Remembering Those Who Did Not Survive the World Trade Center Attack

On September 11th, 2001, 2,996 Americans lost their lives and some 25,000 were injured in the horrific attack on New York City’s World Trade Center, The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the hijacking of Flight 93 and subsequent crash in Shanksville, PA. It’s impossible to weigh one person or one family’s pain against another’s, but it must be felt very deeply in the Fire companies of New York City that took massive and in some cases: total losses on that day twenty years ago.

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FDNY’s Catastrophic Losses In The World Trade Center Attack

Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9 of Midtown Manhattan suffered the most catastrophic casualties of all responders on 9/11. The entire shift of fifteen firefighters responded to the Twin towers, not a single man returned. Two Chiefs, one Captain, two Lieutenants, and ten Firefighters were wiped out in a single devastating blow to 15 families who lost their fathers, their brothers, and sons. Each family places flowers each year on the fountain in front of the firehouse, meeting and talking with the other members of their extended fire family.

Maureen Santora says “Coming here is like coming home,”. Engine 54 firefighter Lenny Regaglia’s kid brother now serves in the same firehouse, his mother, also named Maureen told ny1.

“These are the guys that he worked with. This is his family, as well as mine,” said Jean Oitice, who lost her husband on 9/11. “This is where I want to be — with them.”

Attack

Battalion 9
Chief Dennis Lawrence Devlin, 51
Chief Edward F. Geraghty, 45
Lt. Charles William Garbarini, 44
Carl Asaro, 39
Alan D. Feinberg, 48

Attack

Ladder 4
Capt. David Terence Wooley, 54
Lt. Daniel O’Callaghan, 42
Joseph Angelini, Jr, 38
Peter Brennan, 30
Michael E. Brennan, 27
Michael Haub, 34
Michael F. Lynch, 33
Samuel Oitice, 45
John James Tipping II, 33

Attack

Engine 54
Paul John Gill, 34
Jose Guadalupe, 37
Leonard Ragaglia, 36
Christopher Santora, 23

On the morning of 9/11 FDNY Squad 1, Special Operations Command from Park Slope, Brooklyn crossed the bridge into Manhattan, and into history, all twelve members responding were killed during the collapse, they were last seen running into the South Tower before it came down.

Squad 1.jpg

Squad 1
Capt. James M. Amato, 43
Lt. Edward A. D’Atri, 38
Lt. Michael Esposito, 41
Lt. Michael N. Fodor, 53
Brian Bilcher, 37
Gary Box, 37
Thomas M. Butler, 37
Peter Carroll, 42
Robert Cordice, 28
David J. Fontana, 37
Matthew David Garvey, 37
Stephen Gerard Siller, 34

An article for VPR told the story of survivor Stuart Crawford Hult who successfully evacuated from 5 World Trade Center and the impact it had on him. Hult told the story of FDNY Rescue 1,

“The next morning, I woke up to the news of the amount of casualties, of people that were missing. And of course it wasn’t accurate, but it was being updated. But it was at that moment that I realized that the firehouse, Fire Department Rescue Company 1, right next to my building, had lost everybody on duty that day.

There were 11 souls — one lieutenant, one captain, nine firefighters — from Rescue 1 that were lost.”

Of course,  Hult was correct, Rescue 1 had lost their entire duty shift, led by Capt. Terry Hatton, they were one of the first units to respond o.n-scene due to their proximity and were one of the first to enter the stairwell of the North Tower

Rescue 1 Patch.png

Rescue 1
Capt. Terence S. Hatton, 41
Lt. Dennis Mojica, 50
Joseph Angelini, Sr., 63
Gary Geidel, 44
William Henry, 49
Kenneth Joseph Marino, 40
Michael Montesi, 39
Gerard Terence Nevins, 46
Patrick J. O’Keefe, 44
Brian Edward Sweeney, 29
David M. Weiss, 41

9/11 Twenty Years Later

So many men and women went to work that day and never returned, 2,996 families have members who did not see the last twenty years. They never saw our nation unite in the face of an implacable enemy. They didn’t see the heroic recovery efforts, nor did they see the enormous sacrifices of our military to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. They also didn’t see their children grow up and have children of their own.

Twenty years ago the clock struck 8:46 AM Eastern Time, and the world stood shocked at a horrible tragedy wondering how a plane could possibly hit the Twin Towers so far from an airport… rescue efforts and evacuations started. Then seventeen minutes later, hardly enough time for the authorities to get a handle on the situation… the clock struck 9:03 AM and we knew: it was an attack, we were at war. Sadly, the war has never ended, it has only changed, altering its tone, speed, and character. It is truly the ‘forever war’.

And now twenty years later, as the Taliban re-asserts control of Afghanistan and elements of Al-Qaeda re-emerge in positions of power within the new regime, though we were promised that the war was over, now we wonder: When will the next attack come? And where will it be?

Author’s note: While this was written with the utmost respect, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the elephant in the room: That the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 instead of being remembered solemnly with quiet mourning and dignity is now embittered by the fact that the same terrorist organizations who struck us that day are presently being reborn in Afghanistan.

Having grown up in a small town called Carteret, NJ, about 15 miles from ground zero, the terrorist attacks on 9/11 had a significant impact on me and the way I view the world. Thinking about that day is difficult for me, and many like me who cannot forget the sounds, the sights of the falling men, paper and people raining down, and the dust and smell of that day and the days that followed. It’s unimaginably more difficult for those who lost loved ones that day. I would like to remember the people my hometown lost that day as well: Colleen Ann Meehan Barkow, Jayceryll M. DeChavez, and Joseph Mangano. God rest them all.

 

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