BY ED HORN
It is shameful that so many Americans demand closure from the 9/11 attacks believing it is time to “get past it,” yet the deaths caused by the attack increase every day.
Americans are proud to recall the heroics of the Greatest Generation and their sacrifices. On Memorial Day, we wave the flag. We are enraged when anyone has the audacity of setting fire to our flag. We are quick to threaten war when we feel threatened, insulted or are dismissed. We arrange displays at the sites of tragedies. Tears fall and hugs are exchanged believing that the moment will address the losses that will continue to the harm of families for generations.
We share the sadness and loss of those who gather at the World Trade Center site every September 11. Those who were blessed not to have sustained a death pause for a moment and move on without another consideration.
Other memorials and dedications, however, have fewer and fewer people attending, leaving only the stricken to recall those who died saving others or those who cleaned up the rubble left behind. Congress continues to debate funding health care for those made ill by the pile.
St. Michael’s Cemetery will not forget those who sacrificed in the days after 9/11. On Sept. 12, St. Michael’s, with the support of the Christopher Santora Scholarship Fund and the community mayors, will hold the annual Remember Me Run honoring the first responders who saved thousands offering their lives in exchange. We will also memorialize 19 first responders who recently died from illnesses related to their work at Ground Zero.
I wonder who will find the time or the respect to attend.
This is the list of deceased FDNY members we plan to add to the World Trade Center Memorial Wall this September:
Firefighter Joseph T. Callahan, Engine Co. 245, died on Oct. 1, 2005;
Battalion Chief Richard E. McGuire, Battalion 51, died on Dec. 9, 2012;
EMT Luis de Peña, EMS Station 13, died on Nov. 7, 2013;
EMS Lt. Michael F. Cavanagh, EMS Station 16, died on Dec. 2, 2013;
Deputy Chief Inspector James W. Mandelkow, Bureau of Fire Prevention, died on Dec. 10, 2013;
Fire Lt. John J. Halpin, Ladder Co. 33, died on May 29, 2014;
EMS Capt. William C. Olsen, EMS Station 23, died on June 1, 2014;
Fire Lt. Keith M. Loughlin, Ladder Co. 109, died on July 31, 2014;
Fire Lt. John K. Gremse, Engine Co. 302, died on Sept. 16, 2014;
Fire Lt. Howard J. Bischoff, Ladder Co. 149, died on Sept. 22, 2014;
Firefighter Daniel E. Heglund, Rescue 4, died on Sept. 22, 2014;
Firefighter Robert E. Leaver, Division 3, died on Sept. 22, 2014;
Firefighter Cornell L. Horne, Ladder Co. 176, died on Oct. 5, 2014;
EMS Lt. Thomas Giammarino, EMS Station 31, died on Oct. 7, 2014;
Firefighter Eugene J. McCarey, Ladder Co. 36, died on Nov. 13, 2014;
Firefighter James J. Marshall, Ladder Co. 78, died on Nov. 30, 2014;
Firefighter Charles S. Szoke, Ladder Co. 21, died on Dec. 1, 2014;
Battalion Chief John J. Cassidy, Battalion 40, died on Jan. 21, 2015; and
Fire Capt. John R. Graziano, Ladder Co. 78, died on March 13, 2015.
Ed Horn is president of St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst.