Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Men of Engine 40, Ladder 35 - Part IV

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then is not an act,
But a habit.
- Aristotle

FF Vincent Morello spent more than a dozen years as a mechanic, repairing rigs and other FDNY vehicles, before joining the FDNY.  He had been part of 40/35 for approximately eighteen months when he was killed in the line of duty at the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.  His brother Marc, also a member of the FDNY, remarked that FF Morello took a pay cut of roughly $40,000 when he changed his profession from working under FDNY rigs to riding on them.  At the time of his death, FF Morello (an avid New York Rangers fan), was thirty-four years young.  He and his wife Debi had two children, Justin and Justin's little sister, Paige.  FF Morello was from a family of firefighters.  His father, John, was a 33-year member of the FDNY and retired as a Batallion Chief.

FF Morello's body was recovered from the World Trade Center, along with the bodies of Lt. Ginley and FF Lynch, on March 21, 2012. 

FF Michael Otten of Ladder 35 was forty-two years old at the time of his death on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  That morning, while in the company of his brothers from 40/35 with whom he spent the final sixteen years of his life, FF Otten died doing what he did best:  saving lives.  He and his wife,  Marion, had three sons:  Christopher, Jonathan and Jason. 

On June 3, 2014, the oldest Otten son, Chistopher, became one of the FDNY's newest 286 probationary firefighters.  FF Michael Otten's body was never recovered from the World Trade Center.  He is the only man who rode south that terrible morning on Ladder 35 whose body was never found.  

FF Michael Roberts joined the FDNY approximately three years prior to being one of the thirteen members of 40/35 who answered the call on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center.  He had been assigned to Ladder 35 for slightly less than a year at the time of his death.

As it seems to be with so many FDNY families, firefighting was the family business for the Roberts family.  FF Roberts' father, Thomas, retired as a Captain from the FDNY.   FF Roberts was thirty-one years young. ttp://  

Thirteen men from 40/35 headed into Hell on the morning of September 11, 2001.  Twelve of them died.  As the song says, "This ain't no storybook story..." 

It is merely theirs.  And nothing else is necessary...


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