2,977 Americans died during the September 11th terrorist attacks. 412 of those who died were emergency service workers responding to the scene. They fearlessly gave their lives in service of their communities, their city, and their fellow Americans. Of the 412 heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, 343 of them were members of NYC’s Fire Department.
As the years went on, many firefighters who survived that day found that they had cancer due to the fumes and debris at Ground Zero. As a result, the number of casualties continues to grow. Now, 20 years later, the children of some of those brave men who lost their lives have joined the city’s fire department. These FDNY legacies put together a tribute to their fallen fathers to commemorate the 20th anniversary of that fateful and tragic day.
Firefighters share a bond. Their chosen profession brings them together like a big extended family. However, the 65 members of the FDNY who participated in the tribute share an even deeper bond. Each of them lost a father to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some lost their fathers on that day. On the other hand, some lost their fathers to cancer that was directly linked to the deadly air pollution around Ground Zero.
Many of those firefighters saw joining the FDNY as a tribute to their fathers. They wanted to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and keep their legacies alive. The commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the attacks is just an extension of that, according to the New York Post.
FDNY Legacies Pay Tribute to Their Fallen Fathers
Sixty-five members of the FDNY came together to pay tribute to their fallen fathers. Here, we’ll share a few of their stories.
For instance, brothers Erik and Chris Wieber are current FDNY members who took part in the tribute. They lost their father, Robert J. Weiber, to brain cancer caused by his rescue attempts on 9/11. The Wiebers’ father was a firefighter with Engine 252 in Astoria, Queens. The brothers attended the Fire Academy together and graduated side by side in 2014. About their current service, Chris said, “We kinda have a reason now to know why he was so happy every day going to work.”
Chris Ganci lost his father, Chief of Department Peter Ganci, when the North Tower collapsed. About his father, Ganci said, “He was the highest-ranking uniformed firefighter in the city. But if you asked him what he did for a living, he’d say he was a New York City firefighter.”
Chris was 25 when he lost his father. At that time, he had a high-paying job in the pharmaceutical industry and was working on getting an MBA. However, he was unhappy. After Chief Ganci’s death, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.
These heroes may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.