Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In Honor

Brother when you weep for me
Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave
Remember I'll be at your sleeve
In every dark and choking hall
I'll be there as you slowly crawl
On every roof in driving snow
I'll hold your coat and you will know
In cellars hot with searing heat
At windows where a gate you meet
In closets where young children hide
You know I'll be there at your side
The house from which I now respond
Is overstaffed with heroes gone....
 
 
Jeffrey Giordano.   At age forty-five Jeffrey Giordano was a member of Ladder Co. No. 3 in Manhattan.  It was the house where he spent his entire career in the FDNY, which started in 1987.  On what turned out to be the final morning of his life, he called home at about 6:30 AM to tell his wife, Marie, to wake up the couple's three kids so that they could see him on television.  He was on-air doing an interview promoting the Firefighters Burn Center Foundation - in which he was an officer - and the Widows and Orphans Fund.  Shortly after 9:00 AM he called home one last time.  It was the call to tell Marie that Ladder Co. No. 3 was headed to the World Trade Center.  
 
FF Giordano was an accomplished distance runner, having completed fifteen marathons.  He was also an incredibly accomplished fire fighter.  He won the Albert Johnson Award for saving two people trapped in a building fire.  The Life Saving Benevolent Society honored him for diving into the East River to save a drowning man.  In August 2001 Jeffrey and Marie Giordano celebrated their twenty-first wedding anniversary.  In addition to being Marie's husband, Jeffrey Giordano was the father of two daughters, Victoria and Alexandra, and a son, Nicholas.    When their dad died, the three Giordano kids ranged in age from five to eleven years old.  My how they have grown up.   A living tribute to their father, their mother - and to themselves.
 
John Giordano  John Giordano had a profound interest in environmental science - so much so that at the time of his death on September 11, 2001 he was working on his Master's Thesis in Environmental Science at Bard College.  He was a member of the FDNY's elite Haz Mat Unit - Hazardous Material 1, Special Operations Battalion, Engine 37, Battalion II, 3rd Division based in Maspeth.  
 
When he was not taking care of those he did not know, FF Giordano spent his time with those he loved most of all - his wife Roxanne and the couple's three children.  His oldest child, Jonathan, was fourteen years old when FF Giordano died at the World Trade Center.  His daughter Jessica was eleven and his youngest child Jordan was but three.  A long time for a child to grow up without a father.  On October 22, 2001 - forty-two days after he died - John Giordano's body was recovered in the remains of the South Tower. 
 
....Men who answered one last bell
Did the job and did it well
As firemen we understand
That death's a card dealt in our hand
A card we hope we never play
But one we hold there anyway
That card is something we ignore
As we crawl across a weakened floor
For we know that we're the only prayer
For anyone that might be there
So remember as you wipe your tears
The joy I knew throughout the years
As I did the job I loved to do
I pray that thought will see you through.
 
"In Honor"
- Author Unknown
 
-AK

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