September 09, 2003


Two years after 9/11:

New York's firemen held the final funeral for a hero of the World Trade Centre yesterday, burying only a vial of his blood, all that was left of their colleague.

The vial with two teaspoonfuls of blood, donated to a bone marrow centre before his death, was all that remained of Michael Ragusa.

Because so many died on September 11, individual cases that otherwise would strike at the heart are obscured. The numbers are overwhelming, even if you consider only the firemen who were murdered:

Many firemen at yesterday's ceremony could not remember how many funerals of the victims of the attack they had attended.

"I stopped counting," said one. "Way too many," said another. "Seventy seven," another fireman remembered.

Most people won’t attend as many funerals in their entire lives.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 9, 2003 05:46 PM

you might want to tidy that link up.

Posted by: adam at September 9, 2003 at 11:05 PM

Never forget

Posted by: Tongue Boy at September 9, 2003 at 11:59 PM

In the days and months following 9/11, I attended more funerals, wakes and memorial services than I care to remember. My father, a retired NYC Fireman, went to so many that eventually had to stop attending them; the exhaustion and the sheer emotion involved in doing this day in and day out finally got to him.

And every September there will be more memorial services, so we never, ever forget.

Posted by: michele at September 10, 2003 at 01:08 AM

I was in New York within a week or so of 9/11. Being a tough, unemotional, reporter-type person, I was able to cope fairly well with the city's distress.

Until I happened upon a display outside one of Manhattan's fire stations. Photographs. Flowers. Children's tributes to the firemen. Loving notes from wives and parents. When I arrived there were just a few early homebound commuters around me; when I finally turned from the display, weeping, there was a crowd of maybe one hundred. All crying.

Posted by: tim at September 10, 2003 at 03:21 AM

My niece's fireman husband died on Father's Day 2001 in the infamous Astoria, N.Y. fire. Since firemen see themselves as belonging to a brotherhood, the members of his company, Rescue 4 in Woodside, took it upon themselves to help her with the raising of her two young boys.

The children were becoming very attached to these firemen, especially one called Bronco, a big bear of a guy, who played on the department's football team.

Sadly, Bronco died on 9/11 along with 5 or 6 others from Rescue 4. (I'm sorry I don't know the exact number.) Needless to say, my niece and her children were devastated.

My niece, reeling with grief from her own husband's death, nevertheless attended many, many firefighters' funerals along with my husband, himself a retired firefighter.

I don't know how they did it.

Posted by: Cissy at September 10, 2003 at 04:21 AM

The only society that REALLY knows how we feel are the Israelis. I hope that as a nation we (the U.S.) continue to support them whole-heartedly.

I guess that makes me a Catholic Zionist.

If that is the case, so be it.

If it is Israel, the U.S., and friends (thank you UK and Australia among others) against the world, so be it.

Bring it on.

Posted by: ....a moment with Easycure at September 10, 2003 at 09:52 AM

Hear, hear.

Those firemen died running into the building.

Putting themselves in harm's way to save others.

None braver.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 10, 2003 at 11:39 AM

They shall not grow old
as we who remain grow old.
Age shall not weary them
nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
we shall remeber them.

Lest we forget.

Posted by: Razor at September 10, 2003 at 01:08 PM