As the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 arrives, many Americans are finding ways to remember the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to save others.
Some are climbing 110 flights of stairs on the StairMaster at their gym. Others are setting alarms to observe a series of moments of silence along with the memorial service in New York.
Sixteen other Americans, however, are following in the footsteps of their fathers by joining the Fire Department of the City of New York almost two weeks after the anniversary.
The current FDNY Academy class, which is set to graduate on Sept. 24th according to the New York Post, includes at least 16 “legacy” members whose parents responded to the horrific scene and died as a result.
The class also includes two sets of siblings, one set of brothers and a brother-sister duo.
These 16 soon-to-be firefighters are not the first to follow their 9/11 hero parents’ footsteps.
On Oct. 15, 2019, Police Officer Jillian Suarez graduated from the NYPD Academy 17 years after her father died while saving civilians’ lives at the World Trade Center.
She even was able to wear her father’s badge number, further paying tribute to the sacrifice her father gave.
At her #NYPD graduation on Monday, Police Officer Jillian Suarez took one more step down the path laid out by her heroic cop-dad, Ramon, who gave his life to save others on September 11, 2001. Congratulations Jillian, and thank you. #NeverForget ➡️ https://t.co/WHF7Fvt7xF pic.twitter.com/vlitRibdtJ
— Commissioner O’Neill (@NYPDONeill) October 16, 2018
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro is extremely proud of the 16 “legacy” class members who are set to graduate in a couple weeks.
“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,” Commissioner Nigro told the New York Post.
Just this past week, the FDNY added to the World Trade Center Memorial Wall 22 names of members who died due to illnesses related to their service on 9/11.
“To date, more than 200 men and women who responded that day, and who worked in the dangerous and painful rescue and recovery effort that followed, have lost their lives,” Nigro said, according to a Facebook post. “Every few weeks, or many times a month, we learn from a friend or a former colleague that yet another member has succumbed to illness.”
“Our Department gathers, we mourn, and we renew our promise to Never Forget.”
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