The FDNY on Friday honored 22 of its members who died of 9/11-related illnesses in the past year, adding their name to its memorial wall at the department’s downtown Brooklyn headquarters.
The fallen FDNY members included 13 firefighters, two captains, two lieutenants, a chief, two EMTs, a paramedic and a doctor.
Trish Moran lost her father, Lt. John Moran, one of those whose names were added to the wall, 11 weeks ago.
She said he contracted head and neck cancer from his search and rescue efforts at Ground Zero and battled the disease for nearly six years.
“Initially, it happened in 2013, just at the base of his tongue. After treatment, it went away, but it came back in late 2017 really bad,” Moran said of her father’s disease.
“He couldn’t open his mouth and it spread to the face. He had to undergo intensive radiation treatment through 2018, and we thought it’d get better, but it didn’t,” she said.
“I think the worst part is that he had to endure it for [so long],” she said.
Moran, who was at Friday’s somber ceremony with her mom, Joyce Moran, said they were grateful to see their loved one honored.
“It provides the recognition that my father and the other officers deserve. It may have happened so long after, but he still passed from 9/11,” Moran said.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said it is “inconceivable” to still be losing loved ones 18 years after the attack.
“They went back to the site, day after day, night after night, searching with such dedication to those innocent lives that were taken from us. Today, we honor and we remember them,” Nigro said of the responders.
“As they regularly sought to rescue New Yorkers trapped inside those burning towers, it is still difficult for us to process and comprehend what would have been unimaginable is now a harsh reality,” he said.
To date, more than 200 members of the FDNY have died from 9/11-related illnesses, and Nigro said that number is only going to get higher.
“This ceremony will unfortunately continue in the future, and it will always be a day to remember and to honor the courageous individuals who took part in unprecedented rescue and recovery,” Nigro said.
“We ensure their memories will sit in our Fire Department family, and we’ll be here every year to renew our solemn vow to never forget.”
The ceremony concluded with officials reading the names of each honored member of service. For each name, a silver bell was rung and the officer’s surviving family member presented a flower under the plaque.