At the Blaze Department’s anniversary canonizing account Oct. 10 at the Firemen’s Monument on Riverside Drive, its associates mourned the casual of 14 of their own over the accomplished year, including three in the band of assignment and three from World Trade Center-related afflictions.
“There is a agreeable masterpiece advantaged the “Unfinished Symphony.” How is it accessible that article is amateurish and is still a masterpiece?” Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, the FDNY Chaplain, asked the army of several thousand firefighters and ancestors members. “Today we bethink those whose lives were amateurish but still did added during the years accustomed to them than some do in a much-longer lifetime.”
Mayor de Blasio empiric that assorted ancestors of affectionate account by the administration gave New Yorkers the accord of apperception that they were not abandoned no amount how acute their emergency.
“When bodies anywhere apprehend FDNY is on the way, they are reassured too,” he said. “Women and men of this administration accept what sounds like an absurd job description: to exercise immeasurable adventuresomeness in the face of boundless danger. But that’s what bodies accept done for 153 beeline years. And there are no bigger examples than the 14 heroes that we approach today.”
In a amount of nine canicule aftermost March, three FDNY associates were asleep in the band of duty.
On Advance 15 Lieut. Christopher J. Raguso and Blaze Marshal Christopher T. Zanetis died in Iraq back their New York Air National Guard helicopter crashed.
The men were assigned to the 106th Accomplishment Wing, stationed at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach. Their HH-60 Pave Hawk accomplishment helicopter comatose a the burghal of Qaim in Iraq. There was no affirmation of adversary activity involved.
First Overseas Since ’04
Lieutenant Raguso was a 13-year Blaze Administration veteran; Blaze Marshal Zanetis was a 10-year vet. The aftermost affiliate of the administration to die while on alive aggressive account was Firefighter Christian P. Engledrum, who was asleep in activity in 2004 in Iraq.
On Advance 23, Lieut. Michael R. Davidson died from injuries he abiding angry a basement blaze in Harlem.
“To date, 1,150 associates accept accustomed their lives in the advance of their affidavit duty, best afresh Lieut. Mike Davidson, a nozzle man at his core, who was taken from us while aggressive a massive blaze in Harlem not far from here,” said Blaze Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “Bravery was in Michael’s blood. He had adequate Harlem and every citizen there for 15 years, aloof as his ancestor had afore him for added than two decades. Countless times he adored others with his talents, his ability, and best of all, his bravery.”
In accession to citation the dness displayed in the line-of-duty deaths, Mr. Nigro affected on the ascent cede actuality exacted by the WTC afterlife toll.
“Bravery agency accomplishing the difficult assignment admitting the dangers and it agency aggressive affliction with every bit of your strength, as Firefighter Robert Tilearcio, Marine Pilot Thomas Phelan, and Assistant Chief Ron Spadafora did for so long,” the Commissioner said. “They are three of added than 180 FDNY alive and retired associates who accept died due to World Trade Center illness. A cardinal of collapsed heroes that continues to grow, with no end in sight, we bethink and account them today as well. In all, we bethink 14 FDNY associates today, anniversary one who absolutely lived activity bravely…We account all of them not for how they died, but for the arresting way in which they lived, dedicating themselves to the life-saving mission of this department.”
Chief of Administration James E. Leonard emphasized the affiliation of the Blaze Department’s continued ancestors in anniversary their dead. “Thousands of their brothers and sisters beyond ancestors of the FDNY are actuality today because we appetite the families to apperceive how abundant we affliction for you and how abundant they meant to you,” he said. “When you about-face about and attending at all these members, apparently 10,000 bodies here, your husband, your brothers, your ancestors affiliate lives on in them because they lived in them and they alive in you.”
‘The Affairs We Take’
“The acceptation of today cannot be overstated,” said Gerard Fitzgerald, admiral of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. “This is a day we should all attend. If we aren’t working, we should be here. We apperceive these are the affairs that we take; that it could be us that is accustomed aing year, so we accept to account the ones that accept died afore us.”
He acclaimed the attendance of the beginning chic of Firefighters at the canonizing service. “Those stakes are fabricated actual accessible from Day One,” he said. “It’s a abundant job. It is a abundant brotherhood, but these are the affairs we booty on any run we go out on. We admonish them. We appearance them. We see the affliction that is in the families’ faces.”
“There is annihilation that defines us added as a ancestors than this day,” said James Lemonda, admiral of the Uniformed Blaze Officers Association. “It is cogent that the Beginning Firefighters are actuality because the job is absolute and at any accustomed additional the absoluteness [of accepting killed] could appear to fruition. We booty an adjuration to save lives and avert property, and abominably in accomplishing that, sometimes we accept to accomplish the absolute sacrifice.”
After bags of FDNY associates paraded by in their dress uniforms, with some babyish carriages in the band of march, several dozen grieving ancestors associates and FDNY associates lingered, and there was laughter and reminiscence.
Assistant Chief Spadafora was a 40-year adept of the administration who oversaw the WTC accretion efforts and died beforehand this year at age 63 from his WTC-related Leukemia. Rhonda R. Shearer was his calm partner.
“It is a finality,” Ms. Shearer said in an interview. “Whenever you are experiencing certitude it is a challenge, but the account and account of the account are so palpable. It is actual moving.”
She said Chief Spadafora was fatigued aboriginal in activity to firefighting. “When he was a boy, he had a acquaintance whose ancestor was a firefighter, and he would go to the firehouse and be allotment of that community,” she said. “And he was so addled by the actuality that every time they climbed on that rig that they were not alone confined the burghal but putting their lives in the easily of really, God and fate, and he acquainted like it was about a priesthood area you accept religious bodies audition a call. He acquainted a alarm to service.”
Leroy McGinnis, carnality admiral of the UFA, commiserated with the ancestors of Firefighter Tilearcio, who like Mr. McGinnis, formed out of Engine 266.
‘Advocate for Zadroga’
“If you are activity to put any curve in about Bobby, he was one of three capital advocates, forth with Ray Pfeifer and Bobby Alexander,” who pushed “for the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act,” he said. “He took many, abounding bus trips to Washington, stood at abounding altered rallies…Bobby helped get the reauthorization anesthetized bottomward in Washington due to his efforts while he was sick.”
Tina Tileracio accepted that her bedmate kept alive continued afterwards he was diagnosed with his World Trade Center diseases. “He would accept done it for 100 years if he could. He admired the job, and his son is afterward in his footsteps,” she said.
Robert Tileracio Jr. said, “I accept my CPAT concrete and medical aing anniversary for the Blaze Administration and again I accept my analysis in two weeks, so I am activity through the action appropriate now. I consistently did appetite to do this.”
“And he’s cardinal 18 on the list,” his mother said.
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