Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9 was among the firehouses hard hit on Sept. 11, 2001 and their fallen brothers were remembered Tuesday. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
The names of 15 firefighters from Engine 54, Ladder 4 and Battalion 9 were read aloud. All responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. None of them returned.
"I cope with it better after 11 years," said Maureen Santora, whose son was killed on Sept. 11, 2001. "I'm able to know that tomorrow will be another day but it's a very tough day."
"I remember 15 men who on September 11, 2001, put the needs of the citizens of New York before their own," FDNY Captain Thomas Venditto said during the ceremony.
The ceremony is now a tradition for the busy firehouse near the theater district, known as the Pride of Midtown. It's a way to bring comfort to families and current and former firefighters and officers.
"People shouldn't forget what happened on that day," Venditto said. "People shouldn't forget the sacrifice and bravery of our members that we lost and all the rest of the people who were lost on 9/11 as well."
"It's a day that we always remember and hopefully everyone else remembers," said FDNY Lieutenant Pat Brady.
Retired Deputy Chief Alexander Santora lost his 23-year old son, Christopher, who was following in his footsteps.
"I think that these guys here are going to keep this going as long as they possibly can because these were their brothers," he said.
Linda Taccetta lost her brother, Lenny Ragaglia.
"This is where they loved to be, our loved ones that are gone and they loved to be here and now we understand more why because it is very much a home," she said.
The park across from the firehouse on 48th Street is dedicated to the 15 men killed. The memorial fountain is a constant reminder of the heroism they and so many others showed on that day.