18 years after a horrific attack on our country took the lives of so many innocent Americans, an incredible group of individuals are about to become the next generation of New York’s Bravest. 

A group of 13 future first responders who lost a parent in the line of duty on September 11th are now becoming the next group of city firefighters. According to a report from the Post, the next class set to graduate the FDNY Academy contains 13 members – 12 men and one woman – who lost a parent in the attacks on the Twin Towers.

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A photo caught near Ground Zero after the first tower fell on September 11th, 2001. (Flickr)


The class is set to graduate in just a few weeks, right around the 18th anniversary of the attacks. Another few “legacy” recruits are among the graduating class as well, sources say. Two groups of siblings are among the new class, including two sons of one firefighter and the son and daughter of another.

The Fire Commissioner said their bravery runs through their blood.

“Bravery runs in these extraordinary families who have sacrificed so much for our city. I’m proud of the commitment these probies have already demonstrated to the department and look forward to celebrating with them at their graduation,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. 

Carl Asaro (left) and his son Marc Asaro (right). (FDNY)


A local fire union spoke out in support of the new round of firefighters for choosing the life of a public servant.

“I think it’s a great tribute to their dads,” said Gerard Fitzgerald, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. “It’s quite inspirational to hear that they’re following in their fathers’ footsteps.”

The probies were barred from speaking with reporters, but the Post caught up with some of their relatives.

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Heloiza Asaro said she was “very proud” of her son, Marc, 25, and daughter, Rebecca, 27, for joining siblings Matthew Asaro, 30, and Carl, 31, in the FDNY, the Post reported.

“Being that they are the youngest, I’m more concerned. They wanted to honor their father, to help people like he did. Even if he hadn’t died, they would have become firefighters. Since they were little kids, the fireman was Santa Claus. The fireman organized the picnics.”

Leonard Ragaglia (left) and his son Anthony (right). (FDNY)


One of the recruits said how proud he was of his brother for following in their father’s footsteps.

“There are no negatives. We know the risks. We always liked helping people,” said James Foti, who planned on following his brother and taking the FDNY exam soon. “I know he’s happy,” he said of his brother, Robert. “He can’t wait to start the next chapter in his life.”  

Most of the new recruits who lost their fathers on 9/11 were very young when it happened, some between 7 and 10 years-old at the time. 

Peter Carroll (left) and his son Peter J. Carroll (right). (FDNY/Facebook)


Some of the new recruits lost their parent long after the attacks due to complications stemming from 9/11-related illnesses. 

Dennis J. Heedles Sr. worked at Ground Zero in the cleanup efforts after the attacks. He died on Oct. 10, 2015, from complications related to 9/11-linked lung cancer.


Hats off to these incredible young Americans who have answered the call and congratulations on becoming the newest members of the FDNY! 

Stay safe!


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