Thursday, September 11, 2008


I was looking through the photos on Yahoo this morning of the ceremony held for 9/11 victim families at "the site" (Twin Towers). I was looking for just a glimpse of my friend Mr. John Napolitano Sr. I knew he'd be there, holding his son's picture high, along with his best friend Lenny Crisci holding his brother's picture high. Every year John and Lenny go to the site and retrace their steps. They see the twisted steel and dust and, well... the many non-survivors that faced them on September 12, 2001 as they joined the search for their loved ones, praying they'd find them alive. Both flashing their retired NYPD badges and getting in to a place where only a few brave souls dared enter.

On that day, Mr. John left a note for his son in the ash on a wall.
Over the next few days, other people who recognized the name "John Napolitano" replied back to John Sr. with notes in the ash.

Now, seven years later, John Sr. talks about his son, firefighter John Napolitano II, and his heroic efforts freely. But not just about John II's actions on September 11, 2001. John Sr. tells of a life well lived. Two daughters well loved, and a father who couldn't be more proud of "his girls". John Sr. talks about a son who was National Honor Society throughout school, who excelled so fast in his fire unit at such a young age that he had the respect of all around him. John wants everyone to know of the Hero who lived before 9/11.

As I was searching through the Yahoo pictures for my one glimpse of a man I've never met, I thought of all the wonderful things he's told me about his son. Just an all around great guy who was doing his job one day. A proud father and husband who hopped on his rig one morning, eventhough he was off duty and could go home. A beloved son and brother who ran into the North Tower of the World Trade Center after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into it. Something we'd all do.... right?!

Finally, I got my glimpse as I spotted a familiar face in a photograph. I didn't know it was John Sr. at the time, but I emailed him and got a quick reply letting me know that was indeed him holding the picture of his son, by his side as always his best friend Lenny, heading down to once again retrace their steps.

Source: Yahoo News- Reuters

2,996 people who lived whole lives before September 11, 2001. I'm glad I'm getting to know one of them.

1 comment:

scrapperjen said...

Thanks for sharing those stories and pictures. A day no one will forget!