13 children of fallen 9/11 firefighters are graduating FDNY Academy


13 children of fallen 9/11 firefighters are graduating FDNY Academy

The 13 children of FDNY firefighters killed on 9/11 are set to graduate from the Fire Academy Tuesday, appearing in their handsome dress blues for the first time in a Post photo exclusive.

The probationary smoke eaters — a dozen men and one woman — are among 301 who will proudly graduate as FDNY’s Class of 2019 in what will surely be an emotional ceremony in Brooklyn.
This class includes siblings — two sons of one fallen firefighter, and the son and daughter of another hero.

It also has the most “legacy” members since 9/11, including the son of an NYPD officer killed in the terror attacks and the sons of two firefighters who died due to illness linked to rescue work at Ground Zero.
Fire Academy graduates (top row left to right) Mathhew Jovic, Anthony Ragaglia, Leonard Ragaglia Jr., Gregory Kumpel, Peter J. Carroll, John C. Fischer, Scott B. Larsen, (bottom row left to right) Rebecca L. Asaro, Marc A. Asaro, Brendan R. Regan, Manny A. Mojica, Robert J. Foti and Michael J. Florio.Fire Academy graduates (top row left to right) Mathhew Jovic, Anthony Ragaglia, Leonard Ragaglia Jr., Gregory Kumpel, Peter J. Carroll, John C. Fischer, Scott B. Larsen, (bottom row left to right) Rebecca L. Asaro, Marc A. Asaro, Brendan R. Regan, Manny A. Mojica, Robert J. Foti and Michael J. Florio.Paul Martinka
13 children of firefighters killed on 9/11 graduate from FDNY Academy
NEW YORK — The Fire Department of New York celebrated the graduation 301 men and women from the Fire Academy Tuesday.

Thirteen of the graduates have a special connection to the department. They are the children of firefighters who died in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
“They are continuing their family’s legacies of service,” noted FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Carl Asaro of Midtown’s Batallion 9 left behind six children at the time of his death at the World Trade Center. His son Marc and daughter Rebecca followed in his final footsteps walking across the stage to become probationary firefighters.
Robert Tilearico Jr. was also among the graduates. His dad, firefighter Robert Tilearico Sr., survived September 11th only to be diagnosed with 9/11 related brain cancer years later.
“I took the FDNY test the same month my dad passed away from 9/11 related cancer," Tilearico Jr. said.

The class also includes the son of an NYPD officer killed on September 11th.

'Our Fathers Are Watching Over Us Today':
13 Children of Fallen 9/11 Heroes Graduate from Fire Department Academy

One by one, children of firefighters and police officers who died on September 11 or years later from 9/11-related cancers followed in their parents’ footsteps Tuesday at a graduation ceremony from the Fire Department Academy.
21 of the 301 trainees who graduated were children of men who died in the line of duty.

“Today, these 21 legacies are no longer children dreaming of the careers their fathers loved and of serving in the world’s greatest fire department,” said Daniel Nigro, the FDNY’s Fire Commissioner. “Today, they’ve fully achieved their dreams.”
Greg Kumpel’s father, Kenneth, was killed on 9/11. He says he dreamed of playing professional baseball as a boy — his brother was the one who wanted to follow their father into the FDNY. But the younger Kumpel says he, too, got the calling, especially when he thought about all the stories he heard about his dad immediately after 9/11.

“We needed something to get through that tough part, those few months were such a blur. Emotionally numb,” said Greg. “So, to have those stories to lighten the mood helped us through those tough times.”
The 21 probationary firefighters represent the largest legacy group in department history.
Rather than fear becoming a firefighter, their fathers’ deaths made them want to become one even more.

“Making my dad proud. Definitely something that he always wanted me to do and I took the FDNY test the same month that my father passed away of 9/11-related cancer,” said Robert Tilearcio. “Our fathers are watching over us today.”
The graduating class also includes 16 females, a number that for the first time boosts the ranks of women in the department to over 100.

“Are we feeling it?? Yes! Alright! We’re feeling it, it’s over 100 now and we can finally say we’re over 100 women in the FDNY,” said Jennifer Boateng, a probationary firefighter. 
One of those women is Rebecca Asaro, whose firefighter father Carl was killed on 9/11. She and her brother Marc were sworn in together, and now join another brother as members of New York's bravest.
The siblings, who didn’t want to speak on camera, say they’re simply continuing the family business.

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