This Post is a part of Project 2996: remembering the souls who were taken from us on September 11, 2001. May they Rest in Peace. May they never be forgotten…
I want to tell you a little about a Fireman.
Firemen are a special breed: They’re in that class of people that run into danger to help others escape from danger.
Their job is to keep people safe, even at the risk of their own safety.
Sometimes they get hurt in the process. Sometimes they die. This is a tribute to one who went into harms way for the sake of others: loosing his life while trying to save just one more.
His name was Lt. Andrew Desperito. He was in his early 40’s
And he died on 9/11/2001 when “The Twin Towers” came crashing to the ground.
And he had many people who loved him and miss him. (And always will)
I never knew Lt. Andrew Desperito personally. What little I know comes from newspaper reports, web sites, and other memorials that contain the words of those who knew, respected, honored and loved him best.
I don’t think I could ever say anything better than they already have. So I have collected some of their voices into one place: to let them speak for themselves
From a Memorial Page By CNN
“No words can ever express our gratitude for what you have given to this city. I pray for you and your family every day. I believe we grew up next to each other on Monitor Street. You were a friend of my brother, Michael. This city is fortunate to have had you as one of their bravest. You made the ultimate sacrifice. Your death will not be in vain. God bless you and your family!”-Nancy Ann Gilgeours [i]
From Newsday (Melville, NY)-September 16, 2001 (Emphasis Mine)
“DESPERITO DESPERITO-Andrew J., Lieutenant of Engine Co. 1, a 17-year Veteran of FDNY that perished tragically in the Line of Duty trying to help others at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
He resided in East Patchogue, and is formerly of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Devoted and loving husband of Laura (nee Cimusz) for 19 wonderful years. Dedicated and extraordinary father of Nicole (13), Anthony (10), and David (6). Beloved son of Anthony and Adele. Adored son-in-law of Robert and Roberta Cimusz. Cherished brother of Diane LaVeglia. Special brother-in-law of Pasquale LaVeglia, John and Cathy Cimusz, Cynthia and Al Borghi. Adoring uncle to Joseph and Nicholas LaVeglia, Matthew, Michael and Marc Borghi.
Exceptional Coach of the Bellport Tigers, a Boys U11 two-time Division One Soccer Champions. Inter-league and Travel Soccer Director of the South Country Youth Soccer League and a member of the Hagerman Fire Department….
Friends wishing to make memorial contributions in Andy’s honor are asked to contribute to the Andy Desperito’s Children Education Fund, c/o SCYSL, P.O. Box 688, Bellport, N.Y. 11713.”[ii]
From the New York Times in 2002 (Emphasis Mine)
“A 2,000-pound boulder behind a high school soccer field on Long Island reads: In memory of a hero, a husband, a father, a coach, a board member and a friend.
It was dedicated to Lt. Anthony Desperito, 43, of the New York Fire Department, who coached soccer at Bellport High School. Seniors who were on the soccer team receive scholarship awards in his name.
Lieutenant Desperito, who lived in East Patchogue, N.Y., also coached the soccer team of his 11-year-old son, Anthony. He was equally as active in the lives of his other children, Nicole, 14, and David, 7.
“Do you know how to make Dad’s Chicken McGuinness?” his wife, Laura Desperito, said the children ask. The dish is named for McGuinness Boulevardin Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where he used to be stationed. “I tell them that he knew all the recipes by heart,” Mrs. Desperito said. The couple would have celebrated their 20th anniversary on Sept. 25.
“He was such a romantic,” Mrs. Desperito said. “He proposed to me on Rockaway Beach, where we always used to take long walks on the jetties. He didn’t let me open the box near the water because he was afraid it would fall in the water.”
During his final hours, Lieutenant Desperito escorted a woman to safety from the north tower of the World Trade Center, and then ran back inside to search for more.”[iii]
Finally, a video in honor of all the firefighters who died that day:
Always Remember…Never Forget…
[ii] OBITUARIES / PAID DEATH NOTICESNewsday (Melville, NY)-September 16, 2001
[iii]PORTRAITS OF GRIEF: THE MISSING, A Witty Mother, a Little Boy’s Firefighting Idol, a Man of the House, New York Times, The (NY)-December 8, 2002, Author: These sketches were written by David W. Chen, Anthony DePalma, Robin Finn, Kari Haskell, Constance L. Hays, Jan Hoffman, Lynette Holloway, Tina Kelley, Michelle O’Donnell, Andy Newman and Melena Z. Ryzik.