For nearly two decades, one man has made sure the families of fallen first responders start their Thanksgiving off right. Pat Kiernan introduces us to our latest New Yorker of the Week.
As the city tried to heal in the days following September 11th, there was one thing Alfred Kahn couldn't shake.
"A couple of days after it, I started thinking about the kids," Kahn recalls.
Hundreds of first responders were killed that day, leaving behind thousands mourning their loved ones.
Kahn understood the feeling all too well, his father died on Christmas Day when he was just a kid.
"The worst thing that can happen to a child, I think, is you lose a parent," Kahn said.
That loss and 9/11 inspired him to launch the First Responders Children’s Foundation, an organization he formed right after the terrorist attacks to give the children of 9/11 first responders something to look forward to on Thanksgiving.
For some, it was their first holiday without a parent.
"It's a memorial to these people but also it's a celebration of where we can go after these tragedies," Kahn said.
The non-profit is 17 years strong, hosting more than 1,000 people for breakfast every Thanksgiving morning - right along the parade route.
Kahn has expanded his mission over the years. The foundation also gives college scholarships and emergency medical grants to children in need.
"It's like they're saying that we're here for you, we're going to support you for all these years no matter what, we're going to be here standing by you," said Amanda Rivera, a foundation member.
"We look forward to this and seeing everybody and all of the families, it's just beautiful that they do this for us," said Maritza Nieves, a foundation member.
Kahn says it's the least he can do for those willing to risk everything.
"You say to yourself, they're taking care of us, who's taking care of them? Who is really looking out for them and saying in their own little way, we're looking out for you," Kahn said.
And so for helping to make the holidays a little easier for families of fallen first responders, Alfred Kahn is our New Yorker of the Week.