More than 20 children of first responders who died on 9/11 or from a 9/11-related illness graduated from the New York City Fire Department academy on Tuesday, marking the largest group of legacy graduates in department history.
Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, who presided over the graduation ceremony for 301 probationary firefighters, said many of the graduates’ “fathers were killed on Sept. 11, several others died of World Trade Center illnesses, and others lost their lives in the course of their duty, bravely working to save and protect others.”
“Today these 21 legacies are no longer children dreaming of their careers their fathers love, and of serving in the world’s greatest fire department – today, they have fully achieved their dreams," he said.
Probationary firefighter Marc Asaro, whose father was one of 343 FDNY members killed on 9/11, said it was “an amazing experience, to be able to do the same thing that my father had done, and had given his life for.”
Another probationary firefighter, Robert Tilearcio, told NYC’s Fox 5 he took “the FDNY test the same month that my father passed away of 9/11-related cancer.”
“Making my dad proud. It’s definitely something that he always wanted me to do,” Tilearcio said.