September 11, 2001. Do you remember where you were?
Did you see it?
Did you feel it?
I knew when I watched the towers fall I had witnessed the death of many people. I knew that among them were many firefighters. I was afraid some of those lost were some that I had met and had known.
I was right. I think of them often.
Battalion Chief, Raymond Downey, Special Operations Command.
Lt. Dennis Mojica, Rescue 1
F/F Joseph Angelini, Rescue 1
I do not remember where I first met Chief Downey but I had many brief encounters with him both in person and over the phone when I worked with the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute.
I met Lt Mojica and F/F Angelini on the same visit to Rescue 1 in 1977. At the time Lt Mojica was a F/F as well. I was struck by the fact that F/F Angelini was so small in stature. Not that should make any difference so far as the job was concerned, but most all of the men I met at Rescue 1 were truly “mountains” of men. Big and brawny only begins to describe them. However, I soon realized that Joe Angelini was as big as any of them. Everyone respected Joe, and he returned it in equal doses. He was probably the oldest man on the roles of Rescue 1 even in 1977. On 9-11-2001 he was 62 years old, had recently finished his 40th year on the job, and was in the process of getting his retirement paperwork together. He died when the first tower fell.
The blow to his family did not end there. Joe Angelini had two sons. Joe Angelini Jr. assigned to Ladder 4 FDNY & Michael Angelini assigned to Fire Patrol of New York. Joe Angelini Jr. also died in the collapse on 9-11 and the last I knew his remains have never been identified. Michael survived the carnage and was involved in the search and recovery of his father and the search for his brother.
I remember them today. I remember them often.
You may not have known anyone that died that day in New York.
I just ask that you never forget those that did.
FDNY death toll for 9-11-01------343