Saturday, September 7, 2013

Twin Sons of Different Mothers

Both your Friend and your Enemy
Think You will never Die.
- Irish Proverb

Frank Esposito.  Firefighter Frank Esposito first sought admission to the brotherhood that is the FDNY in or about 1992.  Although his initial efforts were unsuccessful, as was the case often with Frank Esposito, he eventually accomplished his goal.  In 1999, he joined the FDNY.  He was assigned to Ladder Co. No. 79 in West Brighton.  He remained there until January 2001 when he was transferred to Engine Co. No. 235 in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.  He was with his brothers from Engine Co. No. 235 on the morning of September 11, 2001 when the group headed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in search of souls to save.  To rush into the mouth of Hell when smart money and logic dictate another course of action requires a constitution of something beyond simple flesh and blood.  Something more than merely skin and bone. 

Firefighter Frank Esposito was only thirty-two years young when he was killed in action on September 11, 2001.  He and his wife Dawn had been married less than three years.  Dawn was his Life's great love.  Even so, when he finally earned his spot in the FDNY in 1999, he postponed their honeymoon so that he could start his new job on-time and as expected.  Frank Esposito was survived by, in addition to Dawn, his parents Michael and Dorothy who were forced to experience firsthand the nightmare of every parent when they had to bury their own child, his sister Catherine and four brothers - Dominick, Richard, Vincent and Michael. 

Michael Esposito.  Lieutenant Michael Esposito, forty-two years old in the late summer/early autumn of 2001, had spent roughly half of his life as a member of the FDNY.  Lieutenant Esposito graduated from the Academy in January 1981 and was assigned, initially, to Engine Co. No. 207 in Brooklyn.  After a year or so there, he was reassigned to Engine Co. No. 214 in Brooklyn.  He spent approximately six-plus years before he was transferred to one of the FDNY's elite rescue units, Rescue Co. No. 2 in Brooklyn, where he served as a heavy equipment and rigging specialist from October 1988 until 1995.  He had been promoted to Lieutenant in 1994 and approximately a year after attaining his new rank, he and it were transferred to Squad No. 1 in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  He spent was turned out to be the final six years of his FDNY career as a member of Squad No. 1.  In the two decades that Michael Esposito was a member of the FDNY he helped those far beyond the geographical boundaries of the City's five boroughs.  He was a member of the USAR team that responded to the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in April, 1995.  Thereafter in 1998 he was dispatched to upstate New York to help the residents of six counties that President Clinton had declared a disaster area following a brutal ice storm. 

Lieutenant Esposito was far more than simply the sum of his firefighting parts.  He was a loving husband to his wife Denise and a father who doted on his two sons, Andrew and Michael who were fifteen and twelve years old respectively when their father was killed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  Lieutenant Esposito and Denise would have celebrated their eighteenth wedding anniversary on October 19, 2001.  He was survived by his parents, Sam and Rose, his stepbrother Salvatore Mingoia and his four brothers - Frank, Sal, Joseph and Simone.  

If only it was nothing more than a sad, eerie coincidence that Frank Esposito and Michael Esposito were both mourned by their parents and by siblings that included a quartet of brothers, then theirs would still be a sad, mournful tale.  It is, however, much more than a mere coincidence.  Firefighter Francis Esposito and Lieutenant Michael Esposito were more than simply brothers of the FDNY.  They were cousins. 

On September 11, 2001 far too many families gave all.  In the case of the Esposito family, they gave twice.  

-AK  

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