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This was emailed to me as I thought it would be great if everyone helped out on this one. So if you can it would be great!!!
As a New Yorker, I need to do something meaningful about September 11th but
I can't do it alone. So I'm reaching out to the World to help me in this
Letter Legacy Appeal.
Please help me with your response and by forwarding this appeal to your
family, friends and associates.
I hope you will join me in this worthy effort and I thank you on behalf of
Respectfully ... Bob Abate
On Tuesday, September 11th, 343 New York City Firefighters died in the line
of duty at the World Trade Center. The worst prior death toll was 12
firemen killed in a 1966 inferno. More firemen were lost that day than the
total of all the NYFD's fatalities since the start of World War II.
On Sunday, September 23rd, an interfaith memorial prayer service was held
in Yankee Stadium for the victims of the World Trade Center attack. It was
a wonderful tribute and show of support for the 20,000 people who attended
but I was saddened to see so many empty seats - approximalely 40,000 -
knowing that they would probably be filled to capacity for a ballgame,
especially this time of the year.
Monday, National Public Radio made a most unusual public service request.
Listeners in the New York City area were asked to try to attend as many
funerals as possible for the heroic fireman who perished because, due to
the enormity of the death toll, it would be impossible for each Firefighter
to receive the hero's funeral those killed in the line of duty had
traditionally received in the past.
It then really hit me - the empty seats in Yankee Stadium followed by the
NPR plea for public support. And so, I want to do something that will
hopefully have a lasting impact on the surviving families, especially the
more than 1,000 children of those unbelievably brave and selfless men.
These sons and daughters need to know and be told by each of us,
individually and collectively as a nation, how much we respect and honor
their fathers' ultimate sacrifice and that it was not in vein. Their
material needs are being addressed through various sources but their hearts
and souls need immediate attention and long-term consolation.
Except for family, nothing is more sacred to firemen then their calling.
Their motivation is fundamentally simple yet vastly profound - to risk
their lives daily to save the lives of total strangers. In a very real
sense, when they ran into the Twin Towers, into the jaws of death and the
very fires of hell, they went in for us - each and every one of us and
those we hold dear. We now need to respond and reach out to their children,
telling them how much we appreciate and respect the ultimate sacrifice of
My Dad was a NYC Fireman for 30 years and remained one at heart until the
day he died. In one respect, I'm glad he wasn't alive to witness this
horror because I don't think he would have been able to bear the loss. It
certainly would have ripped his heart. He was the most giving man I've
ever known as I'm sure these sons and daughters can attest about their
fathers. He was buried with his New York Fire Department ring and badge -
once a Fireman, always a Fireman. I cherish each and every testament to his
service and bravery.
The World Trade firemen's families have no bodies to bury and they will
have no cemetaries to visit. Their lack of closure creates a void that is
nearly incomprehensible. But each and every one of us has the ability to
provide an emotional lifeline and a genuine source of solace in a simple
yet extraordinarily meaningful way.
Their fathers' legacy to us was instantaneous and unambiguous. They
willingly and unhesitatingly gave their lives for total strangers -
potentially, each and every one of us. And in so doing, on America's
Darkest Day, they were our guiding light and a beacon of Freedom's Bravest
to the world.
It is now our sacred duty to show our gratitude and honor these heroic men
through a living legacy to their children. I trust you will look into your
heart and write a personal letter, telling these children what their
fathers' sacrifice means to you.
I also respectfully ask that this request be forwarded to all of your
family, friends and associates.
All appropriate letters will be personally delivered and distributed to the
children with the assistance and coordination of the New York City Fire
I thank you and the children will always remember and treasure your
Please send your letter to:
125 Bajart Place
Yonkers, NY 10705