Children become firefighters to honor their parents

After 9/11, my children that had parents in the FDNY (New York City fire department) became firefighters.


International Press Telecommunication Council via Common Usage

Firefighters of the FDNY on September 11, 2001, after the Twin Towers fell to the ground.

On September 11th, 2001, the biggest terrorist attack in United States History occurred at 8:46 am, when a plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, New York. 343 New York firefighters lost their lives, many stations in New York had lost the majority of their firefighters and had a huge effect on the children and families of those that died. 

Fire chief Raymond A. Brunet was working on dispatch on September 11th in Hamilton, Massachusetts. He was watching the news when he witnessed the second tower get hit. 

“Someone said to just put out the fire, but told them the building was coming down,” Brunet said. Earlier that year he took a building structure class, and the way the plane hit and where the fire was burning, he predicted the building was going to come down. Brunet was right, at 9:59 the North Tower fell to the ground. 

Ms. Kristen Borges was teaching 9th-grade Civics in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the day of the attack. One of her students ran in and yelled  “ ‘Borges put the tv on, New York has just been attacked,’. It unfolded in front of us. We ended up turning the tv off and trying to process it. But I think the thing that stuck with me the most was my students were looking for answers to a lot of questions that I didn’t have the answers to,”.

“I knew that someone was going to lose their life that day, I mean you don’t want to think that but you had to,” says Brunet.

2,996 people lost their lives that day, 343 of them were firefighters. Those 343 people died doing what they love, they tried to save everyone they could, all they needed was time. And the ones they did save, will forever be thankful.

“You had entire stations wiped out and one of the things that really stood out to me was watching these firefighters reflect on what a horrific loss it was and what a tragedy it was. And the ways that surviving firefighters pulled together for the families of those who lost,” said Borges “They went in and started attending all the sporting events of that guy’s children and having family dinners every week with them. The one thing that really took me by surprise was how many children of fallen firefighters went on to become firefighters. There is a high percentage of New York City department members who are the children of those who were lost on 9/11,”.

After the death of a parent or sibling on 9/11, many went on to become a firefighter just as their family had before. Many dropped their career to become what their father was before.

When I a called to duty, God whenever flames may rage, Give me the strength to save some life whatever be its age. Help me to embrace a little child before it’s too late, Or some older person from the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out. I want to fill my calling and give the best in me, To guard my neighbor and protect his property. And if according to Your Will I have to lose my life, Please bless with Your Protecting Hand my children and my wife

— Fireman’s Prayer

In a 60 minutes, A New York City Firefighter, Chris Ganci said “Absolutely. Had 9/11 not happened, I would not have been a New York City firefighter,” 

Many of the firefighters’ children were working for many different jobs before 9/11. However, they have to leave them to take over in the\ workforce that their loved one was in. Many worked in fire stations to get closer to their loved one and to get a better understanding of what they did every day.

In a 60 minutes Mike Florio, New York City Firefighter said, “Every day I walk in, my father’s picture is on the wall.  There’s a lot of memorials of him and the other four guys that passed on 9/11. I do have a lot of memories from the firehouse being a young boy. And just walking in there every day and seeing his pictures, it brings back those memories.  It makes me feel closer to him being there every day.” 

20 years later, we still remember the brave firefighters who risked their lives. In New York, firefighters run up the empire building in their gear. They do this to honor the firefighters that ran up the World Trade Center with all their gear on through the smoke and still managed to save lives.

In Hamilton-Wenham`, Every year we raise the flag and take a moment of silence to pay respects to those we have lost and the firefighters still with us today who put their lives at risk. Those firefighters take a moment to recite the fireman’s prayer. 

We take this day to reflect on the people that lost their lives on September 11th, and the ones that risked their lives that day for the citizens of New York. Now, we can appreciate the children of the lost that stepped up to take over for their loved one.