On Saturday, August 18th, FDNY firefighters reported to a seven alarm fire , among the crew was Ladder Company 5, who lost men on 9-11.
The building is just south of Ground Zero, and was being “deconstructed” at the time. The building was so close to Ground Zero that it was damaged by debris from the Twin Towers when they came down.
Tragically, on August 18th, two more of the courageous men of FDNY lost their lives. Joseph Graffagnino, age 33, of Ladder Company 5, and Robert Beddia, age 53, of Engine Company 24 suffered from severe smoke inhalation and died of cardiac arrest as a result.
As the Mayor of NYC so aptly put it: "I'd like to remind everyone, these are the men and women who rush into danger when we run away. They make the ultimate sacrifice."
The members of our rowing expedition, both in the US and in Venice, mourn the loss of these two heroes. We row as a tribute to the fallen heroes of 9-11, most specifically FDNY. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, and friends.
Joseph Graffagnino and Robert Beddia, we row for you along with those who were lost on 9-11.
We will not forget.