New York City recently received a new class of firefighters, and a historic number of them are following their parents footsteps. Of the 301 Probationary Firefighters who graduated from the new York City Fire Department Tuesday, 13 of them are children of firefighters who died at the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and six are children of first responders who died of 9/11 related illness.
The graduating class is historic. Twenty-one total graduates are legacies, whose fathers died on duty, the largest in FDNY history. Sixteen are women, the second largest group in FDNY history.
“Today, these 21 legacies are no longer children dreaming of their careers their fathers loved, and of serving in the world’s greatest fire department, Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said during the ceremony. "Today, they have fully achieved their dreams.”
Among the graduating class are Rebecca and Marc Asaro. Their father, Carl Asaro of Engine 54, was one of the 343 members of the FDNY who lost their lives on 9/11.
“Every day that I came to the academy, I was grateful to be there and to follow in the footsteps of my father, brothers, uncle, and all those who came before," Rebecca said in a statement. "This is exactly where I want to be."
“It is an amazing experience, to be able to do the same thing that my father had done, and had given his life for," her brother Marc added. "It’s more incredible that my sister and I are doing it together. It’s a proud feeling. My sister and I push each other to be better every day."
Marc and Rebecca's older brothers, Matthew and Carl Asaro Jr., are already on the job.