Engine 54 Honors 15 Firefighters Killed on 9/11

By Tom Llamas
|  Monday, Sep 12, 2011  |  Updated 6:31 AM EDT
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Family, friends and community turned out at the Firefighters Memorial Park at the Ritz Plaza in Midtown to remember the firefighters lost from Engine 54, the

NBC New York

Family, friends and community turned out at the Firefighters Memorial Park at the Ritz Plaza in Midtown to remember the firefighters lost from Engine 54, the "Pride of Midtown" on Sept. 11. Tom Llamas reports.

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Grief spilled from every corner of the Firefighters Memorial Park in Midtown Sunday morning during a ceremony to honor Engine 54 -- the "Pride of Midtown" -- which lost 15 men on 9/11. 

The priest who blessed the ceremony said the families and friends there were gathered in hope.

"Every time I hear the bell ring, I think of something about him,” said Melinda Gooden, referring to her close friend, firefighter Jose Guadalupe. “Every year you think it gets better, but it doesn't."

On Sept. 11, 2001, the Ragaglia family waited all day for word about Engine 54.  Hope slipped away when they found out the entire company was missing. 

"I could never be as proud,"  said Leonard Ragaglia, who lost his son that day. "He did what they all did, he went and served and did what they had to do without hesitation."

The fallen firefighters were honored with a new memorial inside of the firehouse.  Pictures of those 15 men now watch over the firefighters who carry on Engine 54's legacy.

"I can't imagine what they go through," said Linda Taccetta who lost her brother on 9/11.
"I lost a brother; they lost 15."

Follow Tom Llamas on Twitter at @TomLlamas4NY
 

RELATED: President Visits Hard-Hit Firehouse (May 5, 2011)

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