MANHATTAN - Two firefighters who were killed in 2007?s massive Deutsche Bank fire were honored in a ceremony Monday.
The ceremony took place exactly one year after Bay Ridge native Joseph Graffagnino and his partner, Robert Beddia, were killed. The two fallen heroes died while fighting a fire in Manhattan?s Deutsche Bank building at Ground Zero ? a fire that is believed to have started with a cigarette.
Monday?s ceremony was standing room only. It took place at Engine 24, Ladder 5 on 6th Avenue in Manhattan and was attended by friends, family and firefighters. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city fire commissioner dedicated plaques to the two men as part of the remembrance.
Graffagnino?s family says life has been tough without the firefighter. ?It?s bittersweet,? Graffagnino?s father, Joe Graffagnino, Sr. says of the ceremony. ?We?re in emotional turmoil over this. [The ceremony] reopens the wounds.?
Graffagnino?s wife, Linda, agrees. ?Today is very hard,? she says. ?But I?m surrounded by family and friends, so that makes me feel good.?
Along with his wife, Graffagnino is survived by his two small children. ?Everything they need to know about their dad they will know,? Linda Graffagnino says. ?He was wonderful and his legacy is going to live on with my children.?
The New York Times reported Monday that Manhattan?s district attorney may press charges against the city for the fire. Graffagnino?s family says they hope whoever caused the blaze will pay.
For extended footage of the memorial held for Joseph Graffagnino, go to Channel 612 on your iO Digital Cable Box and select iO Extra. Funeral held for BK firefighter killed in blaze