they loved. Recently 13 children of some of those firefighters graduated to become members of the FDNY themselves.
FDNY’s Class of 2019 has a total of 301 graduates, it also has the highest number of legacy members involved in the 9/11 search and rescue teams. Included in the class are the son of a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer, two sons from one firefighter and the son and daughter of another.
Although this class has the most legacy members, many other children who lost a parent on 9/11 have joined the FDNY over the years. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said:
“Bravery runs in these extraordinary families who have sacrificed so much for our city. I’m proud of the commitment these probies have already demonstrated to the department and look forward to celebrating with them at their graduation.”
Even though students are not allowed to speak with reporters about the pending graduation ceremony, many parents have made it clear how proud they are of their children.
Heloiza Asaro’s husband, Carl Asaro, passed away at the age of 39. The father of six had been a firefighter for 14 years. His unit, Midtown’s Engine 54/Ladder 4 lost 15 men on September 11. Four of his children — three sons and a daughter — have honored his legacy by joining the department.
“Being that they are the youngest, I’m more concerned. They wanted to honor their father, to help people as he did. Even if he hadn’t died, they would have become firefighters. Since they were little kids, the fireman was Santa Claus. The fireman organized the picnics,” Heloiza said.
Anthony and Leonard Ragaglia, Jr. are another set of siblings in the 2019 FDNY class. They were just 7 and 10 years old when their dad passed away. Leonard Sr., who was 36 at the time of his passing, was an NYPD officer before joining the FDNY, just like his own father had done.
The bravery that it takes to follow your parents down a path that they sacrificed their life for takes unimaginable bravery. We wish the FDNY class of 2019 the best of luck and thank them for their selflessness.
Copyright 2019, UnitedVoice.com